Moscato d’Asti with panettone – enjoy this pairing of a delicious floral, sweet sparkling wine and fruity panettone.
Port & Colston Bassett Stilton – a classic combination: buy a 2.2.kg ‘baby’ Silton or a ‘half baby’ – or by weight to accompany your port – £40 upwards for the pair.
Vin Santo & Panforte/cantuccini/amaretto biscuits – Vin Santo with its intense hazelnutty & caramel flavours is superb with dried pastries and cakes – go on dip it in!
Duc d’O – assorted liqueur chocolates – well priced from £7.90.
Fudge in a decorative tin – luxury clotted cream fudge in a festive tin £10 – an ideal gift.
Top fizz – Bellenda, Cormons or Zucchetto – great fizz starts at around £15 a bottle!
Spirits – Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac, Amaretti, Limoncello, Birch Gin, Birch Gin ‘Sumatra’ – from the enjoyable to the very special, a treat for somebody you feel like spoiling.
Van Roy – chocolate coated nuts – small tokens of affection.
Chocolate Santas – perfect stocking filler
Cuculo Cheese & Wine Club gift subscription – give as a one-off or regular delivery for someone who loves discovering cheese & wine. Each month is accompanied by crackers, literature and wine paired to complement the cheeses.
Panettone – the perfect gift for all tastes with beautiful packaging.
Truffle Brie – give the gift of luxury – Cinzia’s legendary unctuous hand-made brie, best ordered in advance.
Hampers to order.
Bespoke hampers can be put together for you with a choice of items specified by you at a price to suit your budget. Decorated and wrapped in cellophane our hampers make the ideal gift. Choose from the huge variety of stock in the shop or trust us to put it together for you. Prices from £25.
Cheesemaking on Mull is the sole preserve of Isle of Mull Cheese at Sgriob-Ruadh Farm. The Reade family have been calling this beautiful, windswept Scottish island home for three generations. Back in 1979, when they moved from Somerset, Sgriob-Ruadh was little more than a pile of stones inhabited by ghosts of the past. Jeff, Chris and their sons breathed life into the buildings and set up a dairy and a family home. Locals may have had some doubts over their ambitions, but none were evident. Instead – support, help and encouragement were always there.
Isle of Mull Cheddar is Cuculo’s September 2022 Cheese of the Month, available in the shop or online.
Cheesemaking on Mull started over 40 years ago, with the farmhouse Isle of Mull Cheddar. This unpasteurised cheese has a dense, punchy, savoury, boozy flavour and sells very well all over the UK. The Hebridean Blue began production ten years ago. It tends only to be found in Scotland.
“Small island challenges are at the heart of life at Sgriob-Ruadh.
“The isolation ensures that innovation and experimentation are part of daily life. So, if something breaks down or needs fixing on the farm, usuallyDad (Brendan) will repair it. Being cut off from the mainland creates an island mentality of self–sufficiency. As a result, we have tried to build this into the sustainability of the farm.
“We make our own silage and use 100% renewable energy sources like our own hydro, wind and wood chip,” .
The business also has a stunning Café called The Glass Barn. This imaginative repurposing of the village hall – reconstructed on the farm – is now complete with a twenty-seven-year-old vine and plants inside. As a result, the farm can serve their own pork, cheese, preserves, jams, cakes and the Island Bakery biscuits made by another family member who has started an organic bakery on Mull.
Cheesemaking on Mull – more to come.
After that – and not unsurprisingly – the story doesn’t end here. The next project is a distillery that will distill the whey left over from the cheesemaking. This will see them producing their own highly unusual spirit. Watch this space.
Additionally, we hope to be able to source some of the elusive Hebridean Blue for later this year.
Making only rosé might seem like a gamble, but it has paid off for Hellingly based Off the Line Vineyard. Owners Kristina and Ann Marie are award winning rosé wine makers with a confident style of wine coming out of their modern winery. It’s their shared vision and passion for wine that led them to setting up the business. The wine is made exclusively from red grapes because it is the skin that briefly imparts the colour. There are three different styles of still rosé wine produced by Off the Line.
Hip Rosé 2020
100% Pinot Noir.
2020 was an exceptional year that produced wonderfully ripe grapes. It’s super pale in colour, dry and Provencal in style. Linear, it yields stone fruit, redcurrant, savoury and floral tones with a long, mouth-watering finish.
Dancing Dog Rosé 2018 is a dry, bold rosé expressive of the Regent that dominates the blend.
It has delightful body, red fruit and sherbet notes bringing a lightness to the finish.
