The World Best English Sparkling Wine With Cheese From Paxton and Whitfield
19th August 2022
The glorious display of English Sparkling Wine is captivating the world, from our small island we are deciding to rival the world by producing some of the world’s finest Sparkling Wines.
In 2021 this bottle of English Sparkling Wine took home the World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Trophy, produced by Fox & Fox Mayfield in partnership with royal warrant holders, Paxton & Whitefield, which is famous for its unique, delicious and wonderland display of Cheese, the bottle is a 2015 Vintage and is sold exclusively at Paxton & Whitfield, either in-store or online.
Although English Sparkling Wine isn’t the first reason that springs to mind for visiting Paxton & Whitfield, it is certainly something you should discover while picking out a few different pieces of cheese to enjoy.
Although a great display of Cheeses can be found at your local supermarket, the wide variety, local delicacies and artisan cheeses of Paxton and Whitefield expand the horizons and show you a deeper world of cheese.
The Managing Director, James Rutter of Paxton & Whitefield drove up to our office by the seaside to return the World’s Finest trophy and hand deliver a selection of cheeses that they felt best accompanied their unique English Sparkling Wine for us to taste and share with you.
View this post on Instagram
The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly 2021
Fox & Fox – Paxton & Whitfield 2015 – England
Aroma – “The aging potential on this 2015 Vintage Sparkling Wine is phenomenal, the aroma is already out of this world with glorious, straight from the beehive honey, freshly picked and perfectly ripe peach and apricot, a tropical sunset truly comes to mind with mango and melon, but don’t forget about the unforgettable Champagne characteristics with just out of the bakery pastries, brioche, yeasty notes with butter and vanilla included.”
Flavour – “So delightful to drink, it’s complex, but offers the perfect palate for someone who just wants to enjoy it with some cheese or someone who wants to sit and spend a good 10 minutes exploring every bubble, the display shows notes of freshly squeezed yellow citrus, including gooseberry, with a nice touch of pink grapefruit, then in comes an out of the oven flaky pastry and various pastry notes with foilage, freshly cut grass and even hay notes at the close.”
At any one time, Paxton & Whitfield could be offering you a selection of 150 local and foreign cheeses, they are always trying to broaden the knowledge and tasting experience of their customers by showing new and exciting cheeses that would always be easy to find elsewhere.
Most of the cheeses on offer will either be from the UK or Europe, but occasionally you’ll be able to find and taste some American cheeses at Paxton & Whitfield.
Paxton & Whitfield also have two Royal Warrants, one to Her Majesty the Queen and one to the Prince of Wales, they have held a Royal Warrant to every successive reigning monarch since 1850.
Paxton & Whitfield Cheese Pairings With Their English Sparkling Wine
Golden Cross & English Sparkling Wine – “A nice mellow starting goats cheese, with a lovely fresh zesty lemon character to it. The wine is the stronger of the two, with the cheese gifting a further creaminess to all the joyous flavours from the English Sparkling Wine, it is the English Sparkling Wine that benefits most with this pairing.”
Golden Cross is made by Kevin & Alison Blunt of Golden Cross cheese in East Sussex. The farm is home to a herd of 230 Goats who are milked all year round producing the milk for this delicious, handmade, award winning cheese. Kevin was one of the first people to start commercially milking goats and making cheese from their raw milk in the UK, back in 1989.
Baron Bigod & English Sparkling Wine – “A matured creaminess, with a soft inside and slightly harder exterior, with earthy, mushroom, savoury characters, finishing with a salty sea breeze close, when the Sparkling Wine enters it welcomes a creamy honey sensation, with the Sparkling Wine lazily cleansing the palate, leaving a soft saline close.”
Baron Bigod is hand made on Fen farm in Suffolk where the Crickmore family have been farming for three generations. Their herd of Montbeliarde cows graze the beautiful marshlands of the Waveney River Valley and their delicious raw milk is used to make the finest artisan cheeses by cheesemaker Jonathan Crickmore.
Cullum & English Sparkling Wine – “Strong zesty and dry salty characters on the back and side of the tongue. The Sparkling Wine comes in forcefully to silence the cheese and in mid-palate, there’s an increase in silky saline texture.”
This new cheese comes from a conversation that James Rutter, Paxton & Whitfield’s managing director, had with cheesemaker Martin Gott about how British cheesemakers have a surplus of sheeps’ and goats’ milk in the summer, just as demand for cheese starts to drop. Cheese demand is highest at Christmas when the milk is less abundant.
James identified that there wasn’t a demand issue but a storage issue that could be solved through Paxton’s new Cotswold maturation facilities. So together they developed the brand-new British cheese ‘Cullum’. Martin and his team make the cheese at Holker Farm in the Lake District in summer when the milk production is high and transfer it to Paxton & Whitfield at two weeks old where the maturation work begins.
The cheese we tasted is about 3 to 3 and half months matured it has savoury notes with a subtle sweetness. The cheese is called Cullum, a nod to Stephen Cullum who was the founder of Paxton & Whitfield when he first established his cheese stall in Aldwych Market in 1742.
Short History of English Cheese
England has been making cheese for over 2,000 years, dating back before the Romans, there’s a lot to explore, but in more recent history, during World War II, thanks to food shortage, everyone needed to ration.
So during this time, as the milk marketing board controlled the production of milk, along with the manufacture and the supply of cheese, it ordered that farmers and cheese makers turn from making good quality cheese to making as much cheese as possible from 1 liter of milk.
You would have seen a lot of industrial, hard cows milk cheeses during the war, to feed as many people as cheaply as possible.
This rationing lasted right up until 1955.
This is just a short extract from the history of cheese, Paxton & Whitfield have a more detailed account of how the history of Cheese involving Paxton & Whitfield on their website right here: A Slice of British Cheese History
A Final Note About Paxton & Whitefield
Paxton & Whitefield was started back in 1797 by Stephen Cullum, a cheesemonger from Suffolk, which makes it 225 years old this year (2022) during that time they never stopped buying and selling cheese to the British public.
They have 3 stores across the UK and an online store so you can buy online and have delivered straight to your door.
It’s not bad having the best English Sparkling Wine being exclusively available at a cheesemonger, is it?
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.