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Friday 5th October saw us host our Cheese and Wine Evening at the Eighteen Acre Café, Restaurant and Bar. As marketing executive I went along to take pictures of the event and make notes. I have compiled a mini review here to show you all exactly what we do here at Bolney at such events.
“Matching eight wines to eight different cheeses and tutoring you through how to taste, pair and select your future cheese board”
Our two hosts for the night were Charlie, and our retail and events executive, and Steve, from High Weald Dairy. Charlie took us through the different wines selected, Stephen the different cheeses, and the former, explained to us why each wine is a good match for that cheese. Here they are in action.
Steve taking centre stage to talk about his cheese
High Weald Dairy has been run by Mark Hardy and his parents, Guy and Audrey, since the 1980s. Here at Bolney they are our ‘go-to’ suppliers for cheese in our café restaurant, as the quality of their produce is just outstanding. In fact it is so notable that it caught the eye of a very famous Sussex couple recently. High Weald’s ‘Brighton Blue’ was presented to none other than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their trip to Sussex last week.
High Weald Dairy have in total 15 different cheeses to choose from, made from sheep, goats and cow’s milk. All their cheeses are made exclusively on their farm and dairy, in Horsted Keynes. So it is safe to say that the team and I were excited to be presenting their cheeses to Bolney customers, matched with some of the fantastic wines available in our shop.
The full list of cheese and wine matches were:
Saint Giles – Bolney Bubbly
Duddleswell – Eighteen Acre Rosé
Slipcote Sussex – Chenin Blanc *New to our shop*
Little Sussex – Bacchus
Brother Micheal – Limoux Chardonnay *New to our shop*
Brighton Blue – Caparzo Sangiovese Toscana *New to our shop*
Slipcote Peppercorn – Cuvée Noir
Seven Sisters – Rinaldi Dolcetto d’Alba *New to our shop*
Selection of Bolney and *New* to us wines
I have picked out three of our favourite matches here at Bolney, so you can get a feel for what the night entailed.
Fiona’s Favourite (Fiona is our Events Manager)
Cheese – Saint Giles
Saint Giles is named after the church of the same name, where High Weald Dairy is located in, Horsted Keynes. It is a continental style, semi-soft creamy cheese, similar to the Saint Paulin/Port Salut style of cheese (but we think much tastier!) and made from cow’s milk. It has a rich buttery texture with a creamy mild flavour. The distinctive orange rind is made from ‘Anatto’ which is a natural food colouring derived from the seeds of the Achiote tree. It gives the cheese a subtle nutty, sweet and peppery almost nutmeg flavour.
Paired With – Bolney Bubbly
Delightful floral and brioche notes combine with zesty citrus fruit, honeysuckle and elderflower. It is delicate and well balanced, finishing with a soft fresh hint of sweetness.
The creamy texture of the cheese is matched to the creamy mousse of the Bolney Bubbly, whilst the citrus notes and well balanced acid cuts through the cheese, so it’s not too cloying on the palate.
Selection of High Weald Dairy cheeses
Cheese – Brother Michael
This is a semi soft rind washed cheese, made in much the same way as ‘Stinking Bishop’, from cows milk. Its pungent smell comes from washing the cheese in brine, made from a particular stain of yeast called linens. This washing process gives the cheese its distinct pink sticky rind and sweet powerful aroma, which is much stronger than the flavour of the cheese. This is definitely a Marmite of the cheese world with a rough 50/50 split amongst attendees, some loving the strong pungent taste, others being overwhelmed by it. If you love your cheese strong, you’ll love this.
Paired With – Toques et Clochers Limoux Chardonnay
This is one of four new wines that we have here in store at Bolney. A Burgundian style wine (think Mersault), buttery and more full bodied Chardonnay. It has notes of melted butter, nuts, caramel and toast, all finished off with an excellent terroir-driven, deliciously lemony twist. This wine is unusual in that it is un-fined and unfiltered, so you can expect to see a small deposit at the bottom of the bottle. A stonker of a wine, at a much more favourable price than a Burgundian white wine!
You need something big and bold in a wine to stand up to this whopper of a cheese. The fuller bodied texture of the wine, with hints of butter, stand up to the creaminess of the cheese excellently. The nuttiness of the rind wash on the cheese matches the caramel and nut flavours apparent in the wine, and the slight citrus edge matches the acidity of the cheese. What made this pairing so successful was that each made the other item *sing*. Neither overpowered one another - they perfectly complimented each other to create harmony on the palate. Can you tell this was my favourite?
Two guests enjoying their evening of Bolney Wine and cheese
Cheese - Slipcote Peppercorn
We tried both the original version which is Slipcote Sussex, and the aged version which is Little Sussex. Charlie’s favourite was this fiery version with peppercorns dotted throughout it. The Slipcote is a fresh soft cheese with a light, creamy, fluffy texture. Its slightly sharp refreshing flavour and brilliant white colour comes from the fact it is made from sheep’s milk. Stephen, from High Weald, explained that cows can’t digest beta-carotene, but sheep and goats can. This is what makes their cheese appear so white.
Paired With – Cuvée Noir
A unique sparkling wine in that this is a red sparkling. Aromas are reminiscent of red stone fruits, especially red cherry, redcurrants and sweet blueberries. On the palate a wonderful creamy richness and full bodied mousse, packed full of ripe summer fruits and dried cranberries, with a hint of sweet spice on the finish.
The full bodied mousse of the wine cleanses the creaminess of the cheese, whilst the pepper in the cheese enhances the darker berry fruits and sweet spice of the wine.
You might be wondering why we have some new wines in our shop that we haven’t made here at Bolney. These have been selected carefully by the retail team to include grape varieties that cannot grow in the UK due to our climate, and offer a different style of wine to the current selection on our shelves. They are only available in very limited quantity and were very popular on the night so, if you are interested in trying something a little different, then head over to our online shop HERE, or drop in to see us.
I hope this blog post has given you a little insight into our Cheese and Wine events, what you might expect and the format of the evening. We will be running our next Cheese and Wine event in the New Year, so make sure you keep checking back on our website or on our social media for more information. In the meantime you might like to check our EVENTS page, to discover what’s happening here at Bolney from now until the New Year.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention our pre-Christmas offers. Throughout October we have two special promotions for all you early birds out there.
The first is for 10% off when you spend £100 or more on wine. Just use the code ‘EARLYWINE’ at the checkout.
The second is 10% off any tour voucher, and an extended expiry for Christmas 2019. Just use the code ‘EARLYTOUR’.
As you can see from the images, this offer is only available until midnight on 31st October 2018, and is available both online and in store.