I LIKED THE COMBO OF MCINTOSH AND WINESAP. THE INTENSE, RICH AND DEEP FLAVOR OF THESE TWO PRODUCED THE BEST PIES FOR ME BUT I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO BUY WINESAP FOR YEARS. MCINTOSH ARE AVAILABLE BUT NOT ORGANIC ONES.
Stayman winesap was always my favorite for eating fresh, and it was among the varieties that my parents would buy by the bushel to store in our unheated sunroom for the winter. There was a wonderful orchard nearby, now closed, that grew them along with Baldwins, Wealthys, Red Rome, maybe Empire and Cortland. So hard to find any of these now--the newer varieties must be easier to grow.
We had 3 Red Delicious trees on our property, but none of our family really cared for them--we would give them away to the neighbors, then go to the orchard to buy the ones we preferred!
This year I tried Gravenstein (not mixed with any other apple). FABULOUS for pies! As I peeled, cored and cut them, I put them in a bowl of cold water to cut down on browning. They stayed white and toothsome throughout the baking process. I also love Cox's Orange Pippen for the same reasons.