How ’bout some wine with that asparagus?

In today’s food page Ann Vogel takes a look at some delicious asparagus recipes. But from a wine pairing perspective, Mary tells us why it’s best to divorce yourself from red wine when it comes to trying to find asparagus’ soul mate.

Mary writes:

There are very few vegetables that are difficult partners with red wine. It’s a toss up between artichokes and asparagus as to which would be served the divorce papers first. Asparagus is one of the more aggressively flavored vegetables and when an oaky wine is involved, the chemistry is all wrong.

A couple of mating ground rules then for asparagus: Pairing is more amenable with wine if you serve with a cheese sauce or grated parm and lemon over grilled asparagus. Lemon adds another dimension that wine almost always cuddles up to. Think freshly squeezed or hollandaise.

Blanching soothes the aggressiveness of the spears and grilling adds a complexity that wine is attracted to.

Given these circumstances, try these wines with your next plate of freshly cooked asparagus:

Gruner Veltliner from Austria, a crisp lemony flavored grape.

Pouilly Fuisse from the Loire Valley is really a Sauvignon Blanc in couture. Chablis from Burgundy pairs well especially if butter or hollandaise is involved.

Sauvignon Blanc really knows the way around asparagus. It may be its citrus tones or could it be the herbal character in the wine? The best chance for a memorable match, try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.