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Wine to go with asparagus
PEOPLE have been trying to rename May Day holiday for years now. Shakespeare’s day was mentioned as an alternative, if my memory serves.
However, I have different idea, which involves spears of another kind. I think it should be called Asparagus Day. The local asparagus season is in full swing now, despite what the Yorkshire weather has thrown at us.
Many a wine expert will tell you that asparagus is difficult to pair with wine. Don’t pay too much attention.
They will hum and haw and then list at least a dozen white wines that are right for the job. I agree, however, that if you make the wrong choice with asparagus, it can be a taste disaster.
I have a few favourite wines that complement the flavours perfectly, a good Austrian grüner veltliner or a sylvaner from Alsace or Germany being two. You will find sauvignon blanc more abundant in the wine aisle, and it too is a good match.
This week though, I’m looking at some other alternatives, as partners to that plate of asparagus.
The Spanish grape Verdejo is similar, in some ways, to sauvignon blanc. Lewis & Cooper in Northallerton lists Legaris Verdejo 2011 from the Spanish wine producing region of Rueda. Suggesting white flowers, orchard and tropical fruit, it has fresh acidity and a clean mineral finish.
As a slightly unusual choice, you could try a fresh tasting wine from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. I’m yet to try it in a combo with asparagus but a foodie friend tells me it works a treat.
Quinta de Azevedo 2011, Vinho Verde, is a widely available and very capable example that won’t break the bank. Bone dry and very crisp, it hints at granny smith apple and citrus with mineral notes too and a hint of effervescence.
Or from closer to home, Kent to be precise, there is Chapel Down Bacchus 2011. A floral, herbal, mineral and fresh tasting wine, it reveals flavours of passion fruit and goosegog, seasoned with a little white pepper.
• Legaris Verdejo 2011, Rueda, £7.99 at Lewis & Cooper (Northallerton) 16/20
• Quinta de Azevedo 2011, Vinho Verde, around £7 at Majestic, Waitrose and the Wine Society 18/20
• Chapel Down Bacchus 2011, rrp £10.99 from chapeldown.com, Majestic and Waitrose 17/20