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Wesler Orchards

Just a few miles east of the Indiana border, the hilly splendor of New Paris, Ohio, gives way to the paradise that is Wesler Orchards. Around 7,000 apple trees stretch across the horizon, representing about 25 different varieties. Ron Wesler surveys the orchards with his hands on his hips, eyes squinting as the sun peers down. “This is three generations of work here,” he says. “It’s taken a long time to get what we’ve got and we don’t take that for granted.”

AN APPLE A DAY FOR THREE GENERATIONS

Wesler Orchards got its start in 1930 with Ron’s grandfather Frank, a Purdue University graduate who joined forces with an existing farmer to form Martin & Wesler. After the Depression hit, Frank became the sole proprietor and the farm was renamed Wesler Orchards. Ron’s father Meredith, 89, then oversaw the farm for many years, with the production of apples flourishing.

“He’s down here at 8:30 a.m. every day,” says Ron, who purchased the farm from his father in 2000. Meredith lives in a farmhouse just about 200 yards away from Ron. If you ask him what keeps him in such good physical condition, a wide smile spreads across his face. “An apple a day,” he recites.

PRESSING TOWARD THE FUTURE

It wasn’t until 2012 that apple cider became the main focus of Wesler Orchards—a direction that has quenched the thirst for many, including DLM patrons (Wesler makes all of our DLM Apple Cider, after all).

If you pay attention, you’ll notice subtle taste nuances from one batch of cider to the next. When talking to Ron, this inconsistency is actually a big part of the magic that is Wesler Cider, as each batch is a blend of at least four different apple varieties, making the cider a true reflection of the apples that are at their peak. It’s that blend of tart and sweet that Wesler is looking for with its cider.

While driving alongside Ron through the Orchards, he points toward the Jonathon apples that are currently being harvested, with ladders set up alongside. We move toward the Red Delicious trees, and he quickly adds that when they’re ready, they’ll add just the right amount of sweetness. Next, we roll past Gold Rush, which will likely be used to make some of the cider produced in mid-October. He carefully puts a finger alongside the stem before he picks it from the tree with a roll of the hand. “Next year’s buds are already in,” he says, noting that great care needs to be taken when picking.

CIDER HOUSE

Just a few hundred yards from the edge of the orchard are the storage coolers as well as the machinery where the cider is freshly pressed. “We try to do it right,” says Ron, noting that although their cider is flash pasteurized, it contains no preservatives and is 100% pure apples. This results in a darker cider overall, he points out, but he thinks that’s where the real flavor is. “It would make our lives a lot easier if we add preservatives … but the flavor just isn’t there like it is with a fresh cider,” he says. With a common mission of Flavor First, it’s a good reminder why we partner with Wesler for our DLM Apple Cider.

Your Fall Apple Must-Eat List

As our stores erupt with all of the best apples to bite into this fall, don’t miss these favorites.

MELROSE

The official apple of Ohio is great for eating, pie-making, and for an apple cobbler.

SNAPDRAGON

Sweet apple with a monster crunch and a subtle spicy flavor.

SWEETANGO

Known for its unique zest (one of its parents is the Zestar, after all).

FUJI

One of the sweetest apples, we love it for making it into applesauce or eating.

GRANNY SMITH

Tart and crunchy, it’s great for making pie, eating whole, or caramel apples.

HONEYCRISP

The ideal munching apple due to its unique blend of sweet and tart with the perfect crunch.

KIKU

A direct descendant of the Fuji family, this exotic apple has become a fast favorite with its unbelievable crunch and sweet-tart taste.

PINK LADY

Tart taste with a sweet finish and an ultra juicy interior.

GALA

This dessert apple is known for its exceptional texture, firmness, and honey-sweet flavor.

 

Pumpkin Checklist

Fall is here, which means bonfires, football, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! We’re big fans of this seasonal flavor and the wide variety of yummy pumpkin products available, so we’ve compiled a list of pumpkin must-haves to get your pumpkin fix. Let’s face it, is fall even fall without pumpkin treats?

How many of these pumpkin goodies have you tried?

View PDF

Fall for These 10 Recipes

Fall is here! It’s time for hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, and all of the foods that embrace this season of change. We want to welcome fall by diving into the quintessential flavors that make this time of year so delicious. Here are 10 fall recipes sure to have you fall-ing for the season.

8 Recipes to Fall For

10 Fall Recipes You’ll Love!

1. Honeycrisp Fall Sangria

This yummy recipe features the stars of fall: Honeycrisp Apples, Beaujolais Nouveau (available mid-November, but a strong red makes a great substitute), and DLM 100% Apple Cider.

2. Blondies

With cinnamon, nutmeg, and Honeycrisp apples, this dessert is the ultimate fall treat. Just one bite will have you craving all that this season has to offer.

