If you have been on one of our vineyard tours you will know how much we love cheese and how it’s always included on the wine pairing plate. And we also love to support local – the central region of England has some wonderful artisan cheese makers producing a range of delicious cows, goat and sheep cheese. We usually buy our cheese fresh from Broomfields Farm Shop at Holt Heath – only 3 miles away, it is our nearest retailer, with a great deli counter. Then, if we have time, we make our own crackers. Otherwise, we use Peter’s Yard sourdough crackers [available from most supermarkets].
Throughout the 2022 tour season, our favourite regional cheese used on the tours was FINN by Neals Yard Creamery. This is a creamy cows milk cheese made from whole milk plus a little extra cream. Ripened for 2-3 weeks, the cheese has a creamy-white mould rind. Neals Yard is located in nearby Herefordshire and they collect cow’s milk in the mornings from Stephen and Sarah Fletcher’s farm at Walterstone in the foothills of the Black Mountains.
- Flavour/texture: Soft with a rich, double cream texture. Lactic and creamy when young, it takes on walnut and mushroom flavours as it matures.
- Vegetarian: Produced using cardoon rennet (thistle) instead of kid rennet.
- Type: Pasteurised.
- Shelf life: 3.5 weeks
- Wine Pairing: We recommend a bottle of Astley’s Kerner. The fresh acidity of this grape works well with the soft creaminess of cheese. We particularly love Finn with Old Vine Kerner 2020
If you want to learn more about British cheese we have two books on our shelf.
A Portrait of British Cheese by Angus D. Birditt. Available from Amazon This is a beautiful book with some lovely photos, celebrating the best British producers . A great gift for the cheese obsessive in your life!
Tasting Wine & Cheese by Adam Centamore Available from Amazon A US author but we won’t hold that against him. This book explains the principles of taste and pairing in a clear way then goes through all the best known wines and recommends the best cheeses to serve with them. Educational in the best possible way.
Hints for producing a great cheese board
- Choose 3-4 cheeses. Think about texture and strength, Not everyone likes a smelly blue cheese!
- Fruit and nuts work well, offering a range of textures and colours to make your board irresistible
- Different types of crackers will also make the board interesting
- Serve the cheese at room temperature
- And finally, we British love our pickles and chutneys but sadly these aren’t the best accompaniments for your cheese board as they will smother the taste and smell of your wine.
Keep it simple – cheers!