Spring is back, with garden lunches, longer days, and the twittering of birds in the streets... Walkers stop along the banks and in the fields to pick the first herbs, and the trees begin to show their new colours. Among the many riches that the earth is ready to offer us, there is a seasonal delicacy coming to our tables, to enrich them with new flavours: asparagus! An ingredient that must absolutely be enjoyed in the company of an excellent glass of wine. But which one? Not an easy challenge, but here are our suggestions for pairing asparagus!
From its delicately sweet flavour, which embodies the very essence of Spring, to its many beneficial properties, there are many reasons to cook asparagus. Let's see together with which wines to pair them, for a perfect lunch!
Asparagus, an identikit
If the Greeks appreciated aspharagos (meaning sprout) above all for its beneficial properties, the Romans too could not do without asparagus at their banquets.
There are many varieties of asparagus available.
For white asparagus, a trip to Veneto is recommended, to Bassano, Badoere, Cimadolmo or Pernumia. Or to Cantello in the province of Varese.
While those in search of purple asparagus will find it in Piana di Albenga in the province of Savona..
The journey continues with the pink asparagus from Mezzago, the noble white from Verona and the white from Zambana, the belle from Argenteuil and the green from Altedo... There really is something for everyone!
What are asparagus' properties?
Rich in vitamins and minerals, low in fat and cholesterol-free, asparagus is a stem vegetable with antioxidant, diuretic and depurative properties. They also fight cellulite, as they are said to reduce fluid stagnation in the tissues.
How to use asparagus in cooking?
Super versatile, asparagus can be the perfect main ingredient in spring lunches but also a superb side dish in many recipes: raw in salads, steamed, au gratin and accompanied by eggs, cooked in tasty risottos, sautéed as a side dish with salmon or even daringly served in a crème caramel! From starters to desserts, asparagus always knows how to surprise.
- Also read: how to pair food and wine
What wine to pair with asparagus?
Finding the right wine to match the very special flavour of asparagus, with its sweet tendency but also with a hint of bitterness, is quite a challenge. Definitely a must!
In general, it is important to choose a wine that is very perfumed and perhaps also expresses vegetable aromas, to respond with equal character to the asparagus' perfume. Then, keeping with the matching, you can play creatively with their sweet tendency.
A territorial pairing for asparagus
A nice Prosecco wine paired with asparagus from Pernumia (a small town in the province of Padua) is the perfect way to start your lunch!
A classic pairing for asparagus
A glass of Sauvignon straight from Collio to accompany an appetiser of fried asparagus is a classic and certainly satisfying pairing.
A more adventurous asparagus pairing
Why not try a nice red to accompany a main course? Asparagus with gratinated cheese and eggs also goes well with red wines such as. Try Rosso di Montepulciano or Montecucco.
An organic pairing
If you have organically-grown asparagus, why not pair it with an organic Vermentino, which with its freshness and savouriness also goes well with sweet-tasting first courses?
A creative pairing for asparagus
Let's end with a creative pairing: asparagus and a botrytised wine! Try it with a dry Albana made from overripe and partially botrytised grapes, i.e. harvested when botrytis cinerea appears. This combination plays with the sweet tendency of asparagus, the most popular vegetable of the moment!