Winter is a great season for cheese as there are so many with rich, strong flavours to choose from. When a cheesemonger talks about the seasonality of cheese, in the back of their minds their dreaming about a warm, gooey Vacherin Mont d'Or, a rich, buttery Stilton or in our case Red Wine Farmer, a superb Gruyere style cheese from Switzerland.
Below we've listed some of our favourite Winter cheeses along with a few ideas on how to enjoy them.
Image by Samantha Couzens
Vacherin Mont d'Or
Very possibly the ultimate seasonal cheese. Available from late September, although we prefer to wait until mid-October, through to March, this is a magnificent cheese. Made using milk that's normally reserved for Comté, Mont d'Or is produced in the Winter months when the cows are brought down from their Alpine pastures to lower slopes where the grass isn't as rich. The result is a delicate soft cheese with a wonderfully gooey texture. Bake it in the oven for 20 minutes then dip in boiled new potatoes. That's all you need and it's magnificent.
You can buy Vacherin Mont d'Or at our online shop or at Froth & Rind between October and March.
Made by Hampshire Cheeses, Winslade is a bit of a hybrid of Tunworth, their English Camembert and Vacherin Mont d'Or. It has a rich creamy flavour, although more delicate than a Camembert although the texture is more akin to Camembert than Mont D'Or. This cheese is also fantastic when baked for a little while. Give it a little twist by drizzling with honey before baking and then afterwards sprinkle some flaked almonds or chopped hazelnuts on top.
Winslade is available to buy online at our online cheese shop. Alternatively you can visit Froth & Rind in Walthamstow to purchase directly.
Colston Bassett Stilton
Stilton is a true Winter cheese, at its best from December through to February as these cheeses are produced using summer milk, the best and richest. That's why Stilton is a traditional Christmas cheese. The Colston Bassett is rich and buttery with really well balanced blue veining. Crumble a little Stilton on an endive leaf, add a little chopped walnut and then drizzle with honey. Delightful.
The wonderful Colston Bassett Stilton is available to buy online at our East London Cheese Board shop.
Red Wine Farmer
This cheese starts its life as a Gruyere but under the loving care of Walo von Muhlenen and regular baths in red wine, this cheese takes on a whole new identity. The washing really brings out the flavour of the cheese, while the rich creamy texture adds another dimension. It's now a regular in our shop and was one of our most popular cheeses at Christmas. This cheese can be added to a number of dishes, such as French onion soup of Fondue to give it a little twist. You can also just cut it into cubes and get stuck in!
We love this cheese so much. See what all the fuss is about by trying some Red Wine Farmer yourself.
An infamous cheese and one that springs to mind when the words 'smelly cheese' is mentioned. Stinking Bishop does have its place in the world of smelly cheese but it's actually not as strong as you may think. The name actually comes from the type of pear used to make the perry that Stinking Bishop is washed in. It's soft, mousse like texture and strong meaty taste is a joy on a winters evening and is real comfort food when spread onto a warm baguette.
Check out Stinking Bishop and some other smelly cheeses.