To the core

Pie, cobbler, crisp, sauce, fritter or just straight off the tree: Whichever way you want ‘em, October is apple time in Maine. The Page Farm and Home Museum at the University of Maine in Orono will celebrate the autumnal fruit with an Old-Fashioned Apple Fest at 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 25, at the museum. At the core of the event is an apple recipe contest, in which participants can bring their favorite dish and a copy of the recipe, as well as sample all the different apple-licious treats on hand. There will also be a taste-testing of Maine apple varieties, cider pressing, talks about caring for backyard apple trees, and games and activities for children. The event is free. For more, call the museum at 581-4100.

Fear not this holiday

Fine dining never sounded so scary. Opus, the downtown Bangor restaurant presided over by 2007 Ultimate Chef winner Roger Gelis, will offer a Halloween wine dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. Some of the delicacies on the menu include a lamb lasagna, grape-leaf-wrapped pork dumplings and beer batter boquerons, all paired with Spanish wines. A special Halloween wine, a 2006 Torres Sangre del Toro red, will kick off the meal. The cost is $65 per person. Opus will also offer Thanksgiving dinner this year, complete with an organic turkey with all the trimmings. To reserve a spot at the wine dinner, or to sign up for your gourmet Turkey Day meal, call 945-5100.

Spirited endorsement

Next time you feel like having a martini, make sure it’s made with Maine gin. Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery’s Back River Gin has been rated the best gin produced in the United States by “Kindred Spirits 2” by F. Paul Pacult, a comprehensive book that reviews whiskey, brandy, vodka, tequila, rum, gin and liqueurs from around the world. Pacult wrote that the Union-based distillery’s gin has an “[aroma] unlike any other gin in the world, and better than a whole slew of them.” Keith and Constance Bodine own Sweetgrass, which has Maine’s only copper alembic, made by the couple, producing spirits and brandies using Old World traditions. They use more than 28,000 pounds of local fruit producing wines, ports and spirits with a distinctive Maine character. Back River Gin will be available for tastings at Harvest on the Harbor, a celebration of Maine food and drink from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23-25 at Portland’s Ocean Gateway. For more information, visit

Tidbits is hungry for news about local food products and events. Send your Tidbits by mail to: Bangor Daily News, attn: Tidbits, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329; by fax to 941-9476; or by e-mail to

Avatar photo

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.