26 April, 2010

What to drink with asparagus.

Fresh asparagus in the spring is such a treat we prepare it as often as we can. In fact, my mom has an asparagus patch and it is worth the seven hour drive to Nebraska to bring home the sweet tasting spears that last much longer than what's available in the supermarket. (Plus, my friends benefit from the haul, too.)

Last night we wanted that taste of spring. We started our menu with roasted asparagus with shallots, lemon, Parmesan, and prosciutto, added grilled halibut with Made in Napa Valley's Fish and Seafood Rub, and roasted rosemary potatoes.

The toughest food to pair with wine in this menu is the asparagus. It's notoriously difficult to match with wine. It can make the wine, especially Chardonnay, taste vegetal and just plain off. Who wants that? Enter Sauvignon Blanc. Not only can the grassy herbal notes of most Sauvignon Blancs complement asparagus, but the citrus qualities help brighten the whole meal.

We paired our dinner with a 2007 Voss Rutherford Estate Vineyard.

Why this works: The 2007 Voss is a classic Sauvignon Blanc with lots of citrus flavors like lemon and grapefruit but also has some green notes like herbs and a bit of grassiness. Many Sauvignon Blancs can be excessively grassy but the Voss is nicely fruit driven. It's dry and crisp so that bright acidity keeps everything tasting fresh. Not only does this work well with the asparagus, but both the halibut and the potatoes were accented with herbs as well so the wine was perfect with the entire dinner.

Have you had a good Sauvignon Blanc lately? Let us know what it was.


  1. That makes total sense that the citrus & acid notes would work with the asparagus since sauces with a citrus note to them work well with asparagus

  2. Your dinner looked amazing! I would love a whole plate of those roasted potatoes. This post reminds me of the latest issue of Food and Wine mag. There was an article with Mario Batali pairing wine with difficult to pair foods, I think asparagus was one of them. I am a huge fan of Sauvignon Blanc! Lovely post.

  3. Great information - I love asparagus and eat it whenever I can. Looks like you guys had a great dinner!

  4. Jenna, I loved that food and wine article! I need to make more of those dishes and try the wine pairing. Yum!

  5. Definitely looks like a great meal. Something my wife and I will have to try. Thank you very much for sharing it.

    Pairing with asparagus is definitely a challenge. We had some friends over the other night and had it as a side. I had paired both a white (Symphony with a little oak from our homemade collection) and a red wine (Clayhouse Malbec) with the meal which also included meatloaf and potato skins. I specifically mentioned wanting to avoid the red wine with the asparagus because it is a classic mismatch. One of my adventurous friends tried it and proved to everyone else that it is indeed a classic mismatch and something to skip!


  6. Love that there is an actual serving of potatoes on your plate, not just three for pictures sake.