May 7, 2015

Wine for Asparagus

some suggestions on wine matching

By In Food and Wine
Perhaps the most seasonal of vegetables – UK-grown asparagus is the ingredient of the moment. Is it tricky to match with wine? Plenty of articles report so. Asparagus can have an aggressiveness of flavour, the metallic notes of which do clash with wine. Avoid then red wine and oaky whites. Serving with a cheese sauce makes asparagus much more amiable to wine, alternatively select a wine with high acidity.

So, the wine match should be a white wine with high acidity. Which, to my mind, points directly at the Loire. You could go Sancerre and all its shivering green forthright flavours or perhaps a Muscadet with its citrus and apply core (try Chateau du Cleray Muscadet Sur Lie Sevre et Maine, 2013 Waitrose £8.99). Chenin Blanc from the Loire, higher acidity and tighter than their South African (for example) counterparts would also be an option. The Chateau de Fesles Chenin Sec, 2011, (£11.99 Majestic) is as tight as a North Korean border post, pin sharp and poised. Would be superb with a salad spiked with asparagus or Pasta with Shrimps and Asparagus.

Dishes with a little more richness, asparagus with Hollandiase sauce perhaps, or an Asparagus Gratin would work with a wine with a little more richness too (although that Fesles Chenin Blanc was my pairing last weekend) so look to Chablis or a dry Muscat. The BM Vinarstvi Muskat Moravsky 2013, from Moravia in the Czech Republic (£9.60 VinoVitaj) would be grand with an asparagus salad or asparagus tortilla. While the aroma is overflowing with grapy muscat sweetness, the palate is dry with a distinct green note to the flavour. It is that green note that will match so well. Also available from BM Vinarstvi is a Welschriesling (BM Vinarstvi Ryzlink Vlassky 2013 £9 VinoVita) which has a core of stone fruitiness and crisp acidity that reminded me of a Pinot Blanc. As such this would also work with richer asparagus dishes…. so many combinations to try, I might just have to make that Asparagus Gratin again.

Wine for Asparagus

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