Asparagus & Wine: The Fine Spring Duo
What Counts: Harmonious Flavours
While Austria's wine is made from 46,000 hectares of vineyards, Austrian asparagus is grown on a modest 600 hectares - which is approximately the same size as the wine region of Vienna (Wien). A similar ratio can be found in consumption. According to Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA), an Austrian eats an average of around half a kilo of asparagus in one season. Wine consumption is higher, of course - around 30 liters annually - since good wine can be enjoyed all year long. But even though asparagus and wine are so different, their flavours, when combined, unite in such harmony, that they become an optimal pair!
Spring – Goes Right to the Stomach
Fresh asparagus spears make a juicy “squeak” when they are rubbed together and cut. If not prepared on the same day that they are picked or bought, asparagus still can last two or three days more in the refrigerator when wrapped in a damp towel. This means that nothing can prevent the preparation of an asparagus dish! The absolute favourite is asparagus cream soup. In contrast to other foam soups, this one can be matched wonderfully with wine. Elegant Zierfandler and Rotgipfler or a fruity Sauvignon Blanc harmonise especially well with the delicate nutty taste of the asparagus. A lovely, uncomplicated dish is asparagus risotto, with its thick and buttery creaminess requiring a powerful wine as an accompaniment. Excellent for this are Grüner Veltliner and Wiener Gemischter Satz as well as ripe, classic matured wines from the Burgundy family, such as Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder. The combination of fish and asparagus, which lends a creative touch to home cooking, is well complimented with a full-bodied Riesling without any botrytis tone.
For a hearty alternative to Sunday schnitzel, there is baked asparagus, which can be combined perfectly with Austria's typical white variety wines, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. And finally, don't forget that there is also something sparkling for the palate. Austrian quality sparkling wines fit optimally to asparagus delights – giving that extra “pep” to appetizers - and leaving the palate wanting more, and more!
For other creative asparagus ideas to marry with Austrian wine, have a look at the “Asparagus & Wine” brochure from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.
Asparagus & Wine