Pink sunshine in a glass – kick back with a glass of chilled rosé

Off the line vineyard (Hellingly)

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 2018

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 Bottle Image

Dog 2018

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…

rose wine in glasses
Whichever hue is your favourite, rosé runs the gamut of shades from the palest ‘gris’ to a full-on ruby.
  • ‘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
Images for illustration purposes only. Vintages may vary from those available.

Cheese of the Month – happy to be compared to Brie de Meaux, but Baron Bigod is definitely a cheese in its own right

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.
Baron Bigod is available in individual 250g boxed cheeses, as well as slices cut to your preference.
Fen Farm Dairy logo.

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.

A herd of Montebliarde cows.


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