VB’S FAMOUS WALK-IN CHEESE ROOMS
A cellar full of wine calls for a delectable cheese selection, and cheese has always been a big part of Vivat Bacchus. Since day one, both branches have had their own walk-in cheese room, and our expert staff can tell you all about the cheeses we stock.
Have you had the cheese room experience?
We have several set cheeseboards on our menu. We will also happily take you into our cheese room for the ‘Cheese Room Experience’. Here you can sample up to three cheeses, and with the assistance of our cheese expert, hear about the many varieties we have on offer and then let you decide the content of your cheeseboard. We change and expand our selection regularly, with both branches offering over 40 cheeses to choose from at any one time.
Cheeseboard of the month
Each month our cheese experts delve into our cheese room and create a delicious themed cheese board for you to experience.
Rosary Ash, Cornish Brie, Wookey Hole cave-aged Cheddar, Blue Stilton.
(cheeses from our trusted supplier Harvey & Brockless)
Coulommiers, Pont-l’Eveque, Comte, Fourme d’Ambert.
(cheeses from our trusted supplier Beillevaire)
Taleggio, Lancashire Bomb, Gruyere, Picos Blue.
La Bouse with truffle, Epoisses, Occelli al Barolo, Roquefort.
Barkham Blue, England
Two Hoots, a small family business near Wokingham, make handmade cheeses using cow’s milk from Channel Island cows. Made in a 1kg ammonite shaped round, it is covered in a natural mould-ripened rustic rind.
Rich, creamy, melt in the mouth. A blue for anyone who usually avoids blue!
Baron Bigod, England
The only traditional raw milk ‘Brie de Meaux’ style cheese in the UK, handmade at the Fen Farm Dairy from fresh milk straight from their Montbeliarde cows. A smooth silky texture and a golden curd, with long lasting warm earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours.
Barwhey’s Smoked, Scotland
A handmade rich, hard cheese from Barwhey’s Dairy in Ayrshire. Once pressed the cheese rounds are wrapped in traditional cotton cheesecloth and aged on wooden shelves for twelve to eighteen months. This version is smoked nearby in the local smokehouse.
Bath Soft, England
Made on Park Farm near Bath, the recipe is said to date back to Admiral Nelson who was sent some by his father as a gift. It is a soft, square cheese with a white bloomy rind.
A mushroomy, creamy flavour with a hint of lemons.
Blue Monday, England
Named after the New Order song, this is said to be the only cube shaped cheese in the world, and was created by Blur bassist turned cheesemaker, Alex James.
A soft, creamy cheese with cracks and streaks of blue.
Cahill Porter, Ireland
Handcrafted on the Cahill family farm, this young Irish cheddar is blended with typical Irish stout beer to create a visually mosaic pattern.
The flavours are full, rich and chocolaty.
Cahill Whiskey, Ireland
Handcrafted on the Cahill family farm, this yellow, waxed handmade cheddar is entwined with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey to give a fabulous savoury combination. After the curd is formed and whey is drained off, the whiskey is added which gives the cheese a mottled, golden hue. Fruity, nutty, sweet, tangy flavours.
Cashel Blue, Ireland
There was no blue cheese made on Irish farms until 1984 when this cheese was first made. Nearly 50% of the pasteurised milk comes from the Grubb’s Holstein-Friesians cows, the remaining from local herds.
Young cheeses taste & smell chalky, lactic and mildly blue while the older ones are rich & buttery with a well-formed blue colour.
Cornish Yarg, England
The name of this semi-hard cheese comes from Gray (the original cheesemaker’s name) spelt backwards, now made by Lynher Dairies Cheese Company in Cornwall. Wrapped in handpicked nettles, fine grey mist appears around the jagged edges of the leaves.
The nettle casing starts to breakdown the rind making it soft and creamy, with a fine crumbly texture and slightly mushroomy aroma.
Crozier Blue, Ireland
A pasteurised sheep’s milk version of Cashel Blue, made by Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, it’s the only blue cheese made from sheep’s milk in Ireland. Natural-rinded, the paste is chalkier towards the centre.
A rich, creamy, mild taste and a sweet blue flavour when mature.
Devon Blue, England
Another great West Country cheese – a blue cow’s milk cheese from cheesemaker Robin Congdon, of Ticklemore Cheese, by the banks of the River Dart.
It has a moist, slightly crumbly texture and clean buttery flavour.
