Below you will find some of the new wine, the new cheeses made by hand on the farms or at micro dairies. Very exciting.
A fantastic bloomy rind cheese in brie style inspired by Brie de Meaux. Is made at the farm dairy Fen Farm Dairy in Bungay, Suffolk. Made from Montbéliard milk. The Montbéliard herd was originally bought from France. The family has run this farm for 80 years but only the last few years have there been a dairy as well. The result is exceptionally successful. Baron Bigod is ripened for up to eight weeks in a cave like maturing room. Rind is bloomy and white with scattered red/brown spots. Taste dairy, mushrooms and earth and perhaps a little bit of farmyard. The paste is light yellow and somewhat gooey.
To drink: Champagne, vintage.
This small cheese from Blackwoods Cheese Company in Kent is something of a gem. Is made by expat Australians who has come to England to make cheese from raw milk. Cow’s milk this one. A rind with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Mainly Geotrichum Candidum, but also washed and a bloomy emergence here and there. Paste has a fine, even texture ivory coloured. Not a stinker, but you can smell it. Not to worry, though. A diverse cheese in other words. Savoury taste, but also fragrances of milk, spice and meat. Is made with animal rennet.
To drink: A white with slightly sweet touches or a fruity red from Beaujolais or Bourgeuil.
Finn is a small, bloomy rind cheese from Neal’s Yard Creamery in Herefordshire. Camembert style. Made from raw cow’s milk with a little extra cream added and curdled using calf’s rennet. A fine off white rind with a little bit of geotricum added in addition to the penicillium, I would think. Paste is ivory with a chalky midst. Matured for two to three weeks. Full bodied on the palate. As a young cheese taste is lactic and creamy, with age some nuts and mushroom appear.
To drink: England has got fine bubbles, that’s also part of the new wine; try some of those; like Nyetimber or one of the others. On the red side a fine and fruity Beaujolais pairs well.
A small round puck shaped cheese from Suffolk wrapped in a small box. Lactic with a soft washed rind and some Geotricum candidum. Soft paste with a fairly compact texture. Melts on your tongue. A fine and tasteful cheese. Milk from Montbéliarde cows.
To drink: A slightly sweet white such as a German Kabinett or a standard semi sweet Vouvray.
A small cheese this too, 120 grams from the same dairy as St. Cera; White Wood Dairy, which is housed by Fen Farm in Suffolk, Thursdays and Fridays. St Jude is sent off to Neal’s Yard Dairy in London less than a week old. Further maturing takes place there. Also milk from Montbéliarde cows. Silky cream cheese in St. Marcellin style. Distinct milky taste when young, but develops more complex flavours of butter and hay when older. Perhaps a hint of tobacco as well. Animal rennet.
To drink: I would go for a Condrieu or a Montrachet.
From the same farm and cheese makers as Sinodum Hill. Brightwell Ash is a more recent development made for the first time in 2018. A small puck formed cheese of about 120 grams covered in ash. Contrary to Sinodum Hill this cheese is made using animal rennet. The tangy flavour of this cheese is bright and juicy. Paste is light and silky. To drink: I prefer a Muscadet sur Lie to this cheese, it is lean but slightly less edgy that the traditional Sauvignon blanc so common along this type og cheese.
From the same farm dairy that makes the Innes Log and Innes Brick. Burr is a further developmen of the Innes Log in the sense it is matured much, much longer. Smaller size as well. Brought to Neal’s Yard Dairy in London for love and care. And they have succeeded. In spite of being hard, the taste is rather mild even though it gives a slight sting in the back of your mouth after a while. Natural rind that is very thick for this size of cheese. Also covered with black spots of mold. Hardly possible to cut through it so you will need a kitchen knife. Paste is yellowish due to the long maturation.
To drink: A Chardonnay.
Cerney Ash Cheese
A cheese formed like a truncated pyramid, completely covered in a mix of ash and seasalt, so the cheese is completely black on the outside. Perhaps not very inviting at first sight, but underneath is white and clean. A mousse-like texture. A very fresh and fruity cheese with a clear citrus tang. 250 grammes. Comes from Cerney Cheese in Gloucestershire. Made with vegetal rennet from raw goat’s milk, of course.
