Bringing Wine & Asparagus Together!

Asparagus not only looks good on a plate, it’s also packed with health-giving benefits. A great source of vitamins C, K and E, asparagus also contains folic acid and plenty of antioxidants.

There are plenty of wines that do work well with asparagus – particularly when you take into account how it’s cooked and what other ingredients are served with it.

The most popular pairing is with Sauvignon Blanc which can have a marked asparagus flavour itself.

Wines that can be tricky are wines with a touch of sweetness as asparagus can accentuate that. Oaked whites are generally not too successful (except if they are served with a rich buttery sauce) nor are red wines with pronounced tannins.

Steamed or Boiled Asparagus

Whether you steaming or boiling, cooking asparagus with water preserves the purity of its fresh, green flavours. New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc, which often counts ‘asparagus’ among its tasting notes, is a great go-to choice for pairing here. Unoaked Italian Verdicchio, dry Orvieto or even a light dry Rosè will also work.

Chargrilled Asparagus

Here you will need a wine that can cope with the charred flavours. Try a lightly oaked Italian white wine like a Pinot Bianco or dry Spanish rosé, which makes a versatile pairing for a whole range of barbecued food. If you are serving asparagus wrapped in pancetta, you can go for a light red Loire, Burgundy or other light unoaked Pinot Noir.

Roasted Asparagus

Giving the vegetable a more intense flavour, maybe with some caramelization, a dry Spanish rosé would work well again here, but you can also try a light unoaked red perhaps a fresh New World Pinot Noir from New Zealand or Chile, an Italian Frappato or a Dolcetto, or even a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, which can be served chilled.

Stir-fried Asparagus

The sauce is likely to be the determining factor here. Assuming it’s something reasonably light to preserve the flavour of the asparagus I’d go for an off-dry Alsace or German Riesling.

Asparagus with Eggs and Hollandaise Sauce

You need to find a wine that both cuts through the creaminess of this sauce and stands up to its buttery richness. A crisp, lightly oaked Chardonnay works well like Chablis for example. An oaked New World Chardonnay, a white Rioja or even Champagne will also pair.

Asparagus & Salmon

Albariño from Spain shows grassy, herbaceous notes to match the asparagus, with riper citrus and stone fruit to complement the salmon. Meanwhile Austrian Grüner Veltliner is a good choice if there’s also a creamy sauce on the plate. Semillon-Sauvignon blends, especially from Bordeaux or Western Australia generally work well.

Asparagus Risotto

Again, it’s the texture of this asparagus dish that needs to be your focus for wine matching. Rich and creamy risottos demand a wine with good, cleansing acidity to refresh the mouth after each bite. If you prefer Italian wine with Italian dishes, opt for a Vermentino, Verdicchio or Pinot Grigio. Or think outside the box by choosing a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, even better if there are peas in the risotto too.

Asparagus & Goats’ Cheese

Calling for some punchy pairing. Herbaceous and mineral Sauvignon Blancs like Sancerre or a Pouilly-Fumé  from the Loire Valley really come into their own here – not surprising as the region is also known for its exceptional goats’ cheeses.

 

It is important to have a finish – We often mistakenly think that asparagus does not go well with wine, but that would forbid you from beautiful pairings. Hot or cold, take advantage to enjoy asparagus and try several pairings to find the one that suits you best!

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