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4 amazing cheese, charcuterie, and wine matches you can try this summer

cheese, charcuterie and wine summer

a sunny summertime afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some cheese, charcuterie and wine. It’s the ultimate trifecta!

So this stellar combination of flavours is the number one treat to round out a dinner party or a quick summer snack with friends. 

Charcuterie and cheese go hand in hand, but the right wine can really take the flavours to a new level, and it’s all too easy to think of cheese and wine pairings as being simple. That’s why we’re here to show you there’s much more to it. 

Charcuterie is a tricky beast, so given the high salt content in cured meats, freshness is key when picking a wine. Salt in food softens the acidity in wine, so here we’ve covered all bases in our four fool proof flavour combinations for summer. 

Albourne Estate Multi Vintage

Made locally just outside of Brighton, this Multi Vintage is a fantastic fizz from Albourne Estate. Generous and soft on the palate, the wine is open and expressive with delightful panettone-like aromas of sweet baked bread, dried apricots, nuts and candied citrus peels.

When it comes to charcuterie, there’s no doubt that this sweet and bubbly tipple makes the perfect match for fatty meats; as fat and salt together are quite dominant factors in tasting, so the acidity and citrus work really well to refresh the palate.

Our top charcuterie picks: Salt Pig Smoked Pork Belly or Beals Managlitsa Coppa.

This is a very versatile wine for cheeses and is equally adept at matching rich and creamy cheeses as well as those with more aging and a saltier profile. However, smoky and mature flavours really complement this complex multi vintage, so a mature cheddar or Emmental are the perfect match.

Our favourite cheese pairings: Mature Cheddar or Emmental.

Hidden Springs Blanc De Noirs

Next up, we have a traditional method sparkling wine produced at the local Hidden Springs Vineyard. It is lively and bright with lemon peel, blackberry and brioche aromas leading to flavours of lime, blackcurrant and crunchy green apple. Vibrant bubbles with a lingering finish make this a real gem.

This punchy fizz will happily stand up to the stronger flavours! It works well with all charcuterie but will particularly hold its own to refresh your palate through fatty, salty and spicey flavours.

Our top charcuterie picks: Lishmans Nduja, King Peter Ham, Beals Lomo

Another versatile wine when it comes to cheese, but as this is our summer selection, we’re highlighting those to give you a full summer tasting. The beautiful, lingering fizz works well with Goats Cheeses, Feta, Macadamia Vegan Feta cheese, and will also take on soft blue cheeses.

Our favourite cheese pairings: Goats Cheeses, Feta, Macadamia Vegan Feta cheese, Beauvale, Pevensey Blue.

Poynings Grange Rosé De Noirs

Now of course we had to throw in a rosé in our summer selection! And what better than this wonderfully made Sussex sparkling rosé from Poynings Grange Vineyard. The minerality from the Sussex chalk shines through and combines beautifully with the full pinot character and brioche toastiness of this wine.

There’s a general rule of lighter styles of rosé pairing better with more delicate food, such fresh salads or charcuterie; so, it’s a given that this fizz will makes the perfect accompaniment to a light afternoon snack. When it comes to charcuterie, a soft and silky ham works a treat. We have a fantastic range of air-dried hams for you to choose from.

Our top charcuterie picks: Beals Air Dried Hams, Lishmans Yorkshire Ham.

Delicate, fruity, and balanced; one of our favourite aspects of this variety of rosé is its acidity and crisp finish that makes pairing it with cheese a breeze. It’s earthy-but-elegant crisp tones complement young, fresh tasting cheeses such as a feta or mozzarella.

Our favourite cheese pairings: High Weald Feta or Halloumi, Laverstocke Buffalo Mozzarella.

Biddenden Gribble Bridge Dornfelder

Finally, we’re rounding it off with a very light red produced at the Biddenden vineyard in Kent. Fresh raspberries and summer fruits abound in this refreshing, light red wine. Dornfelder is an ideal accompaniment to light fresh favours and can be drunk chilled for a great summer refreshment.