Made by the Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire. A combination of two great British classics: Double Gloucester and Stilton. The Stilton is sandwiched in the middle, giving a strong combination of tastes and textures.
Isle of Avalon, England
From James Aldridge Cheese in Godstone this is a gloriously sticky and pungent cheese, each wheel beginning with a Port Salut which is then washed in wine.
Semi-soft with a melting texture and strong, meaty flavour, likened to smoked bacon.
Isle of Mull Cheddar, Scotland
Made by the company of the same name, on the isles of the Inner Hebrides, it is a hard Cheddar cheese, matured for 18 months.
A complex, sharp, tangy and fruity flavour.
Lanark Blue, Scotland
Produced by cheesemaker Humprey Errington it is a cylinder shaped, foil wrapped, blue cheese made in the “Roquefort style” using Penicillium Roqueforti mould.
A creamy, salty flavour, which can vary in strength throughout the year depending on the seasonal grazing habits of the sheep producing the milk.
Lancashire Bomb, England
A great favourite of VB customers, made by Shorrocks Cheese, this Lancashire cheese is encased in a black wax “bomb”.
A creamy texture and strong, mature flavour.
Miss Muffett, England
Hand crafted cow’s milk cheese from family owned Whalesborough Farm in Cornwall.
A semi-soft, sweet and nutty flavoured cheese with a supple texture.
Montgomery Cheddar, England
The Montgomerys have made cheese on their farm near Yeovil in Somerset for three generations. Made in a truly traditional way, it’s matured for over a year wrapped in muslin cloth on wooden shelves.
Deep, rich, nutty flavours.
Nuns of Caen, England
Made by Charles Martell in Dymock. The Normandy nuns came to Gloucestershire: a ewe’s milk cheese from an ancient recipe, rind-washed in vintage pear spirit.
Pungent, sweet, herby.
Organic Blue Stilton, England
From the Cropwell Bishop Creamery, Nottinghamshire.
Mellow flavour contrasting with the tanginess of the blue veins.
Oxford Isis, England
One of the cheeses from Baron Robert Pouget’s collection, first produced in 2003 to supply Oxford Colleges and restaurants in Oxford City to compete with French rind-washed cheeses such as Epoisses. Lightly washed with 5-yr-old locally produced mead made from fermented honey.
Its sticky, orange rind has a spicy, pungent aroma and the interior is smooth and velvety with a sweet taste from the mead.
Another fine West Country goat’s cheese. This one is from Pete Humphries of White Lake Cheese in Somerset. The washed rind is fine, orange and leathery, with white, grey and even yellow moulds.
Loads of taste experiences – rich, tangy, meaty, savoury, citric sharpness, sweet nutty finish!
Red Windsor, England
Made by the Long Clawson dairy in Leicestershire; a Cheddar laced with Bordeaux wine, or port wine and brandy, producing the pink and white marbled effect.
Not just visually impressive, it has a fruity taste from the wine and a delicious creamy cheddariness too!
Ribblesdale smoked goat, England
Made by Ribblesdale Cheese, North Yorkshire, who specialise in goat’s cheese.
Smooth, silky texture; very lightly oak smoked which does not overwhelm its flavour.
Sharpham Brie, England
Sharpham was one of the first British creameries to make a Brie. Made from Jersey cow’s milk, this square shaped cheese softens as it ripens.
A creamy texture, depth of intense flavour and some mushroom character.
Stinking Bishop, England
Made by Charles Martell in Dymock, Gloucestershire. Named after the pear used to make perry (pear cider) in which the cheese is washed, it famously has a mention in a Wallace & Gromit film. It has a sticky golden rind and supple paste, encased in a thin band of wood.
A rich, meaty taste with a hint of sweetness – much milder than it smells!
Invented by the late James Aldridge and made by his partner Pat Robinson in Godstone, using Somerset Caerphilly, which is washed in brine and develops a pink rind.
Silky, semi-soft and spicy.
A mild, semi-soft Guernsey cow’s milk cheese produced in Risley, Berkshire by the Wigmore family (Village Maid Cheese), made using a washed curd method which dilutes the acidity to achieve a soft, gentle flavour. The characteristic yellow colour is due to the presence of natural carotene.
Buttery flavour, lucious and creamy with a sweetness and undertones of herbs and grass.
