Pairing wine with asparagus

June 14, 2021

Here at Wine List, we’re always talking about food pairings. Finding the perfect dish to go with a wine is one of our favourite topics of conversation.

So what have we been discussing recently? Asparagus.

The British asparagus season traditionally begins at the end of April and lasts until Midsummer’s Day on 21st June. So, what better time to think about wine and asparagus pairings?

It’s often said that asparagus is a difficult food to pair with wine, but we’d like to put that saying to bed. Read on for a low-down on how to cook your asparagus and the wines you should be buying. 

How to pair wine and asparagus

Asparagus lends itself to citrusy unoaked whites - something light that isn’t going to overpower the delicate taste of these green spears.

Asparagus is high in chlorophyll, which gives it that unique green taste and colour, but this can leave wines tasting a bit too harsh when not properly paired. 

Sauvignon blanc pairs really well with asparagus, especially considering the asparagus flavours you often find here. But that’s not always a good thing - you don’t necessarily want to match your wine to your food like for like. 

How to cook asparagus

  • 1. Trim the ends of your asparagus spears and steam for a few minutes in salted water, being careful not to overdo them.
  • 2. Lightly grill the steamed asparagus in a grillpan with a generous dollop of butter until charred.
  • 3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven and season your salmon fillets with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Bake for 10 minutes, or until juicy and cooked through.
  • 4. Feel free to freestyle here: try chilli flakes, a bit of cream of sesame seeds to give this dish a unique twist.
  • 5. Serve with salad, creamy crispy potatoes, miso rice or fresh pasta.

Supermarket wines to drink with asparagus

Menetou Salon le Prieure des Aublats

£18.99 from Waitrose (with £2 off until 22nd June) 

Crisp and fruity, this sauvignon blanc is from the Menetou Salon area of the Loire Valley. With floral and citrusy aromas, it will work perfectly with asparagus as well as salmon. 

Finest Western Australia Sauvignon Sémillon, 2019

£8 from Tesco

This white blend combines tropical notes from the sauvignon blanc with quince-y notes from the sémillon, giving a crunchy taste with the perfect acidity to match the asparagus flavours. 

Classics No. 32 Touraine Sauvignon

£8 from M&S or Ocado

Touraine wines like this go well with asparagus - maybe something to do with the region’s connection to asparagus growing. From M&S’s Classics range, this is a delicious apple-y fresh wine. 

After something special?

Why not try Hourglass Estate, a blend of sauv blanc and sémillon from Napa Valley. Lemon and lime zest aromas, with white peach and cut hay flavours - £41 from the Wine List.

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