Beautiful Cheese: Port Wine Derby Cheese From England - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Beautiful Cheese: Port Wine Derby Cheese From England
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Beautiful Cheese: Port Wine Derby Cheese From England

There are a few cheeses that can turn a cheese plate into edible art.

One of these is Port Wine Derby, a smooth, creamy Derby cheese marbled with an infusion of Port wine to create an exquisite deep purple pattern.

The color and sweet blackcurrant undertones come from the Port wine, which is added to the vat to naturally blend with the maturing cheese (known as “vat made”).

It’s made by Belton Farm in Whitchurch, a market town in the north of Shropshire, England in the Midlands region of Central England and two miles east of the Welsh border.

The Beckett family has been making award-winning cheeses at Belton Farm since 1922. Port Wine Derby was a winner in the International Cheese Awards in 2019, the last pre-Pandemic year the show was held (the next one is in October 2021).

  • Serve it as the cheese course with a glass of Port, Zinfandel or other red wine*.
  • Enjoy as a snack with fruit and wine.
  • Serve cubes of it along with fruit (apples, grapes, pears e.g.) in a green salad.
  • Belton grates it into a cheese sauce for pasta.
  • The producer recommends a wheat beer pairing; or try a blonde/golden ale.
  • Pick a light-bodied white wine pairing, such as Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc or Soave.

    Derby cheese is a mild, semi-firm cow’s milk cheese made in the rural county of Derbyshire, England since at least the 17th century.

    A traditional English-style cheese, it has a smooth texture with a mellow, buttery flavor.

    Derby is similar to its cousin cheeses Cheddar and Cheshire in taste and texture, but with a softer body and slightly higher moisture content.

    Like most of the traditional British hard cheeses, it was produced exclusively on farms and was typically sold at a younger age than its more famous cousins Cheddar and Cheshire. (Port Wine Darby is aged for four months before release; merchants can continue to age it.)

    When young, Derby is springy and mild. As it matures, subtle sweet flavors develop and the texture becomes firmer.


  • Alp Blossom Cheese
  • Cahill’s Farm Cheddar



    *Zinfandel substitutes include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Shiraz/Syrah.


    [1] Port Wine Derby, beautiful to look at, beautiful to eat (photos #1 and #4 © iGourmet).

    [2] One of the most beautiful wedges in the cheese world (photos #2 and #3 © Belton Farm).

    [3] Belton Farm also makes Sage Derby (photo © Belton Farm).

    [ ] Pair cheese with beautiful crackers, like these toasts in four flavors (shown, Apricot & Pistachio). Get them at iGourmet (photo © iGourmet).



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