Westcombe Cheddar, England
From the Westcombe Dairy in Somerset, using cow’s milk from their own herds.
Complex flavours, notes of citrus, hazelnut and caramel. Often called a ‘five mile cheddar’ as you are still tasting the flavours five miles down the road!
A ewe’s milk soft cheese produced in Risley, Berkshire by the Wigmore family (Village Maid Cheese).
A creamy, crumbly cheese with a bloomy natural rind.
Quicke’s mature cheddar
Fourteen generations of the Quicke’s family have nurtured the cows and pastures of the Devon family farm to get the very best milk; Handmade, cloth bound, matured truckles of cheddar are the result.
A creamy cheddar with a complex flavour.
A medium-sized wheel shaped mountain cheese from the Haute Savoie region of France in the Rhone-Alps.
It has a strong smell and an intensely fruity, buttery and hazelnut flavour, with balance of acidity and sweetness, followed by a lingering aftertaste.
Affidelice au Chablis
Gooey Affidelice au Chablis is similar to Epoisses but it is washed with Chablis and over time the flavours of the wine seep into the heart of the cheese.
The washing gives it a delectable fruity aroma and a rich full flavour. Do not be alarmed by its strong aroma, this adds to its taste!!!
Bleu des Causses
From the Languedoc region of southern France and matured for at least seventy days in natural limestone caves.
A rich milkiness amidst peppery and spicy notes of the blue mould.
Bleu de Severac
Ewe’s milk cheese made in the same way as Roquefort except it is not matured in the Combalou caves. It is manufactured between December and June and its taste develops the whole year long.
Small, blue-veined with a softish rind, allying strength with creaminess.
Bleu de Bocage
A blue goat’s cheese from the Vendee in the Loire region, aged in caves.
Mildly veined, and mild in taste, with some spicy, peppery flavours from the blue veins.
Brie de Meaux St Luc
Brie de Meaux is perhaps the most famous of all bries, steeped in French history. During the French Revolution, Louis XVI is said to have requested a final taste of it before his arrest.
A buttery, earthy cheese.
Brie de Melun
Said to be the ancestor of the bries originating in the Seine-et-Marne region of northern France. Semi-soft cheese inoculated with a Penicillium mould and cellar aged.
Slightly musty and straw-like aroma, strongly lactic and slightly salty flavours and soft, barnyard, sour notes.
Triple cream soft cheese named after the famous 18th century gastronome. The interior paste is buttery-white with a dense, moist and slightly chalky texture.
Luxurious taste of butter, salt and cream, with hints of mushrooms, hazelnuts and occasionally truffles.
Brun de noix
From the caves of Fromagerie Beillevaire in Nantes, a raw cow’s milk cheese, uncooked and pressed, aged 1-2 months, during which it is washed regularly with walnut liqueur which gives the rind it’s fabulous rich, polished-amber colour.
Semi-firm and dense, lightly eyed, with a nutty aroma (of course), and a yeasty, sweet flavour.
As the cheese matures it forms a smooth, runny interior and the white, bloomy rind typical of Camembert caused by the white fungus penicillium candidum.
The rind is meant to be eaten with the cheese. The paste has a rich, buttery flavour.
First aged as a standard Camembert the rind is then carefully removed, the cheese is dipped in Calvados, and finally it is covered in a fine breadcrumb.
A deliciously fruity taste, with apple brandy sweetness.
For more than ten centuries villagers of Jura Massif, Eastern France, have crafted this unique cheese, with a history dating back to the 12th century when shepherds would spend the summer months in their remote mountain huts.
They say there are 83 flavours to savour when tasting Comté but the main aromatic, lingering ones are a balance of brown butter and roasted nut with a sweet finish.
A soft cow’s milk cheese produced in the village Époisses. A creamy, chewy and firm texture with a distinctive soft red-orange colour, it is a smear-ripened cheese washed in Marc de Bourgogne brandy.
Despite its pungent smell, the cheese has a spicy, sweet and salty flavour.
One of France’s oldest cheeses said to date back to Roman times. Made from raw cow’s milk from the Auvergne region, with a distinct, narrow cylindrical shape, it’s one of the mildest of the blue cheeses.
Creamy with a delicate fruity flavour and mushroom overtones.
The Vendeen marshes are a unique site with specific rich grasses and flora, where the cows that produce the milk for this washed rind cheese graze.
A savoury well balanced taste, with an orange rind and white ivory pate.
