Part 2 of my “spend a bucket of money in rural Australia” reviews. I’m not even sure what I Googled in order for me to find these cheese care boxes, but what a find! I’m not supposed to eat too much cheese, but the way I look at it is this … if not eating cheese adds another couple of months onto how long I will live, I’m prepared to forego those months so that I can have cheese with my red wine.
So that I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the whole box of cheese myself, I sent a box to each of my two sons – as both of them (and their families) are Caseophiles (lovers of cheese, also known as turophiles). I purchased two Binnorie Fix Care Packages.
Who are they: Binnorie Dairy, owned by Sally and her husband, is located at Lovedale in the Hunter Valley and they’ve been selling their product since 2003. The 2019/20 fires impacted them quite a bit, with sales dropping considerably, tourists were too twitchy about road trips with the uncertainty of where the fires might start next. It was the Covid lockdown in March with its travel ban that really impacted them, sales dropped by 95%. This drop in sales gave them the impetus to create the long talked-about on-line store.
Binnorie Dairy use the milk sourced from a number of dairies between Scone and Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, NSW and specialise in soft cheese styles and surface ripened cheese such as brie. All cheeses are made on site from pasteurised milk.
What you get: the box includes; 1 Duetto, 1 Herb Fromage, 1 Chevre & Dill, 1 Triple Cream brie, 1 Washed Rind, 1 Labna, 1 Marinated Fetta, 1 Vintage Cheddar, 1 Fig Paste, 2 crispbreads, 3 Puopolo Salami and 1 Semillon. Obviously there was enough cheese in there for a couple of cheese platters. The wine was a nice touch.
Price: The RRP is $160 but it’s been on sale for a while, at $120. Based on what’s included, I thought it was great value for money, the family debated it just the other day and we all agreed at $120 it was good value for money.
Delivery: If you live in Sydney or anywhere north of Sydney to Newcastle, the box is delivered to your door. As the order was over $100, delivery was free.
Other products: Binnorie Dairy has a retail shop on site which you can visit (as you’re swanning around Lovedale on your next wine tasting trip) and the store stocks everything for your next cheese platter: lots of cheeses plus Apple & Rosemary or Fig Paste, Italian style flatbread, crispbreads, salamis including a particularly interesting hot Cacciatore Salami (yum).
The Verdict: Luckily, after the care package was delivered, I was able to visit David at his house (in accordance with the restrictions), so got to taste some of the cheeses, I have to say I was VERY impressed.
My other son Jimmy (James) gave me a real insight of his experience both with the care package and what it was like for him and his family during this time “I had a great time with the cheeses. Considering the circumstance of being locked down with Covid, we could not have an event with friends to really enjoy the full spread at once. The truffle salami was a treasure for the family, pleasantly pungent and humbly salty. The Duetto was a highlight for me personally. The Duetto became a regular breakfast ritual when spread over a Pane Di Casa for a start to the lockdown day. The bright and herbal labna became the item battled over when my wife and I had our late afternoon glass of wine. The winner of the bunch was the triple cream brie, which along with the Semillon barely lasted an hour after the package was opened. This cheese assortment during the height of Covid allowed us to feel escape, instead of fear of the outside world.”
Coming up next … At the time knitting seemed like a good idea, musings from Mdme Defarge.