Peanuts and chocolate. Kate and Wills. Some things just get that little bit better when combined perfectly, something I definitely experienced the other week at the Criterion’s inaugural Wine Tasting evening.

Whereas fine food and wine are always on the agenda at the historic restaurant these evenings see head chef Matthew Foxon creating a bespoke menu designed to perfectly compliment the wines being showcased. On the night in question we we were treated to 4 fantastic courses alongside 4 equally impressive wines from Edgbaston, a vineyard within the Stellenbosch region of South Africa.

There wasn’t a spittoon in sight – this is the kind of wine tasting I can get on board with. After all, for my part, wine’s always best enjoyed with food so let’s have a tasting evening that reflects that.

Now I’m not much of food writer, I leave that to A Very Bored Cook (whose guest I was), but it was clear a great deal of thought had gone into matching the wines with the food so that one would elevate the other. Foxon’s menu, including Rooibos tea-smoked salmon and spiced Kezie ostrich, harked back to his own South African heritage and was note perfect in this humble critic’s view and, despite the fact that we are bombarded by chefs waxing lyrical about food for hours on end by every channel these days, it was a pleasure to listen to him talk us through each element with real passion and a relish for the evening’s format.

It was a great evening, both enjoyable and educative and I wish Matthew, and the team at the Criterion, the best of luck for those that follow.

At £70 for 4 courses and a seemingly everlasting flow of fine wine  it’s extremely good value, so cancel that table at the restaurant down the road where you’d only end up ordering the usual main with a bottle from the 3rd bin down the list and put yourselves in the hands of the professionals for a night. You’ll learn something, but it’ll be the tastiest lesson you’ve ever had.

For more information contact Hannah Berry 020 7839 0101 hannah@criterionrestaurant.com

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