To drink: Try a pilsner style beer or a light, dry cider.
Another cheese from the cheese makers at Innes Cheese in Staffordshire. A small family business making cheese of the milk from their own goats. Brick shaped. Matured for three to four weeks. Rind covered in Geotrichum candidum. Texture is even and quite compact. A touch of sweetness and a fine acidity. Taste of milk and a bit of spice. A good, but not very complex cheese. This is a cheese that fares well both on the grill and in a salad.
To drink: A Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or green tea.
Golden Cross is a log formed goat’s milk cheese in a Sainte Maure de Touraine tradition. It has a light bloomy rind and some ash. The milk is left for 24 hours to form the curd using starter cultures and microbial rennet. From the farm dairy Golden Cross Cheese which keeps house at Greenacres Farm in Holmes Hill, East Sussex. A bit inland from Eastbourne. Inside a rather strict gate-keeper of a rind there is a fine white creamy paste. If the cheese is young you should eat the rind as well, that will give you a flavour og milk and some yeast. In addition some sweetness that is nicely balanced off with acidity. You can enjoy this cheese rather fresh and more mature. The more the cheese ages the harder the rind, so then I recommend you spoon the paste. Wonderful.
To drink: Why don’t you enjoy a glass of sparkling wine with the Golden Cross. They’ve got some good ones locally. The more mature the cheese, the more mature the wine.
Innes Log and Innes Brick
Innes Log is a goat milk cheese in the style of St Maure de Tourane, made at a farmstead dairy in Staffordshire, England. They also make an altertive cheese formed as a brick with the name Innes Brick. Both cheeses are brought to Neals Yard Dairy in London at a very early stage to mature in their cellars. Rind of Geotrichum candidum. Innes Log is a very tasteful and rustic cheese made with animal rennet. The dairy works on developing a new starter culture based on the whey from the cheese making the previous day. Innes Brick is a much lighter and in a way fresher.
To drink: Tradistionally with Sauvignon blanc or what about a glass of English sparkling wine? The Innes Log needs a more mature wine than the Innes Brick.
A very new cheese as it was first made in 2016. A raw goat’s milk with a fresh herbacious taste made in Shillingford near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire using vegetarian rennet. Formed like a truncated pyramide. Creamy, mousse like texture. Sligtly golden rind, but paste is snow white. Very lactic with yoghurt flavour and a touch bitterness at the end (probably stemming from the rind). Matured for three weeks.
To drink: A crisp Sauvignon blanc.
Pyramid shaped goat cheese in Valençay style. The rind is thin and bloomy with no Geotrichum candidum that is so common for this type of cheese. Contrary to the original this is not covered with ash. Texture is silky and there is a distant taste of pepper. A certain saltiness, but not disturbing.
To drink: Loire Sauvignon blanc or an English sparkling wine such as Nyetimber. You may also pair it a with with a slight sweetness.
A small and very fresh goat cheese made from the same curd as Tymesboro, but are formed into small puck sized cheeses and sold ultra fresh. After to to three days the cheese is covered in a mix of ash and salt. Very typical fresg chèvre style cheese with a distinct acidity. Best if consumed within two weeks.
To drink: French Sauvignon blanc or an English sparkling wine such as Nyetimber.
A firm goat cheese in Tomme style with a naturla rind (Mucor) made by Mary Holbrookat the farm Sleigh in Somerset. They also make the two fresh goat cheeses Tymsboro and Sleightlett (see above). The making of this cheese is never delegated to any of the other cheese makers, she always takes care of whole process herself. The curd is lift over night in the molds to drain and gain acidity, only light pressure is applied. Matured for a minimum of three months in a cave like cellar. Late season cheeses are matured for up to eight months. Fruity as young, but develops more typicality with age and a more distinct saltiness.
To drink: Mature Champagne or Chenin blanc from the loire or South Africa.