The wine’s fresh berry flavours are the perfect match for mellow salamis with a nice balancing acidity to cut through the fat. It’s important to match the boldness of a wine to the boldness of the meat.

Our top charcuterie picks: Moons Green Wild Fennel or Rosemary and Garlic.

The fruity flavours match well with mellow nutty cheeses but will also stand up to soft washed rind cheeses. A good rule of thumb to follow is, “the funkier the wine – the funkier the cheese.” A sweet berry wine will beg for a cheese that’s well… cheesy!

Our favourite cheese pairings: Cornish Gouda, Old Winchester, Ogleshield and a punchy Stinking Bishop.

So that rounds up our top pairings for summer. You don’t have to go overboard with flavours, simple combinations of the best selection of cheeses, the perfect wines and the most delicious charcuterie will go a long way; especially when using quality, local produce. Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for more recommendations.

Phil, Louise & the team

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HOSTING THIS CHRISTMAS? HERE’S TO EASY ENTERTAINING WITH A CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD

HOSTING THIS CHRISTMAS? HERE’S TO EASY ENTERTAINING WITH A CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD

HOSTING THIS CHRISTMAS? HERE'S TO EASY ENTERTAINING WITH CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE

Christmas is a time for fun, food, family, friends & grazing platters that take the effort out of entertaining! Carry on reading for our top platter picks...

Tempt your guests with an abundance of cheese, charcuterie and accompaniments. Whether you’re hosting an intimate get-together or a large gathering, we’re here to share our suggestions to create a fantastic spread for your guests.

Food is a way to bring people together, so the great thing about a charcuterie board is the wide range of items you can use to excite your guests’ taste buds.. whilst having a classy food display to bring the party together. Grazing boards are a no brainer really! Delicious finger foods will allow guests to mingle and munch at the same time – and we have some interesting products which make a great conversation starter too. 

Have fun with it and play around with foods that offer fresh flavours of sweet and salty mixed with the soft and crunchy textures to delight your guests palate. Start with a variety of cheeses, from soft to hard and then your favourite meat selections. 

Other items you can add to your board are grapes, apples, pears, figs, jam, dates, bread sticks, baguette, nuts, and pickles. With this grazing board being for a holiday party, bring in flavours of the season with clementines, cranberry relish, and fresh rosemary.

British Cheese

It’s great to have a wide variety of cheeses because everyone’s tastes differ. It’s best to serve around 3 to 5 different types on the board. A few staples to have are soft cheese like brie, a firmer cheese such as aged cheddar and we also like to throw on a strong blue cheese! Different cuts can make styling the board more fun so play around with cubes, slices, whole cheese and crumbling (especially the blue).

Our top picks are… 

1. Rachel Reserva, not your typical Goat’s cheese. It is a semi hard washed rind cheese with a delicate yet moreish sweet medium flavour.

2. Baron Bigod Brie is a raw milk British brie with a white, bloomy rind and a smooth, silky texture with a long lasting, earthy, farmyard and mushroom flavour. The cheese is rich and ultra creamy, a beautifully flavourful Brie style. 

3. Lancashire Bomb is a traditional and very popular cheese from Goosnargh. It is matured for 2 years in wax giving it a creamy crumbly texture with a strong, full flavour. This cheese is great served with Piccalilli.

4. Driftwood Goats Cheese is a newbie on our website! This creamy mousse-like goats cheese develops an intensely rich flavour with time. It starts out light and delicate but a fuller flavour soon emerges as the ash coat begins to break down the paste of the cheese underneath.

5. Beauvale Blue Cheese has been carefully developed for it’s soft melt-in-the-mouth texture and mellow flavour. This blue is perfect for both Stilton fans and those who prefer a milder blue flavour.

British Charcuterie

Cheese and charcuterie go hand in hand, so it’s definitely as essential on any grazing board. Much like the cheese, try and experiment with different variations, flavours and textures to complement each other. We have kept it consistent choosing again 3-5 charcuterie and offering a nice variation of whole muscle and salami from pork, lamb and venison to suit different tastes and add depth to the board. As this is a festive platter we’ve opted for full flavour, spiced meats.

