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Send the finest Christmas gifts of Cheese & Wine this year
Published on 28/11/2018 Updated on 28/11/2018

For a classic Christmas present, there’s nothing quite so traditional as the gift of Port & Stilton. This year Regency Hampers have developed some fresh ideas when it comes to giving wine and cheese to friends, family and colleagues, thereby introducing some new looks to an old and popular present while still offering traditional and ever-popular Port & Stilton gifts.

For truly outstanding traditional Port & Stilton presents we can recommend the Port & Stilton Classic Hamper and the Port & Stilton Favourites Hamper both of which contain a wide variety of extra Christmas treats that are sure to be appreciated and enjoyed over the festive season along with the Port wine and Stilton cheese.

The classic version of this lovely Christmas present is called the Port & Stilton Classic Hamper and not only includes a superb bottle of Graham’s Late-Bottled Vintage Port plus an award-winning Blue Stilton from Cropwell Bishop but also the following seasonal treats: crisps, shortbread, fruit & nut cake and mince pies.

Meanwhile the Port & Stilton Favourites Hamper features even more delicious treats to be shared during the Christmas season. These extra gifts include chutney, cheese twists, biscuits, Christmas pudding, chocolate and fudge which will all be welcome at Christmas time in addition to the traditional bottle of Graham’s Vintage Port and the delightful wedge of Cropwell Bishop Blue Stilton.

Why you’re no longer allowed make Stilton cheese in Stilton.

Stilton is the classic Christmas cheese, the rich blue-veined cheese that goes so well with a glass of Port wine. However, the town of Stilton that originally gave its name to this famous cheese in the 18th century is now situated in Cambridgeshire and therefore, ironically, falls outside the three counties that are by law allowed to make and market Stilton cheese: Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. Stilton is the only British cheese to have a EU protected name and a Certification Trade Mark.

The distinctive Stilton cheese that’s so popular at Christmas time is made from pasteurised cows’ milk and formed in a traditional cylindrical shape with a natural crust that is pierced to allow the introduction of a strain of Penicillium fungus. This particular mould not only creates the celebrated blue veins in Stilton cheese after a nine to twelve week ripening period but is also the fungus that in 1928 scientist Alexander Fleming discovered was able to produce the life-saving anti-bacterial substance that he called penicillin.

How England’s traders turned to a particular Port in a French storm.

Britain has a very long association with Port wine, the popular after-dinner drink that is so often teamed with Stilton cheese at Christmas. The fortified wine called Port is produced in the Douro region of northern Portugal, and was originally shipped from the harbour at Porto, also known as Oporto by the British. The wine from Oporto therefore became known as Port Wine and the addition of distilled grape spirit increased the strength and keeping qualities of this now celebrated wine.

Portugal is England’s (and now the United Kingdom’s) oldest ally with close ties being forged way back in 1386 with the Treaty of Windsor which led to an upturn in trade between the two countries. This close association became even more important and rewarding after France starting closing its doors against English imports in 1667 and England retaliated by banning the import of French wines and turned instead to countries such as Portugal to fill the wine gap.

The subsequent British involvement in the Port wine trade is evident from the English names of so many of the long-established brands of this fine fortified wine, including Cockburn’s, Croft, Dow’s, Graham’s, Taylor’s and Warre’s. For example, Graham’s, who provide Regency Hampers with their excellent late-bottled Vintage Port, traces its foundation back to 1820 and was one of the first Port companies to invest in its own vineyards in Portugal’s Douro Valley in 1890. Their superior Late-Bottled Vintage Port goes extremely well with the Cropwell Bishop Stilton cheese that also features in so many of Regency Hampers’ excellent cheese and wine Christmas gift baskets.

Further Christmas gift options with award-winning cheeses and fine wines.

Of course Stilton is not the only cheese that proves popular at Christmas time and Port is not the only wine to be enjoyed during the festive season. This year, Regency Hampers is also offering the following cheese and wine gift hampers that include the wonderful sparkling Italian wine, Prosecco, plus some excellent red wine options as well as a selection of award-winning British cheeses.

The Festive Sparkle Hamper with Prosecco is an excellent gift packed with great food and drink, including a bottle of Chilean Merlot red wine that goes so well with the two great British cheeses: an extra-mature Cheddar truckle from Snowdonia and an Organic Cotswold Brie from Simon Weaver. Further festive treats include piccalilli, cheese straws, cashews, crisps, shortbread, fruit & nut cake, Christmas pudding and Swiss chocolate truffles as well as that superb sparkling bottle of Italian Prosecco and another bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc white wine.

For a truly sumptuous wine and cheese Christmas gift you might want to consider the superb Yuletide Celebration Hamper with Sparkling Prosecco. Once again this celebrated Italian sparkling white wine, Prosecco, takes centre stage but there are also two Wolf Blass Australian white and red wines with superb bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.

The award-winning British cheeses in this Yuletide Celebration Hamper include Cheddar, Brie and Blue Stilton all of which are wonderfully complemented by that rich and full-bodied Shiraz red wine from Wolf Blass. Further Christmas treats feature the finest smoked salmon, sweet piccalilli, fruit & nut cake, Christmas pudding and luxury Swiss chocolates among other delightful seasonal snacks.

This wide selection of cheese and wine gifts provide the perfect presents.

With so many great gift options to choose from at Regency Hampers this Christmas you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the ideal cheese and wine present for your friends and family. From classic Port & Stilton gift choices to excellent wicker trays and traditional picnic hampers packed and presented so carefully with the finest cheeses, wines and so many more thoughtful Christmas delights that are sure to please.

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