Seen as notoriously difficult match, a surprisingly wide range of wines works well with asparagus

Spring means a wide range of local fresh seasonal produce. From asparagus to peas, radish, lots of various green herbs, wild garlic, and on the sweet side strawberries and rhubarb are finally back along with all those not mentioned here.

In season from late March to mid-June, asparagus is one of the highly popular spring vegetables, and it’s perhaps the most raved about vegetable here in Germany. Where it’s the white stems that get the most love while elsewhere, it is often the green stems which are the most popular.

Asparagus, much to the despair of wine lovers, is also dubbed one of the most difficult foods to pair with wine. It contains certain chemicals and bitter notes that can make the wine taste vegetal, damp, almost rotten, or just plain wired.

That said, there is really no reason to despair. Because the list of wines that pair well with asparagus is in the end surprisingly long. Which means, you will likely find that one of your favourites makes a great match with the asparagus dish of your choosing.

Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus

By the way, the perceived difficulty pairing asparagus with wine is one of the reasons that in Germany come springtime, you will find a particular type of wine hitting the shelves: the so-called ‘asparagus wine’ are basically those wines that best match with the classic asparagus dishes.

So which wine should you drink with asparagus?

Check out my list of wines that pair well with the different asparagus dishes and learn how to pair asparagus with wine.

What are the best wines to pair with asparagus

As with all foods, both the particular type of asparagus (white, purple, or green) and how it will be prepared plays a significant role in finding the best wine match.

As a rule of thumb, the wines that best pair with asparagus should be light to medium bodied, dry to off-dry, offer a medium to high acidity, and no tannins.

Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus

Starting with the type of asparagus you chose, there are some wines that pair particularly well with each of the different types of asparagus.

  • White asparagus generally goes well with Silvaner, and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Purple asparagus typically pairs well with Pinot Blanc.
  • Green asparagus which comes with less pungent aromas works with Riesling, Pinot Grigio and unoaked Chardonnay.
Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus

In addition, thanks to it’s crisp acidity and rich texture, Champagne and sparkling wine (in particular those made according to the traditional method), will also pair very well with the different types of asparagus.

Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus

With that general introduction, how the asparagus is prepared and what it will be served with will play an important part in choosing the best wine match.

  • Classic steamed white asparagus topped with butter sauce pairs fantastic with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, with the acidity of the wine nicely cutting through the fat and perfectly amplifying the sweet freshness of the asparagus.
  • White steamed asparagus with sauce hollandaise meanwhile works great with a crisp Riesling as the acidity and typical aromas of apricot, green apple, pineapple, pears, and citrusy lemon along with notes of diesel and petrol help to lighten the rich topping.
  • Roasted asparagus is best matched with a light bodied Vermentino. The wine’s aromas of melon, pear, lemon, grapefruit, and crushed gravel together with flavours of herbs and mineral and it’s soft and creamy texture and subtle bitterness perfectly complements the earthy, charred taste of the roasted asparagus.
Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus
  • Asparagus soup is best matched with a Pinot Grigio. The light and dry flavours of lemon, green apples, melon, and peach along with notes of mineral, stone, grass, and smoke go very well with the pungent flavours of the asparagus.
  • Asparagus as a side with fish (such as salmon) topped with a light sauce hollandaise calls for a light Pinot Grigio, an Albarino with aromas of ripe citrus and stone fruits and herbaceous notes, or likewise a Grüner Veltliner.
Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus
  • Asparagus with ham or pork expressing a wonderful flavour combination of the asparagus sweet nuances along with a saltiness from the ham/pork best works with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Silvaner.
  • Asparagus risotto calls for a refreshing white with good acidity to match the rich and creamy texture of the risotto. Go for a light Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, or Verdicchio.
Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus
  • Asparagus salad with mild vinaigrette calls for an off-dry Riesling with playful acidity or likewise a Silvaner or even an off-dry rosé.
  • Asparagus with eggs, including quiche and frittata, are perfectly matched with a crisp, dry champagne of sparkling wine with a crisp, citrusy acidity and toasty notes.
Food and Wine Pairing: Which Wine to pair with Asparagus

Depending on your own taste – and different to recommendations made by wine experts in the past – rosé wines can also be a great match to asparagus. Considering especially how rosé wines have evolved into a very versatile wine variety that goes well with a wide range of dishes over the past few decades.

If you are looking for a fresh, rather straightforward asparagus dish definitely try a crisp and vibrant citrusy rosé with herbal notes.

Can you pair asparagus with red wine?

As the saying goes, never say never. If you serve asparagus as a side for a flavourful meat dish, a light red such as a Pinot Noir or Grenache could actually work well. Likewise, if you serve grilled or roasted green asparagus those light reds can work well.

Yet, the general recommendation is to avoid red wines with asparagus as the tannins in red wines will clash with the flavour of the asparagus.

Do you have a favourite asparagus and wine pairing? Let me know which one it is in the comments below.