3. Butternut Squash

Feast like a gourmand with this enticing butternut squash recipe. Chock-full of mouth-watering flavors, this is a recipe everyone will love!

4. Pumpkin Pancakes

The perfect weekend breakfast.

5. Braised Bacon Kale with Roasted Veggies

It’s time to get roasting! It’s an easy, simple, and delicious way to bring out some of the unpopular root vegetables. Roast at high heat so a lot of color and caramelization happens, and simply season with salt or pepper.

6. Butternut Squash Soup with Garam Masala

This warming soup has subtle sweetness and spice, and is full of unique flavor.

7. Pumpkin Gingerbread

The perfect edible gift for friends and neighbors.

8. Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops

A hearty dish that is full of fall flavors. It’s one you’ll repeat all season long.

9. Butterbeer

This magically delicious beverage, perfect for fall parties and get-togethers, is sure to put a spell on you.

10. Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars

Ooey, gooey deliciousness, these butter bars are ones to share.

 

DLM Dreams of Sushi Are a Reality

If you haven’t seen the film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” I recommend you do, preferably with a cold beer and a beautiful platter of sushi. A few of us at DLM have had the opportunity to eat sushi at the famous fish market Tsukiji in Japan where Jiro sources his fish, and it really is a lifetime experience. We’ve also had excellent sushi in supermarkets in Japan, such as from our friends the Ishido family of Keihoku Supermarkets. Fortunately, it’s also become commonplace in American supermarkets as our food psyche is eager to embrace foods from around the world. Authentic sushi is an art form and we decided to perfect how we do it at DLM.

It begins with the chef. Given the exact same ingredients, the experience you would have from a sushi master is on a completely different level than from a novice. When you then supply such an expert with gorgeous fish and perfect rice, the results are extraordinary. We have such talent now in our Sushi department. I marvel at their knife skills and gentle hand in crafting every piece and roll. Thanks to this team, we’re now achieving a level of sushi that we had only once dreamed possible.

In addition to the top talent in our Sushi department, we also are relentless in the sourcing of quality fish, rice, and other ingredients. Our VP of Meat & Seafood and Food Service Jack Gridley finds great fish like no one else I know. He has fishing friends in places like Alaska, Boston, and Scotland, which makes it no surprise that we have such outstanding fish for not only our Seafood department, but for the Sushi department as well.

Indeed, we are proud to offer you an exceptional level of sushi excellence at DLM, one more like what you would have in a fine sushi restaurant. Check out our increased variety, more artistic appearance, and best of all—superior eating experience!

DLM Sushi is so good, we’re attracting many customers of Japanese and Korean origin, the countries with the greatest sushi traditions. I was raised as an Ohio farm boy, yet even I eat our sushi at least two to three times per week as it’s such an easy, healthy pleasure. Our sushi chefs are happy to accommodate your special requests, including eye-popping sushi trays for your next party or a custom roll for your next meal. Give DLM Sushi a try and eat it soon and often. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Into the Field with Peach Mountain Organics

Every so often, you meet someone who is larger than life. What they do becomes more and more incredible the closer you look. Their passion and total dedication is inspiring. They are the best at what they do. Leslie Garcia of Peach Mountain Organics is one of those people. I am fortunate to know her as she grows certified organic flowers locally and brings them to Dorothy Lane Market. We are so beyond grateful to be able to provide our customers with her beautiful flowers.

Down a winding road in Spring Valley is where you’ll find that majestic farm called Peach Mountain Organics. As you walk through the greenhouse and fields, the vibrant colors draw your eye here and then there, while a rain-kissed fresh fragrance gently greets you. Although the local floral bouquet season started in the spring, it’s still going strong even as summer comes to a close and fall takes over. Right now, we are simply dazzled by all of the dahlias that Leslie grows with such care. These late-summer/early-fall beauties come in a variety of different sizes and together form a rainbow of luscious colors making for the most stunning bouquets. On a recent farm visit, Leslie showed us how she cares for each and every stem so delicately and told us why growing flowers is so meaningful to her. Her story is incredible.

 DAHLIA CARE TIP: Cut the stems with clean, sharp cutters and use floral preservative. Always re-cut the stems and change the water after a few days

The Hills Are Alive with Alpine Cheese & Wine

We are taking a trek through The Alps with this month’s Food Explorer theme, and I couldn’t be more excited about the amount of food and drink hailing from this area. What exactly makes up The Alps? It’s more than the mountainous and picturesque Austrian countryside depicted in The Sound of Music. You’ll find the following countries as specified by The Alpine Convention, which exists to oversee the sustainable development of The Alps: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. With that in mind, grab your picnic basket and enjoy some of my favorite wines and cheeses from this area and keep reading for more food inspiration!