An other cheese from the Mary Holbrook farm, but this is a cheese with a washed rind making the cheese more distict. opposite to the other cheese she makes this is done with vegetarian rennet, from thistle. Rustic, powerful taste with a hint of herbs. if you want a somewhat pungent cheese, this one is for you.
To drink: Try a mature Chardonnay or a rustic red from the south of France.
From the Berkswell village just outside of Coventry. The cheese has taken the name from the village where it is made, which is not uncommon at all. The name of the farm is Ram Hall Farm and they have made ewe milk cheese there for about 30 years. The farm however, dates back to 1600. A firm cheese in a Pyrenee tradition, in my opinion anyway. Raw milk of course. Grey, hard natural rind with a fine pattern. Mild, but with a rich, nutty and sweetish taste. This cheese with some country bread with a glass of wine or a cup of good tea is excellent.
To drink: Mature reds and whites from Bordeaux. A mild single malt whisky. A pint of real ale will also pair very well, for lunch anyway.
A soft, creamy ewe’s milk cheese from Wales. Farm situated at the outskirts of Snowdonia National Park. Cheese is brought to London for maturing at Neal’s Yard Dairy. Fine Geotrichum rind, and a soft moussy cheese. Mild taste that reminds me of butter scotch and a hint of burnt. This is a very pleasing cheese.
To drink: A cup of good tea.
A cloth bound, firm ewe’s milk cheese from the farmstead dairy Errington in Carnwath, Lanarkshire in Scotland. Not to far away from Edinburgh, by the the way. The cheese takes its name from a nearby waterfall. The milk is from Lacaune ewes, the same breed that is used for Roquefort and not a very typical sheep breed for Scotland. Vegetarian rennet. Is made during spring time when milk is in abundance and is matured till the following spring. Formed into cylinders of about seven kilos. Light crumbly texture. Saltsweet taste with hints of nuts. Melts easily and is very good on toast.
To drink: A fruity red, or a light single malt whisky. If you happen to be in the area, try the traditional Fallachan drink made on the farm. Iy’s a fermented alcoholic drink made from whey. Somewhat like dry sherry. Matured for a year in oak casks.
A hard ewe’s milk cheese made from raw milk and in a Pecorino style. Made at White lake Cheese in Somerset. About two kilos and made with animal rennet. Texture is very compact. Taste is sweet caramel and toasted almonds.
To drink: For instance a Prunotto Barbera d’Alba.
A square shaped cheese from raw ewe’s milk with a washed rind. The rind is in Reblochon style. A farmstead cheese from Cumbria and is made by Martin Gott. A mild cheese with a fine taste of milk and butter. A bit of herbs as well. Variations during the season may occur. Semi firm and somewhat compact texture with a few holes scattered around. Chewy. You may well eat the rind, does not give a bitter taste as some do. A likeable cheese.
To drink: White burgundies, or light reds such as beaujolais. You can also try Nyetimber Classic Cuvée.
Quite a new cheese made with milk from their own herd. Smaller than the other cheeses from Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company at Sparkenhoe farm. Soft and creamy texture with somewhat inconsistent setting of the mould. Grey to green rind may appear a bit overwhelming, but nothing to be scared of. Got its name from the Battle of Bosworth that partly took place on their farmland. A sweet touch and fine balance.
To drink: A sweet or semi sweet white wine.
An other new blue mould cheese from Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company at Sparkenhoe farm as well. Inspired by and very close to Leicestershire Blue Cheese, aka Blue Leicester, that is hardly made any more. Raw milk of course. Fine distribution of the rather modest blueing. Creamy texture and a natural rind.
To drink: A sweet or semi sweet white wine or cider on the sweet side.
A rather new cheese from Northern Ireland, raw cows’ milk and made in a Stilton style. Artisan cheese so there is a lot of manual work in making this cheese. Milk sourced from a farm about 15 kilometers away. Production is less than 30 cheeses per week. Matured for 12 to 15 weeks. When mature it is creamy, rich and gentle with a long finish. Michael Thomson is the man behind the cheese. A wonderful blue cheese not widely available but absolutely worth searching for.
To drink: Try a Tawny port.