Dog rosé is made from a blend of Regent, Rondo and Dornfelder grapes. It’s a pale, dry easy drinking rosé.
Gentle red fruits with a really balanced finish.
Beacon Down Vineyard (Cross in Hand)
Known for their white wines, this is their first rosé. The vineyard was started in 2012 and planted from scratch. You will find this family run business in Cross in Hand near Heathfield, in the High Weald AONB.
Rosé de Noir 2018
Produced in the traditional method from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this is a rosé sparkling wine from the 2018 harvest.
A young and vibrant wine with sweet flavours of strawberry and cherry, a lovely pink hue and fantastic balance. The perfect celebratory drink for any occasion
Tickerage vineyard (Blackboys)
Compact and bijou – a five acre vineyard specialising in small batches of carefully crafted wines. Planted in 2007, they are located in Blackboys, a stone’s throw from Heathfield.
Sparkling Rose 2013
Extra brut means the wine exudes crisp summer fruits with a hint of pink and undertone of creaminess through its long finish.
Tickerage keep the production run of rosé deliberately low, using only the best grapes for their signature wine.
There’s no excuse not to have something pink and suitably chilled in hand!
Cuculo have selected some fabulous rosé wines to see you through English Wine Week and the Summer Season beyond. English, French, German and Italian. Most are available by the glass or bottle in store or to order, with discounts on some cases. Here is our essentiual summer rosé drinking list…
‘Dog Rosé’ Wine of England 2019 by Off the Line Vineyard £15.45
‘Tickerage Sparkling Rosé’ English Quality Sparkling Wine 2013 by Blackboys Vineyard £36.45
‘Blanc de Noir’ 2019 by Pflüger Germany £15.45
‘Dancing Dog Rosé’ Wine of England 2018 by Off the Line Vineyard £15.45
Champagne Grand Cru AoC Brut Rosé NV by Maurice Vesselle France £60.45
‘Rosé de Noir’ English Quality Sparkling Wine Rosé 2018 by Beacon Down £30.95
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2019 by Tiberio Italy £13.95
Salento IGT Rosato 2019 by Cantele £12.45
‘Millesimato’ Prosecco DOC Brut Rosé 2019 by Torresella Italy £16.95
Bardolino DOC Chiaretto 2019 by Giovanna Tantini Italy£15.45
‘Hip Rosé’ Wine of England 2020 by Off the Line Vineyard £16.95
‘Cabutto Rosato’ Langhe DOC Rosato 2018 by Cabutto/La Volta Italy £10.45
Martin’s babe in arms gurgled along to our conversation when I caught up with him on the phone recently. The Pevensey Cheese Company make Cuculo’s Cheese of the Month. Martin explained his mission:
“We wanted to rise to the challenge of making a good soft blue cheese, a bit Gorgonzola in style but much creamier. An artisan cheese that would please the blue cheese lover but with the potential to seduce all cheese lovers. We knew we couldn’t compete with Stilton, and wanted to do something in our own way. Blue cheese is tricky to make ‘bloody hard’ to get right. But we feel we have succeeded with a cheese which is not too salty, not too blue and gorgeously moreish.”
As luck would have it, when Martin and Hazel were inspired to set up the business they found space on the family farm in Boreham Street, East Sussex; and the perfect organic milk supplier adjacent at Court Lodge.
In fact, the milk relationship resulted in a business partnership extending beyond the supplying of milk. The fragility of milk means that the proximity of the supply to the cheese dairy is a crucial part of ensuring the quality and consistency needed by artisan producers. The speed of their supply chain means it’s grass on Sunday and cheese by Monday. The breed is a mix of British Friesian and Ayrshire – reared to a high welfare standard. The Pevensey Levels Wildlife Trust Area is the grazing land for these animals, where they enjoy this special wetland pasture in a unique partnership which keeps them in grass whilst ensuring the land is grazed to encourage the birdlife.
A serious challenge for many a cheesemaker, the pandemic was in fact a bit of a blessing, as it gave them time to get the Pevensey Blue ready for launching to the market this year. Much trial and error was involved before they perfected their cheese method. Pevensey Blue is made by using pasturised milk, which is introduced to the blue culture – penicillium roqueforti and rennet, after the whey is removed it becomes young curd in moulds, and at this point it is ready for the seven week maturation process. After which the cheese is distributed to restaurants, gastro pubs and specialist, artisan retailers like Cuculo. The limited production means that the only challenge Martin and Hazel have is keeping up with demand.
