Matured To Perfection – Cheddar and Fizz
1st July 2021
Customer: How about Cheddar?
Wenslydale: Well, I’m afraid we don’t get much call for it around these parts, sir.
C: Not much call, It’s the single most popular cheese in the world!
W: Not ’round these parts, sir.
C: And pray what IS the most popular cheese ’round here?
O: ‘Ilchester, sir.
C: I see.
W: Yes, it’s quite staggeringly popular in the manor squire.
C: Is it.
W: Yes, sir, it’s our number one seller!
C: Is it.
W: Yes, sir!
C: ‘Ilchester, eh?
C: Okay, I’m game. Have you got any? He asked, expecting the answer ‘no’.
W: I’ll have a look, sir.. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.
C: It’s not much of a cheese shop really, is it?
If you liked that little exchange between characters, then you’ll love the rest of it, you can watch the Monty Python sketch here:
Unlike The Cheese Shop from Monty Python, The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company will be sure to have a Cheddar available for you to try, they specialise in Cheddar, as you may have guessed from their name, but did you know that they are the only Cheddar Cheese made in Cheddar? No, I didn’t, so let’s see what else this Cheddar Cheese Company has to show us.
Cheddar Cheese was first made in 1170, in England, in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, for a while it was only made in England, now it is made all over the world, it is the most popular cheese on the market today, but only one Cheese Company can say they are The Only Cheddar made in Cheddar.
This all started in 2003 in the heart of Somerset in the village of Cheddar, it is a family-owned, independent small artisan cheesemaker, John and Katherine Spencer are on a mission to preserve authentic cheddar cheese production, that’s why they only use fresh local unpasteurised milk.
You can go and visit The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company and book a time to taste some cheese and tour their factory and learn how they make their cheddar cheese, they also have a shop which is open from 10:30 to 5pm. The cheese-making process takes around 7 hours to complete, so depending on what time you decide to visit, what you will see will differ
On The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company’s Website, they have a few interesting Cheddar Cheese facts which I thought were interesting, so copied them over for you to see.
- King Henry II purchased 10,240 lbs of Cheddar in 1170 at a farthing per lb (that’s 4644kg at a total cost of £10.67!)
- When Charles I was on the throne, demand outweighed supply so much that cheddar cheese was only available at the King’s court and even then you had to pay ahead – before the cheese was made.
- Scott of the Antarctic took with him 3500lbs (nearly 1600 kg) of cheddar made in Cheddar on his famous expedition in 1901.
- Originally the cheese had to be made within 30 miles of Wells Cathedral to be able to be called cheddar.
- Queen Victoria was given a giant wheel of cheese weighing 1000 pounds as a wedding gift.
The English Sparkling Wine
Jonica Fox and her husband Gerard Fox planted their first vine in 2004, it was Gerard that inspired Jonica to get into the fizz business after he tasted some English Sparkling Wine at an event in London in 2003 and by 2009 they had started producing their own Sparkling Wine. They currently own 30 acres and grow the following grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The CV (Chairman’s Vat is a unique one-off limited edition, personally blended by Gerard Fox.
As well as offering enjoyable Sparkling Wine, Fox & Fox also offer bespoke wine tastings, either hosted by Jonica or Gerard, it’s perfect for any group of friends or even a birthday party, if you would like to find out more, just click here.
If you like the sound of this English Sparkling Wine, then you can check out more of their history and their Sparkling Wines in this article: Fox & Fox – Award Winning English Sparkling Wine
Fox & Fox – CV 2014 Tasting Notes
Aroma – “👃Cooking apples, savoury and peach aromas.”
Flavour – “👅A rich flavoursome array of silky honey, citrus, green apples with freshly squeezed green apple juice on the palate.”
This English Sparkling Wine Won a Gold Medal in the Gastronomic Category at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2020.
A rare 2014 vintage from Fox & Fox, only 1018 bottles made, a pleasure to be able to enjoy it with some fine cheeses from the only Chaddar Made in Cheddar, The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.
The Cheese and English Sparkling Wine Parings
Cave Matured Cheddar
Matured in the Cheddar Gorge Caves for 12 months, it is provided with constant temperature and humidity which provides the perfect condition for cheddar cheese.
Caved Matured Cheddar – “The cheese flavours are enhanced, with a spread of honey and touch of citrus on the close form the sparkling wine.”
Oak Smoked Cheddar
It is cold-smoked over smoldering oak chippings from old whisky barrels which aid in delivering that oaky taste.
Oak Smoked Cheddar – “A fine maturity of smoked oakiness is strong with this one, the sparkling wine adds in a fine zestiness which adds a younger vibe to accompany the sitting in an armchair, smoking a cigar with a glass of brandy vibe.”
Aged between 24 to 28 months in their stores at their dairy in Cheddar.
Vintage Cheddar – “A savoury citrus mid-length, though the cheddar reappears at the close.”
Cheddar Cheese Sticks
According to The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, these Cheese Straws are the best on the market, they contain at least 37% cheese which means they contain more cheese than any other cheese straw on the market.
Cheddar Cheese Straws – “A strong, but kind burst of citrus which turns into a dessert like natural cheesecake with a lemon touch.”
Thank you to both Fox & Fox and The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company for creating these delicious treats for the world to enjoy, I’ve certainly enjoyed them, will you?
WSET 2 Journalist focused on sharing Champagne and Sparkling Wine reviews and cocktails to the world.