Match of the week | Roasted asparagus and Jersey royal salad with herb mayonnaise and a 2012 Saumur Champigny

Match of the week

Roasted asparagus and Jersey royal salad with herb mayonnaise and a 2012 Saumur Champigny

Asparagus, it’s often said, is tough to match with wine, let alone a red, but this combination with a light, chilled Saumur Champigny at the re-opened Bell’s Diner in Bristol was a perfect pairing.

The reason? The asparagus was roasted which offset its grassiness with a touch of caramelisation and accompanied by mealy Jersey Royal new potatoes which also acted as a buffer. But it was the mayo, flavoured with ‘sweet herbs’, most notably tarragon which clinched the deal, the anise-like aromatic notes of the herb chiming in perfectly with the herbal notes of the young Cabernet Franc.

The 2012 isn’t the best vintage I’ve tasted of Thierry Germain’s Domaine des Roches Neuves - it's quite a bit lighter than the gorgeous 2011 - but it’s a consistent favourite that we often order from a wine list because of its versatility with food*

It also went well - for similar reasons - with a light springlike dish of poached rabbit with peas and morcilla (Spanish black pudding) - the hint of mint with the peas again combining with fragrant wine.

The essence of early summer.

* For other suggestions look at the recommendations for the 2011 vintage on Germain’s website

Croissants à la dinde fumée et au cheddar (smoked turkey and cheddar croissants)
Pain roulé à la tapenade et au thon (stuffed - literally rolled - bread with olive paste and tuna)
Briks à la viande hachée (minced beef filo pastries)
Ballotin de poulet et au poivre concassé (a moulded paté of chicken and crushed pepper)
Pain de viande à la carotte et aux olives vertes (meatloaf with carrots and green olives)
Tajine de boulette de Kefta aux raisins secs (meatball tagine with raisins)

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