Asparagus is notably risky to pair with as it has such a pungent flavour. Fruity wines tend to clash with the pungent flavours and make the wines taste dank. Sweet wines will taste too vegetal, and oaked wines, like a Chardonnay, will taste overly oaked and weird. Any wine high in tannin must also be avoided at all costs! Our top picks include Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Muscat D’Alsace and Vermentino
Sauvignon Blanc and Asparagus
Sauvignon Blanc is fantastic with Asparagus as these wines are a little pungent and grassy on the nose. The Citrus nature of a Sauvignon Blanc is wonderful with Asparagus as well, as each sip is like a little squeeze of lemon on your food.
Gruner Veltliner & Asparagus
Gruner Veltliner’s high acidity and peppery notes make it an exceptional pairing with Asparagus. We love how the pepper overtones elevate this pairing. Meanwhile, the stone fruit and green apple flavours have the right balance to not clash with the bitter and green flavours of Asparagus.
Muscat D’Alsace and Asparagus in Salad
Asparagus served in a cold salad with a vinaigrette, a dry and acidic Muscat D’Alsace works quite well. The delicate aromatics of the wine mirror the scent of the salad’s freshness.
With so many styles of Muscat, such as still, sparkling, pink, black, and dessert, we recommend talking to a knowledgable employee wherever you buy your wine. Muscat also comes from different regions, such as in Italy where it’s known as Moscato, or from Spain where it’s known as Moscatel. In Austria, you’ll see it as Muskateller.
The bottle you need to look for is a Muscat D’alsace, which is a still French Wine made from blending Muscat a Petits Grains and Muscat Ottonel. This is a wine that tastes like the season of Spring with its fruity aromas and subtle floral notes.
Muscat D’Alsace will complement the fruity flavours in a vinigrette as well as the hint of bitterness found in the Asparagus. If you’re having trouble finding a Muscat D’Aslace, we’d also recommend a Dry Marsala Riserva from Sicily that shares this bitter and nutty flavour.
A dry Silvaner works for similar reasons.
Champagne and Asparagus
Champagne essentially goes well with everything, and Asparagus is no exception. The dry and crisp flavours of Champagne lift away the pungent flavours of Asparagus, while the subtle fruity flavours add to the overall pairing.
If the Asparagus is drizzled in butter, Champagne will cut right through the richness of the butter, making each bite taste fresh.
Vermentino & Roasted Asparagus
Vermentino is a light-bodied white wine that has a sophisticated edge to it. One sip, and you’ll find aromas of pear, peach, lime, grapefruit and crushed gravel. While Vermentino is light, it has this creamy character, along with a bitterness. It’s this bitterness that complements the bitterness of Asparagus along with the bitterness of the charred flavours. Meanwhile, the creamy character adds a bit of texture to the pairing that can almost make you imagine that you are sipping cream of Asparagus soup.
Other Wine Pairings
The lemony flavours off an off-dry Riesling will pair up well with Asparagus too. Again, you don’t want anything overly sweet.
The dry but semi-sweet nature of a Vouvray is fantastic, especially with a cold grilled Asparagus Salad. An Italian Pinot Grigio (a light, not fruity style) will work well in this case too. For a drier wine, try the bone-dry Muscadet A dry Fino Sherry will work just as well, and perhaps amaze you in how versatile this fortified wine is.
Finally, the bubbly Prosecco is perfect with Asparagus. I particularly love Prosecco with grilled Asparagus as I find it refreshing against the bitter backdrop of this charred seasonal vegetable.
A buttery Chardonnay should be avoided with Asparagus due to the oak. However, if the Asparagus is in a cream sauce, or drizzled with lots of butter, a Chardonnay should pair up nicely.
What not to Pair with Asparagus
When it comes to pairing wine and Asparagus, you want to stay away from fruity wines. Red wines and Rose’s are simply out of the question. Stay away from heavily oaked white wines too, like Chardonnay. Instead, choose crisp, and dry White Wines with little to no Sweetness.