It looks like a cratered, dusty cannonball, with hard, craggy features – the work of tiny cheese mites. The French call them tiny affineurs for their important role in the ageing process.
The bright orange paste is from the natural flavouring annatto, giving it a sweet, nutty flavour.
Montbriac, also known as Rochebaron, is a French blue, the result of an experiment that combined blue mould with a typically French, velvety, brie cheese. Very striking with a soft, gooey texture and blue veining, outlined by blue-grey ash-covered rind.
Creamy, complex flavour, not too sharp or aggressive.
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese named after the village of Morbier. Ivory colour, small eyes and fairly elastic with a black layer of tasteless ash, separating it horizontally in the middle, originally made by a layer of morning and evening milk, but now a single milking, with ash added to follow the tradition.
A rich, creamy, citrusy flavour.
Pont L’ Eveque
The cheese has been made in Normandy since the 12th century. Small, square shaped, soft cheese made from cow’s milk, with pale yellow paste and white-orange rind. Very rich, with creamy, full-bodied flavour.
A semi-soft washed rind cheese. The name is derived from the little town of Munster where Vosgian abbeys and monasteries made the cheese in the Middle Ages.
The red coating on the brine-washed rind gives it a strong, penetrating aroma and tangy taste.
Pont d’Yeu comes from the French island Yeu, off the coast of the Vendée in the Pays de Loire, which according to legend was once attached to the mainland by a bridge. The log shaped cheese has a rind sprinkled in wood ash. The goats graze on grasses that are exposed to salty sea air throughout the year, which gives the cheese its iodine and salty taste.
13th century fables say the Savoie herdsmen carried out an incomplete milking of the cows to reduce their ‘taxable’ production of milk and when the rent was paid to the landowners, they went back to ‘remilk’ (reblocher) the cows. This second milking gave milk rich in fat which was used to make Reblochon. A semi-soft cheese with a fine velvety, yellow/orange rind. A mild fruity taste with an intense nutty aftertaste.
Our cheese list wouldn’t be complete without a Roquefort. This ewe’s milk cheese ripens in the caves of Combalou, southern France, which has fissures – fleurines – that give ventilation and create perfect humidity. The mould Penicillium Roqueforti comes from the wheat and rye breads left in the caves.
A mild, sweet, tangy taste to begin, powerful and salty at the end, with both a creamy and crumbly texture.
From the region of Isère, a member of the Brie family. A soft unpasteurised, mould-ripened cow’s milk cheese. Small, round, and wrinkly, dusted with a coating of white yeast.
When young it has a mild, slightly salty flavour and an intensely rustic, nutty, fruity flavour when older.
A semi-soft, washed rind cheese from the Auvergne region. The Salers cows that give the milk feed on rich, volcanic pastures. It matures on rye straw mats, giving it a pungent smell. The rind is grayish-purple, dotted with white, yellow and red moulds.
The creamy, supple, silky textured paste melts in the mouth to reveal flavours of nuts, hay, cellars and mushroom.
Tomme de Savoie
Tomme is a name given to a family of cheeses produced in the French Alps and in Switzerland, usually named after the village/region where they are produced. Made from raw, skimmed cow’s milk after the cream has been drained off to make butter, the taste can vary depending on whether the cows were eating winter hay or fresh summer grass. A thick grey rind dotted with patches of yellow or red moulding, it’s a semi-soft, pressed cheese with a pliable and firm texture and irregular eyes throughout.
The flavours are of grass, nuts and rusticity with tangy, slight citrus and mushroom notes with odours of cave!
Vacherin Mont d ‘Or
The origins of this soft, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese date back around 200 years, but since 1981 it has been officially controlled and is produced only from 15 August to 31 March. The Swiss call it Vacherin du Mont d’Or and the French Vacherin du Haut Doubs (or just Vacherin). Under the pale yellow crust the cheese is soft, creamy and deliciously alpine – the woody notes come from the strip of spruce bark that encircles the cheese inside the box. When very ripe it is oozy and spoonable.
Gorgonzola Dolce, “The sweet one”, originates in northern Italy in the provinces of Lombardia and Peimonte, originally from the mountains but now made in the lowlands along the Po River valley. The introduction of air into the cheese by inserting long needles during the ageing process triggers the growth of the blue mould.
With a thin fragile rind it has greenish-blue veins, which are subtle and give a softer, easier flavour. It has a high moisture content and is creamy and buttery.
