Recently we were invited to a special cheese and wine matching challenge hosted by Paxton & Whitfield of Jermyn Street and Berry Bross & Rudd. The event was held in the Pickering Cellar of Berry Bross & Rudd at 3 St James Street.
Each fine wine was accompanied by a tantalising array of potential cheese matches along with an expert to give us a little backstory to help inform our decisions. Our challenge was to correctly identify which was the expert’s choice.
Berry Bross & Rudd are Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, established in the 17th century. The flagship store has been located at 3 St James’s Street, London since 1698 when it was founded by the Widow Bourne in London. They have been supplier to the royal family since the reign of King George III and historic customers have included Lord Byron, William Pitt the Younger and Aga Khan.
Wines on offer throughout the evening included a Sancerre Blanc 2013 by André Dezat, a Sauternes 2010 by Château Doisy-Védrines and our favourite the St Emilion 2010 by Château Simard. A sumptuous Grand Cru St Emilion produced especially for Berry Bross & Rudd by Alain Vauthier. This rich, dense wine exemplifies the superb quality of the 2010 vintage, with complex plum, blackcurrant fruit and a long, smooth finish.
Paxton & Whitfield’s origins began back as far as 1742 as a small cheese stall in Aldwych Market. After moving to Jermyn Street the company’s reputation grew steadily.
Gaining their first Royal Warrant to Queen Victoria in 1850 and today they hold Royal Warrants of Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, and HRH The Prince of Wales. Winston Churchill was also a regular customer and once observed that “a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield”.
We had a vast array of cheeses to choose from including a hard Manchego semi-curado, Valencay, St Wulfstan, Cabot Clothbound, Ossau Iraty and Terscheling to a beautiful rich Shropshire Blue. Amongst our favourite was the Roquefort, one of the most famous of French blue Cheeses it is named after the small village of Roquefort.
All of the cheeses mentioned can be bought from Paxton & Whitfield, 93 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JE or online. You can also arrange a sampling session in their tasting room at the back of the store.
All of the fine wines mentioned can be bought from Berry Bross & Rudd, 3 St James Street, London SW1A 1EG or online
Berry Bross & Rudd are also celebrating the recent opening of the new Sussex Cellar which will be largely devoted to tasting dinners, for which head chef Stewart Turner continues to devise ever more imaginative dishes to complement the wine lists. This season’s calendar of events can be viewed here.