Our top picks are…

1. Tempus Spiced Coppa is characterised by it’s natural golden ratio of lean muscle to fat (around 70:30) it has a deep, rich flavour and a wonderful texture. A delicate blend of carefully sourced whole spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are added to the meat.

2. Great Glen Venison & Mustard Seed Salami is made with spices, mustard seeds and cracked white peppercorns. A mild delicate salami with sweet undertones.

3. Moons Green Lemon Lamb Salami is a very distinguished cured lamb sausage made with Moroccan-style preserved lemons to tame the full-flavour of the lamb and give it a gentle but familiar flavour.

4. Calcot Farm Fennel Salami is a semi-soft salami with a kick of fennel seed. A great introduction and a must on any British charcuterie board.

5. Bowhill Bresaola is a new limited edition Bresaola we are now stocking! Produced from Scottish grass-fed cattle, and then traditionally cured and matured over 3 months to create a richly flavoured, velvety bresaola.

 

Don't Forget Drinks & Accompaniments!

Accompaniments not only offer a whole new element of sweet and salty flavours to complement the cheese and charcuterie, but they are a great way to create depth and fill in the little gaps on a board! They add an extra element of fun to a grazing board as guests have a variety of textures and flavours to pair together whilst creating their own little canapés. 

There are plenty of locally produced, artisan nibbles which add character to any board – the options are endless, but we have a few must haves which are listed below and just a small mention of wines, read on!

Our top picks are…

1. Snowdonia Chutneys particularly this Snowdonia Balsamic Caramelised Onion Chutney can be perfectly relished alongside a salty, spicy cheese or enjoy with a country pâté or as a savoury tart topping. Chutneys are an essential to any board and widely loved!

2. Toast for Cheese are thin, light and crisp (baked twice like biscotti) and uniquely studded with fruits, nuts and seeds. These unique crackers are composed of 60% fruit and make a lovely sweet cheese carrier!

3. Millers Elements Crackers Millers Earth Crackers in particular are Beetroot, Potato and Spinach flavour, with a texture that first crumbles then melts in the mouth. The added beetroot and spinach to gives these crackers an earthy sweetness with a perfect, subtle flavour that pairs with most cheeses and also well with charcuterie. Enough said, a grazing board would not be complete without crackers.

3. Cornish Chicken Liver Pâté is produced with port and is a smooth and buttery addition to our pâté range. Made with the finest chicken livers and a generous spread of butter. This is more like a traditional parfait with a smooth, creamy texture and a layer of fat. Perfect for dipping ! 

4. Pickled Walnuts have a sweet/sour balance which really complements different cheeses perfectly. Each fruit has a hint of savoury spicing and its own different vinegar base. These walnuts work are dark and tangy, working really well with blue cheese. 

5. Albourne Estate Pinot Noir is a very approachable, instantly recognisable Pinot Nor with aromas of spice (black and white pepper). Red sweet cherry, blueberry and a subtle violet on the nose with a delicate, light and crisp palate. This is a beautifully produced Pinot Nor and we think it deserves a mention in this blog as it is extremely versatile and is a great wine to complement any grazing selection! We have a wide range of locally produced, English wines on our website which truly are the cream of the crop. Why not have a browse here.

We hope you’re feeling festively inspired! Show us how it’s done and tag us in your grazing platters on Instagram at @great_british_charcuterie

As always, buy British and support your local producers. Small farms and suppliers need it more than ever right now with the long, cold winter we have ahead of us. Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this blog!

Phil, Louise & The Team

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BRITISH CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE: OUR TOP 7 PICKS FOR AUTUMN

BRITISH CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE: OUR TOP 7 PICKS FOR AUTUMN

BRITISH CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE: OUR TOP 7 PICKS FOR AUTUMN

Those crisp mornings are just around the corner… So here’s our favourite cheese and charcuterie styles to dig into when seasons change

As farmers’ markets bring those toasty, spiced flavours of Autumn, you know it’s time to dig into aged cheeses with rich textures and big flavours.