A soft, sharp, aged blue cheese made with full fat, pasteurised, cow’s milk. It has a compact, crumbly paste speckled with bluish-green marbling. The rough, hard, grey rind usually comes covered in a tin foil.
Flavours are strong, intense and sharp with a pungent, spicy bite coming early on.
Occelli al Barolo
Aged for at least five months before being refined for two more months in the Langa vineyards where it is coated with the pressed grapes used to make Barolo wine.
The flavours of the cheese and grapes mingle to create a flavour that is creamy, sweet, winey, buttery and sharp all at once. Once you cut through the coating of crushed grapes, the texture is flaky and melt-in-your mouth.
Occelli al Foglie di Castagno
The cows and goats have grazed off pastures during the summer months producing a rich milk. Aged for about 18 months, the wheels are then wrapped in chestnut leaves to give a strong flavour.
Parmesan 24 months
The first recorded reference to Parmesan, in 1254, documents that a noble woman from Genoa traded her house for the guarantee of an annual supply of 53 pounds of cheese produced in Parma. Stored on wooden shelves the cheeses are wiped, brushed and turned every 10 days. The outside of the wheels gradually dry to form a natural (and completely edible) rind.
Patient ageing gives the cheese its rich and distinctive flavour. It’s known for its complex flavour and granular texture.
Pecorino – Sardo – Peperonano
A hard sheep’s milk cheese. A golden-yellow to dark brown rind and a sour, damp smell. Compact with a wonderfully rich flavour, caramel sweetness, salty tang and a hint of fruit, more intensely spicy the longer it’s aged.
A cow’s milk cheese named after a river by the same name, produced in the Dolomites area. It’s dense in texture without any open holes.
Sometimes called ‘Parmesan’s cousin’ due to apparent similarities in flavour. Sweet taste intensifying with age.
A smear-ripened soft cheese named after the caves of Val Taleggio and produced every autumn and winter. To prevent mould infestation it’s washed with seawater once a week. The maturation takes 6-10 weeks forming a thin crust.
It has a strong smell, but its taste is relatively mild with an unusual fruity tang.
One of Spain’s best known blue artisan cheeses, a mixture of cow, goat and ewe’s milk, the cheese is aged in cold, damp and humid caves creating its distinctive blueing.
Known for its robust strength and incredible flavour.
Manchego 12 months
Manchego is the most well-known sheep’s milk cheese from the “La Mancha” region. Firm, compact consistency and buttery texture.
The cheese has a distinctive flavour, creamy with slight piquancy.
A soft-ripened goat’s cheese, handmade in Avila from pasteurised milk, ripened using Penicillium Roqueforti, the same mould used to make Roquefort. However, the blue mould develops only on the rind of the cheese, adding to its distinctive appearance and complex flavour.
Creamy, lemony and slightly acidic flavours when young which intensify and become more pungent with age.
A traditional, unpasteurised, cow’s milk hard cheese. With its infamous walnut-sized holes, it’s considered to be one of the most difficult cheeses to produce because of the complicated hole-forming fermentation process.
A sweet aroma with tones of fresh-cut hay. The flavour is very fruity with a slight acidity.
La Sanglee des Couardise
From cheesemakers Jumi, from milk from Simmentaler cows grazing the Emmental valley. A washed rind cheese, which is wrapped in spruce bark.
Small and runny, with a creamy, slightly grassy rind, it’s pungent, aromatic and woody.
From cheesemakers Jumi, from milk from cows grazing the Emmental valley. The characteristic blue and white moulds are grown on fresh cheese flakes, which are then pressed together by hand to produce this unique looking cheese resembling a brain!
Marbled inside, smooth and melting on the palate, with intense and piquant flavours.
Tomme de Chevre
Tomme is a generic term for a group of cheeses produced mainly in the French Alps and in Switzerland. This goat’s milk cheese was first developed in the 17th century. A moist, white uncooked pressed cheese with a bluish gray bloomy rind.
It has a strong goaty smell with flavours reminiscent of fruits and hazelnut.
A decadent and luxurious cheese from cheesemakers Jumi, made from milk from cows grazing the Emmental valley. Soft like snow, packed full of hand made truffle mousse. Creamy flavours underlined by mellow truffle.
All cheese boards served with selection of chutneys or jams, fresh or dried fruits & crackers.