This cheese has a firm, crumbly straw colored flesh; a nutty, slightly smoky, earthy taste; and a more round finish than most aged cheddars. Laura Werlin, author of Cheese and Wine notes that this cheddar pairs wonderfully with most heavy red wines and also with sweet whites, a rare attribute to be found in one cheese. We recommend it with Cabernet, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Port, and also with Chardonnay. Serve it to friends on an hors d'oeuvre tray, pair it with fresh fruit such as sliced apple, pear, or with grapes or figs. James Montgomery from North Cadbury, England, world famous maker of Montgomery Cheddar, calls this the best American Cheddar available. This lovely cheese is made in traditional 60-pound wheels, bound in cheesecloth to promote mold growth, and hand-turned daily for the first two months of its life. It is aged for 18 months. Mariano has won “Best Farmhouse Cheese in America” with this cheese three years in a row with Fiscalini Cheese Company, and four out of five years (as selected by the American Cheese Society - August 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006). In 2006 and in 2007 it took Gold at the World Cheese Awards in London, and in 2007 it won the Wyke Farms trophy for best extra mature traditional cheddar in the world, and brought that trophy to the United States for the first time in history. In the 20 years of the World Cheese Awards, the Wyke Farms Trophy has never left British soil until now. In 2008 it won another Gold at the World Cheese Awards, and at the American Cheese Society as well.