To celebrate National Wine and Cheese Day 2022 we’ve teamed up with Blue Aurora to explore their unique range of English blueberry wines and discover delicious pairing suggestions from our local selection of East Anglian cheeses.

Blue Aurora is based at Lutton Farm, just outside Oundle in Northamptonshire. Farmed by generations of the Long family since the 1960s, Lutton Farm became a commercial soft fruit farm in 1991 and in 2006 was one of the first farms growing blueberries in England. With 45 hectares now dedicated to growing 15 varieties of blueberries in poly tunnels, around 500 tonnes are hand-picked every year. 15-20% of this harvest is graded as ‘waste’ being too small or too soft for the supermarkets, however it is still great tasting fruit and so to make the most of every berry grown on the farm, in 2018 the Long family developed their range of three blueberry wines: Dusk, Midnight and Ice Wine. Sustainability is at the heart of all activities on the farm from reducing food waste with the production of wine, to the creation of hedgerows, ponds and beetle banks and the use of beneficial insects to protect crops and reduce use of chemical pesticides.

The blueberries at Lutton Farm are handpicked between June and mid-October. Those berries destined for wine are then pressed. For Dusk and Midnight, fresh berries are crushed in the press for just two hours with 1.5kg of fruit needed for each 75cl bottle. For Ice Wine the berries are frozen and pressed under higher pressure to extract flavour, colour and sweetness whilst the water is left behind as ice. This pressing takes 2.5 to 3 days and 2kg of fruit is needed for each 37.5cl bottle. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. For Midnight, similar to a traditional red wine, the juice sits on blueberry skins in the tank for six weeks to give it a wonderful deep colour. Oak is also added to Midnight to give soft, smoky vanilla notes. All three wines are matured for three months before filtering, bottling and labelling.

Read on to discover our cheese pairing suggestions for each award-winning wine in the Blue Aurora range. We are delighted to have all three bottles available in our Aldeburgh shop. Their unique story and fabulous fruit-filled flavour definitely makes them worth a try.

Blue Aurora Dusk & Baron Bigod

Blue Aurora Dusk & Baron Bigod

This medium bodied wine is ruby coloured and deliciously fruity. We found it has just the right amount of fresh acidity to cut through the velvety texture of Suffolk’s brie-style Baron Bigod from Fen Farm Dairy. Deeply creamy, Baron Bigod is well matched by a sip of crisp Dusk and its red berry notes that linger on the palate.

Blue Aurora Midnight & Smoked Norfolk Dapple

Blue Aurora Midnight & Smoked Norfolk Dapple

Midnight is deeper in colour and intensity, a beautifully rich, full-bodied wine with oaky notes. We enjoyed it with Smoked Norfolk Dapple from Ferndale Cheeses. Cold smoked over oak chippings for up to twenty four hours, this aromatic cheddar cheese perfectly complements the red stone fruit flavour and oaky finish of Midnight wine.

Blue Aurora Ice Wine & Binham Blue

Blue Aurora Ice Wine & Binham Blue

This Ice Wine is intensely fruity, sweet and indulgently smooth. A real treat with blue cheeses such as our local East Anglian favourite, Binham Blue. Made in Norfolk by Catherine Temple, Binham Blue is creamy with medium strength blueing. Its piquancy is well balanced by the sweetness of the Ice Wine and its ripe berry notes. This wine should be served lightly chilled for an interesting contrast to room temperature cheese.