Autumn is when the first of the semi-mature cheeses made with Spring milk can begin to be enjoyed. Goat’s cheese is very good around the beginning of Autumn, as are some of the shorter matured blues. It’s also a good time to eat mature cheddars that are aged for over a year as it’s when many of them are at their peak.

In our opinion, the spicy fruit and wood smoke flavours that Autumn characterises are what makes it so enjoyable for food. Savoury cheddars paired with tangy apples are a great example of this!

1. Nothing but nutty for cheddar!

To kick it off, without a doubt we would reach for a nutty, earthy, clothbound cheddar like Quicke’s oak smoked cheddar.
Smoked using oak chips from trees grown on the Quicke's estate, it's smoky and buttery flavour speaks for itself. It is great paired with sweet seasonal fruit for full flavour balance, but also makes the perfect little addition to spice up soups, or to mix in when making mashed potatoes, shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, and casseroles - delicious hearty dinners for when the seasons change.

We have a great range of smoked British cheeses from all over the country; just click the title above and we'll take you there!

2. Now for some full bodied blues ...

While blue cheese may be seasonless to enjoy, it's dense, rich texture and peppery, sweet-savoury flavour makes it the perfect addition for a balanced cheeseboard, not to mention how well it pairs with the earthiness in nuts - a must have accompaniment to any Autumn selection! Blue veined cheeses are at optimal flavour in Autumn too, but simply for us they're just great cheese when you're in the mood for comfort food!

Of course we're going to suggest High Weald Dairy's Organic Brighton Blue. This mild, semi-soft cheese has a mellow blue flavour and a slightly salty finish making it a refined cheese for all to enjoy. Explore our British blue cheeses using the link in the title above...

3. Going for goat’s cheese!

Goat's cheese offers such a beautiful range of tangy and earthy flavours which in our opinion is exactly what you'd want on your Autumn cheeseboard.

We have a very unique suggestion for this one! Wookey Hole Cave Aged Goats Cheese is a deliciously mild, savoury, firm British cheese which is similar to a traditional cheddar in texture but with a distinctive yet subtle ‘goat’ flavour. The Cave environment adds yet another dimension to the ageing process.

The year round constant 12 degrees centigrade and humidity bestows the cheese with the added benefit of rich, earthy and nutty flavours with caramel top notes. 

Shop our very popular goat's cheese range using the link above!

4. A truckle treasure

We don't know about you but as the seasons change our taste buds transition to craving more sweet treats and naughty comfort food. That's where this is an amazingly sweet sticky toffee heaven treat comes in. Real pieces of toffee blended with medium cheddar and syrup will for sure give you a Sticky Toffee Pudding-like experience. Tasters say its more like fudge than cheese. 

A real crowd pleaser we should have named this cheese twice as everyone repeats its name. Make sure to give it a try if you're feeling adventurous this Autumn, it makes a really unusual talking point for your cheese board!

If it's taking your fancy, shop this truckle treasure using the link above.

5. Great Glen Smoked Wild Venison

Venison is a festive-tasting meat, so without a doubt it belongs in this blog! This smoked Wild Venison from Great Glen Game is made from prime cuts of wild venison, dry cured, oak smoked and matured for 3 months. It's rich and earthy tones offer a perfect hint of Autumnal flavour.

6. Tempus Foods Spiced Coppa

In Autumn, cinnamon is usually the standout spice that comes to mind, right? This spiced Coppa fits in so nicely with our theme! The guys at Tempus add to this incredible cut a delicate blend of carefully sourced whole spices that they grind and blend in-house, including cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

7. Calcot Farm British Beef Biltong

Now this one is a winner. David over at Calcot Farm uses Sussex beef which he cures in salt and spices before air drying, usually stocking various flavours including cumin & coriander, pepper & garlic and chilli & garlic. The carefully selected spices really bring out the flavour and character of the meat.

