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Published on September 6th, 2012

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Sauvignon Blanc is the best choice to go with Asparagus

Appeared in The Resident, Wednesday, April 18, 2012

By Rebecca Dunphy

Blink, and the British asparagus season is over.

You’ll find British spears in the supermarkets from April to June, but for the best local asparagus take a jaunt up to Wakeham Farm in Fairlight. For just a few weeks you’ll be greeted by mounds of dark green asparagus spears, piled high, all shapes and sizes, just as nature intended.

The best wine to have with Asparagus is Sauvignon Blanc. Whether steamed, roasted in olive oil and sea salt, dunked in egg yolk (Wakeham Farm sells duck, hen and goose eggs too), smeared in hollandaise, melted butter or cheese, asparagus never loses its vital, green flavours that marry so well with Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon is also high in fresh acidity, so it picks up on the seasonal freshness, and has a wonderful zesty cleansing effect so you can have one more racy dip in egg yoke or another piece of rich asparagus cheese tart.

Sauvignon is the most obvious match but I am a strong believer in there’s more than one perfect partner. Just go for clean, fresh whites, dry rosés and avoid rich tannic reds or ripe fruity whites with Dolly Parton oak overload.

I am a big fan of Bacchus grown in England, a grape developed for cooler climates, named after the god of wine and a heavenly match for asparagus. It is reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc, with scents of elderflowers, fresh cut grass, spring nettles and pink grapefruit freshness.  Never oaked, drunk fresh, generally dry, but sometimes with a hint of sweetness, this is another great bedfellow for local asparagus.

When combining asparagus with egg, Soave Classico from the best volcanic soils is a winner. From the best producers Soave has aromas of wild flowers, zesty fruit and an almond, mineral twist that make it a perfect partner for green vegetables.  Another excellent alternative to Sauvignon Blanc comes from Spain in the cooler, wetter North West. Albariño (the name of the wine and the grape) is peachy and perfumed, but intensely fresh – chill hard and enjoy with seafood and, of course, asparagus.

Rebecca’s Recommendations:

Sandhurst Vineyards Medium Bacchus, Kent, 2010 £9.75

Elderflower, gooseberries, nettles and lemon zest in a bottle! Look out for their dry version out in June.

Soave Classico Superiore, Pieropan, 2010 £12.60

Available from Cooden Cellars

Thought Soave was bland and boring? Pieropan leads the way in the Soave quality revolution.

Albariño Taste the Difference, Sainsbury’s £7.99

This is a great price for Spain’s cult white grape. Peachy and startlingly fresh.



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