We’re raising a glass to the British asparagus season. With its very distinctive flavour, asparagus is known for being tricky to match with wine – get the choice wrong and the wine will taste harsh. For the best Sauvignon Blanc to go with your stems, our resident wine expert, Jo Page from The Wine Word, has all the asparagus tips (pun intended!) you need.
Jo says: “The classic match for asparagus is Sauvignon Blanc as it can often have flavours of asparagus itself.
“Sauvignon Blanc is grown all around the world but generally prefers a cooler climate. This means that there are many different styles available from the refined lemon citrus and minerality of a Loire Valley Sancerre through to the grass, gooseberry and green apple of a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc.”
As not everyone likes Sauvignon Blanc, Jo shares some alternatives for you to try, as well as classic choices below.
To pair with steamed asparagus
Jo says: “If you’re having your asparagus steamed, perhaps just with butter or a light vinaigrette, I would go for a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. My first choice is the Turning Heads Sauvignon Blanc which is available at some independent wine merchants, such as Champion Wines (£12.98). As an alternative, The Ned is readily available at Majestic (£10.99) and many supermarkets. Both are classic NZ Sauvignons with gooseberries, grass, limes and refreshing acidity.
“For something different, try an English wine, especially a Bacchus. The Bacchus grape grows really well in England and, for me, typifies English wine. The style is very fresh and crisp, with aromatic flavours of stone fruits, melon and a mineral finish. Try the Chapel Down Bacchus (Waitrose, £11.24, or Chapel Down at £60 for six bottles).”
To pair with our asparagus tart recipe
Jo says: “With something richer, like our founder Claire’s asparagus and bacon tart, a fuller bodied wine will match the textures well. My classic Sauvignon choice would be a South African Sauvignon Blanc with richer, more tropical flavours but still enough acidity to cut through the richness of the dish like the De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc (Waitrose, £11.99).
“For a local wine, try Martin’s Lane Chardonnay, which we regularly serve during lunch at The Green Apron’s cooking courses. Grown and produced locally, it is a fresh, crisp Chardonnay with aromas of stone fruits as well as classic citrus flavours (£16.99 per bottle, purchased as a case of six).
“For something further afield, the Gavi di Gavi Morgassi Superior from Peter Watts Wine (£18.50) is from the north of Italy (same region as Barolo) and made from the Cortese grape. Like most Italian wines, it is perfect for enjoying with food.”
You’ll find monthly recommendations and food and wine pairings from Jo on our blog. To read more about Jo and The Wine Word click here.
About The Green Apron
You’ll find The Green Apron cooking school in Coggeshall, Essex. We’re focused on creating simple and seasonal dishes that are as natural as they are delicious, so our cooking classes are fun and hands-on and feature no hard-to-get ingredients or complicated equipment. If you’re interested in Baking, Thai, Indian and Italian dishes to match your wines, our cooking courses have all the inspiration you need.