What are your autumnal favourites? Let us know in the comments below! 

As always, buy British and support your local producers. Small farms and suppliers need it more than ever right now especially with the coming winter months. Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this blog!

Phil, Louise & The Team

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VISITING LOCAL PRODUCERS IN SUSSEX – PT 2

VISITING LOCAL PRODUCERS IN SUSSEX - PT 2

WE VISITED TWO FANTASTIC SUSSEX PRODUCERS

Since our last expedition, we’ve had the pleasure of visiting more local producers and trying their awesome products!!

Our trip began at the Hidden Spring Vineyard in Heathfield, East Sussex

Tucked away near Horam, the Hidden Spring vineyard was bought by David McNally and Chris Phipps back in 2015.  The couple both formerly worked in IT, but since experiencing vineyards in New Zealand they felt inspired to leave the corporate world and pursue their own winemaking dreams. 

The vineyard was originally established in 1986 and experienced years of successful high-quality wine production. David and Chris, took over the land in 2015 which at the time had been converted to a campsite. They expanded the vineyard site to cover all of the available land and arranged for a German tractor to come in and plant 24,000 different vines; including varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier, Bacchus and Pinot Gris.

Chris (left) is the dedicated viticulturist, in charge of everything in the field! David (right) is full time in the winery taking charge of the grapes once they have been harvested; from pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks and barrels, to blending and bottling. The pair talked us through the rigorous process of inserting additives for ensuring top tier flavour, which is a long trial and error series that can often end with broken bottles from the pressure build up in their sparkling wines.

The beauty of small scale, artisanal produced wine are the characteristics that set them apart from the majority of other wines. Each harvest can produce a unique flavour year to year, letting the fruit do the talking!

All of this effort pays off as we stock a beautiful range of Hidden Spring wines, here. P.s. the Blanc de Noirs was our personal favourite – you should definitely check it out over here.

Make sure to visit the guys at Hidden Spring here.

We were then immersed into the full Madame Jennifer Distillery experience!

 

Madame Jennifer Distillery is a quirky, small-batch distillery producing amazing gin and liqueurs in the heart of Hove!

Run by biologist and chemist duo Inger & Ian, Madame Jennifer came to life after the couple were inspired from a book on craft distilling. Their dream was then ignited by a trip to the oldest distillery in Amsterdam, and, after lots of research, the distillery opened 2 years later in Poets Corner, Hove.

Walking into the distillery was like a science lab scene out of a movie! Aside from the obvious gin making contractions all across the workshop, the walls were home to countless test tubes, jars of ingredients and dried botanicals, and of course a great variety of unlabelled samples! The two stills were for sure the show stoppers; one was filled with six copper bubble plates, and the second with a vapour distillation basket for to extract the flavours from botanicals. 

The distillery is really something special as the pair have a great passion for experimentation to produce the perfect spirit. Each batch is no larger than 100 bottles ensuring quality control at all times, and the hand-labelled bottles seal the deal for an all round unique end product, made with love.

 

The couple clearly have their own individual taste when it comes to gin, and both know what they want, so they ended up with two different signature gins ‘The Chemist’ and ‘The Biologist’ named after them! The chemist is an earthier, liquorice gin whilst the biologist has notes of fruity grapefruit peel. 

They also produce a great variety of established spirits (which we were lucky enough to sample) including their gin of paradise, a smooth bubble-plate vodka, Limoncello, Amaro, and other seasonal spirits such as sloe gin and a special Christmas gin.

If you would like to find out more about the Madame Jennifer Distillery, visit them over here.

You can find all of the Hidden Spring wines over on our website. We would love to offer something special with the Madame Jennifer range so let us know if that’s something that takes your fancy, we’d love to know your thoughts! We’d like to say a big thank you to these fantastic producers for having us, it’s always a pleasure and we absolutely love hearing their stories so we can share why supporting local is so important. 

