What could be better than an evening celebrating some of the world’s finest summer wines, hand selected by TV’s Suzy Atkins? Pairing them with delicious dishes prepared by head chef Alex Tyndall at Chapters in Blackheath, but of course
Chapters has long been running wine tasting evenings, but this was the first that saw Suzy, who presents the wine segment of BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen, and the talented Alex, who worked under the tutelage of Andy McLeish at Michelin-starred sister restaurant, Chapter One, come together. Having dined at Chapters merely the week before, where I had discovered my new food heaven – crispy pork belly with kimchi and miso dressing – I was feeling pretty spoiled to be returning so soon.
The seven-course tasting menu was accompanied by seven different wines, all befitting the theme of ‘summer’. It was a scorcher of a day and the cool, stylish basement dining area was full and bustling. We started with a glass of Prosecco, Gocce di Favola, paired with an avocado and green pea crostini – the perfect start to any summer party.
We also tried a delicate ceviche of wild sea bass with a hint of chilli, paired with a dry, elegant Albarino, Condes de Albarei from Galicia, and an off-dry, fruity Riesling that cut though the deliciously bold flavour of Alex’s chorizo with white bean on toasted rye bread perfectly. (Banish any thoughts of Liebfraumilch, the curse of many 90s Christmases I’m sure – the ‘John B’ Rietvallei Riesling, 2013, from South Africa is in a whole other league).
Another highlight was the Josper-grilled peppered USDA beef slider (the USDA meticulously grades its beef, and the Josper grill locks moisture into meat, making this a fantastic burger), paired with a Carménère, De Martino, 2012, one of Chile’s premium wines. Spicier than a Merlot with black pepper and big tannins, it’s robust enough to stand up to curries and chargrilled meats, but light enough for summer sipping.
Fun with friends or date night
What to eat…
With Alex’s finely crafted tasting menu, that’s all taken care of for you
What to know…
Leave the car at home, there’ll be plenty of wine flowing
43-45 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath SE3 OTJ. For future event dates call the restaurant on 020 8333 2666 or see chaptersrestaurants.com