Alpine Cheeses

EMMI CHEESE FONDUE BLEND

With 70% of the Switzerland’s agriculture made of pastures and the majority of the farmers having fewer than 30 cows, Emmi contracts for the milk and this easy-toprepare, velvety Alpine herdsman originated fondue is one of the prizes! Dip in crusty bread, fruit, meat, or vegetables.

ALP BLOSSOM

Inspired by its home in western Austria’s “hay belt,” it’s both a feast for the palate and eyes. Its coating of flowers include marigold, rose petals, lavender, and chervil. It’s rich, full-bodied flavor has hints of umami and a slight sweetness to the finish.

CRUCOLO

Made by a single producer at the mouth of the Val Campelle in Trentino, Italy. It’s smooth, creamy, and slightly tangy, pairing well with cured meats and a hearty wine.

PRÉSIDENT EMMENTAL SWISS

The old tradition using pure cow’s milk and a maturation period of at least four months allows Emmental to develop into a mild, slightly nutty tasting cheese.

COMTÉ ST. ANTOINE GRUYÈRE 

This cheese is made in the cooperative dairies of the Jura Mountains and aged for 18 to 22 months in the renowned caves of Marcel Petite Fort St. Antoine. It’s smooth with assertive flavor and particularly good with a white wine from the Savoie, such as Abymes.

Alpine Wines

ABYMES VIN DE SAVOIE 

Savoie is located in eastern France, very close to the Swiss border near Lake Geneva. Made from the grape Jacquère, this wine is extremely vibrant and crisp, with a dry finish. It’s a very pleasing wine perfect for lunch or light dinner dishes.

DÖNNHOFF RIESLING TROCKEN

The Dönnhoff family first came to the Nahe region of southwestern Germany 250 years ago and Helmut, who took over from his father in 1966, makes simply breathtaking wine! This dry wine is extremely balanced with flavor nuances and speaks to Helmut’s personal philosophy for wine making. “I express myself clearly and so do my wines,” he says.

MÜLLER-CATOIR RIESLING

From one of the grand old estates in Germany, this wine is easily one of the best white wines in the world! Amazing complexity, with ample fruit, minerality, and very well-balanced acidity.

BOTTEGA VINAIA TEROLDEGO ROTALIANO

From Trentino, Italy, this wine is dry, full-bodied, with soft tannins and a long, well-rounded finish that seems to be wrapped in raspberries! Wonderful paired with roast chicken, grilled meats, or a charcuterie board.

ELENA WALCH VIGNA CASTEL RINGBERG PINOT GRIGIO

Castel Ringberg is the hotel and restaurant that the Walch family owns near their vineyards in Italy. This single vineyard Pinot Grigio is easily the most intense, wellstructured, vibrant Pinot Grigio we have ever had. No watered-down version here!

NIGL FREHEIT GRÜNER VELTLINER

Tucked deep in the Krems Valley in Austria is Nigl, easily one of our favorite producers. They’ve been farming this land for over 200 years! Stunning vibrancy, minerality, and length in this dry wine that is lovely on its own, but best with food.

Fermented Faves

Eating in The Alps is so much fun! With all that cheese, sausage, braised meats, and noodles, you need a pop of bright flavor and acidity to keep it in balance. The natural accompaniments that you’ll find rely on fermentation, which both packs a powerful punch and has health benefits.

Some of our faves include:

  • Henstenberg Traditional German Barrel Pickles
  • Maille Cornichons
  • Hengstenberg Red Cabbage
  • DLM Bulk Sauerkraut
  • Krazy Kraut Krazy Currey

The 21st Annual Food & Wine Show

We like to think that our Food & Wine Show is the perfect kickoff to a celebratory season to come, and this year is certainly no exception. For one night, DLM Springboro transforms into the stage of a spectacular gustatory experience and it’s hard to believe that it started 21 years ago. We hope that each year, just like a fine wine, it keeps getting better and better.

At our Food & Wine Show, Thursday, Nov. 7, you’ll have the opportunity to taste wines from around the world and from some of the best producers, and talk to knowledgeable sommeliers all while sampling chef-driven food prepared by DLM’s best. It’s truly an evening that we take great pride in hosting and infusing with our passion.

A ticket to the Food & Wine Show includes an opportunity to taste from a selection of nearly 200 fine wines and beer with a bevy of hors d’oeuvres coming from our kitchen along with ample food stations. We promise you won’t go hungry!

Cheers and I’ll see you soon!

Although the event isn’t until Nov. 7, tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 13, starting at 6 a.m. and they’ll sell out quickly. Limit 10 per customer.

Tickets can be purchased at Guest Services or online at www.DorothyLane.com/FoodWineShow.