Ah the asparagus! Reputed to be the "sommelier's headache", notably because of its veggie character and bitterness, asparagus is nonetheless a delicious seasonal vegetable that delights us from March to June.bitter, asparagus is nonetheless a delicious seasonal vegetable that delights us from March to June. Let's get out of the clichés and dig a little deeper into the subject because there are wines that go beautifully with asparagus.
For those who love red wines, run away from asparagus! Associating red wine and asparagus will not allow you to benefit from the fine taste of asparagus nor from your red wine whose bitterness of tannins will be reinforced by that of the asparagus. If you "absolutely" have to bring out a bottle of red wine - but we warned you - go for the least tannic and freshest possible, like a pinot noir from Alsace, a red Burgundy or aGamay from the Loire or Beaujolais.
Served as a cold starter, the bitter vegetal character of white (or green) asparagus goes wonderfully well with fruity and lively white wines (i.e. with a good acidity). If you like mineral wines, pair your asparagus with anAlsace white wine such as Riesling. If you prefer fruity white wines, go for an Alsace Muscat (not sweet). For simplicity and freshness, try an Alsace Pinot Blanc! Finally, the best match will be a wine that is fruity, aromatic but also mineral. What could be better than a nice Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. Appellations such as Quincy, Reuilly or even a whiteTouraine: well selected, these will do the trick perfectly.
Served warm and associated with fatty meat such as bacon, more aromatic, fuller and therefore "fatter" wines will delight your taste buds to accompany your asparagus. Let's go a little further south to pair our asparagus with white wines from the Côtes-du-Rhône. Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage or Saint-Peray whites made from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes are also worth trying. Even more aromatic, a white wine made from Viognier, Condrieu or simply from a Rhone producer (i.e. grown as far north as possible to keep the freshness) is a very good match.
Cream of asparagus served warm can be accompanied either by lively white wines (such as a Sauvignon Blanc) if the cream is made from white asparagus, or by bolder wines if the cream is made from green or purple asparagus. The creamier the preparation, the better the fatty wines will be.
Hot or cold, enjoy the asparagus and try out different pairings to find the one you like best. It's all a question of taste!
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