Thanks for reading and watch this space for more blogs.

 

Phil, Louise & The Team

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WE VISIT 2 LOCAL VINEYARDS

WE VISIT 2 LOCAL VINEYARDS

WE VISITED SOME GREAT SUSSEX VINEYARDS

If you’ve been keeping up with us on social media you might have seen we got to taste some great local wines in the sunshine last week.

We love visiting our producers and who wouldn’t want to spend a day visiting the counties top vineyards ?

The first stop off on our trip was Poynings Grange Vineyard.

Run by Esme and her husband Rupert, the vineyard is tucked away in the rolling South Downs hills. The small-scale vineyard came to life in 2010 and since they have found their passion and dedication for looking after the grapes whilst facing many challenges along the way.

It’s clear that raising the vines is a labor of love for Emma and Rupert and the sheer grit and determination that goes into the harvest is admirable!

The couple have adapted to rolling with the many highs and lows after experiencing that the endless time and effort go into producing the best grapes doesn’t always go to plan.

Nature can be a constant battle throughout the process which means they have to constantly tend to the vines to avoid a devastating loss from frost or local pests trying to get a taste of the sweet fruit.

All of this effort pays off as we are now stocking the full range of Poynings Grange wines.

We then visited the fantastic Albourne Estate.

A family-owned vineyard and winery just outside of Brighton. This considerably larger vineyard is ran by Alison and her family, who produce a broad range of English wines from the plot they have.

Their estate has everything a winemaker could need, and this combined with their passion and hard work guarantees control over every process to produce one of the highest quality range of wines in Sussex!

They are a ’boutique’ producer and they are seriously committed to working with and supporting other local businesses.

From visiting the site, you can see their environmental footprint is also something that stands out – their dedication to their sustainable and vegan friendly wines is really worth shouting about.

As Alison talks us through the natural compost matter they use to nurture the ground we can really notice the passion and love that goes into looking after

the grapevines and finding methods to really get the best out of the vineyard. The devotion doesn’t stop here, the attention to detail is shown right through to vinification and additives where Alison will have active involvement in complementing the flavours in the wine.

We really enjoyed visiting our local vineyards and there are plenty more stops we’ll be making on our Sussex tour. 

All of our new wines are available now on the site so, as always, buy British and support your local producers. They need it more now than ever !

Thanks for reading and watch this space for more blogs.

 

Phil, Barry, Louise & The Team

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OLD BROMPTON : SOUTH KENSINGTON’S LATEST WINE BAR/CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE DELI

OLD BROMPTON : SOUTH KENSINGTON’S LATEST WINE BAR/CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE DELI

WE HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS...

It’s been a rather busy week for us getting Old Brompton, our newest addition to the GB Charcuterie family, up and running! 

Old Brompton is a wine, cheese and charcuterie bar and deli based in the bustling South Kensington district and marks our first venture into the big smoke !

We opened our first London site last Wednesday in collaboration with Steve Pineau and Xavier Rousset MS. They have added a selection of over 300 wines to our range all available to take away or drink in.

Our largely British influenced menu offers over 100 cheeses along with a range of artisan British charcuterie from small scale producers. This is the first time we have added a small selection of  European products to our shelf, but, as always our aim is to promote British produce.

We’ve got some tables and chairs outside for you to enjoy a glass of wine and a board right now but the real gems are to be found inside and we are very excited about our 1920’s prohibition themed cellar bar which is in the works as we speak and due to open in June.

We have taken on a cracking team to run the site and are excited to see how things progress over the coming months, they have a wealth of experience working in Michelin star restaurants but our aim is to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere so they’ve ditched the dickie bows and shiny shoes !

Old Brompton is reachable by transportation links of all kinds and is easily accessible via bus, train, and tube lines in the local area and is importantly wheelchair accessible from the street.

Whether you pop in to see what is going on or come and enjoy some cheese and charcuterie – we’d love to see you there!

We are taking bookings now on 020 8066 1582 or just pop in to browse the shop.