Martin’s love affair with cheese started with his days on the cheese counter at Neal’s Yard Dairy and he has never looked back. His ambition to make amazing cheese is at the heart of the business. He also acknowledges the support he has had from the local community, the council and EU funding. Without which he would have been unlikely to get to that first truckle.
Pevensey Blue is a newcomer to the burgeoning range of UK derived artisan cheeses.
This is the blue cheese to go for if you like a creamy blue with a simple milky, nutty flavour. A cheese Martin and Hazel have worked bloody hard to get right.
Pevensey Blue – Cheese of the Month at Cuculo, High Street, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 8HU
May 2021’s Cheese of the Month is Baron Bigod, which hails from Suffolk based Fen Farm Dairy. The Crickmore family have been farming the land there for three generations. Their Montbeliarde herd graze the beautiful marshlands of the Waveney River Valley. The delicious raw milk is then transformed into the finest artisan cheese and raw cultured butter.
Baron Bigod is unique to Fen Farm. Its flavours, aromas and characteristics are influenced by the cows’ milk and the rich variety of grasses and herbs that grow on the Stow Fen. This ‘brie’ style cheese is a creamy, white bloomy-rind cheese, handmade on the farm by Jonny and the team. It has a smooth, silky texture and a golden curd, with warm, long-lasting earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours. It is the only traditional raw milk Brie-de-Meaux style cheese produced in the UK; and is one of only a handful of its type in the world to be made by the farmer on the farm – and which, therefore, may genuinely be called a true farmhouse Brie. Jonny does admit that they use a traditional recipe passed on to them by a French cheese maker, but he believes that what they have made is something very special.
“Baron Bigod is hand made in small batches, very early in the morning, so the raw milk is still warm from the cow, at the perfect temperature for cheesemaking. The mould cultures are added to the warm morning’s milk and it is gently gravity-fed into small vats just a few metres from the milking parlour, where the rennet is added. The curds are carefully hand-ladled into large moulds, using traditional pelle-a-brie ladles and the young cheeses are hand-salted and then aged for up to 8 weeks in a cave-like environment.
“We treat the milk with the utmost care and respect, keeping its delicate cells and fat molecules intact. This is what gives our cheese its smooth, delicate, silky texture and complex, long-lasting flavours which bounce around the mouth,”
Jonny Crickmore, Fen Farm Dairy
2020 threw up multiple challenges for artisan cheese producers, with the collapse of the restaurant trade. At the start of the pandemic, Fen Farm had orders racked up for Easter, before a wave of cancellations nearly spelt disaster. Throughout last year they have worked hard to find new solutions for selling their cheese, and have had constantly to rethink different ways to reach their market. They are very grateful for the enthusiastic support from local customers wanting to buy locally, and from retailers and individuals further afield.
Jonny summed up how they feel now:
“Happy and relieved to get some normality back, but again it is incredibly hard to predict what the next few months is going to bring. Although we are feeling positive that it will be a busy summer. We will concentrate on making great products. As long as the cheese tastes great, people will buy it and along the way we will build a reputation of world class cheese makers. “
Baron Bigod is available online and in-store from Cuculo Cheese & Wine, 69 High Street, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 8HU.
You can enjoy a packed programme of FREE online masterclasses, cook-alongs with Michelin starred chefs Simon Rogan and Tommy Banks, tutored tastings and virtual farm tours. Plus many of the nation’s top cheesemakers, cheesemongers and cheese commentators. The #BritishCheeseWeekender is organised by cheese writer Patrick McGuigan and Tracey Colley, Academy of Cheese director, and supported by the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association (SCA). Curd nerds can look forward to a festival like no other, with a line-up assembled from across the cheese community, featuring:
A British Cheese Road Trip’ with cheese expert Francis Gimblett / ‘Pandemic Cheeses’ with cheese writer Patrick McGuigan / ‘The Art of the Cheese Board’ with The Fine Cheese Co. / ‘Flavour Mapping’ with Mary Quicke of Quicke’s / ‘Cult Cheeses’ with The Cheese Geek.
To get the full sensory experience we recommend stocking up on your favourite cheese from Cuculo or ordering one of our Cuculo British Cheese Boxes.
We whole heartedly support Patrick McGuigan, co-founder of British Cheese Weekender, when he said: “There’s been a clear change in people’s cheese shopping habits over the past year with a big rise in online orders direct from cheesemakers and much greater support for local delis, farm shops and cheesemongers. This has helped the country’s specialist cheesemakers navigate a really difficult period and bodes well for the future. The British Cheese Weekender aims to celebrate this resilience and the delicious cheeses being made in the UK.”