Match of the week
When you can pair asparagus with red wine
The idea of partnering asparagus with wine is contentious enough but red wine? Surely that won’t work?
Well, it so happens it does as I managed to prove at an event called the Great British Asparagus Feast in Bristol last week when I picked the pairings for a menu that had been devised by three of the city’s top chefs.
The main course was a whole roast, brined chicken on a bed of wild garlic served with chargrilled asparagus cooked with sautéed girolles (wild mushrooms) and dukkah (a middle-eastern style topping of chopped hazelnuts and sesame seeds) from Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap.
I’d paired the 2014 Tyrrell’s ‘Old Winery’ Pinot Noir from south-east Australia with it in the hope that it would go with the chargrilled asparagus and mushrooms and it really worked - largely because it was quite a dark-fruited style of pinot rather than a light, raspberry-scented one. You can buy it from independent wine merchants including Dennhöfer Wines and Richard Granger Wines for between £10-12 which is excellent value for money for a pinot.
The other matches were a Gavi di Gavi with a dish of asparagus, hand-rolled cavatelli, slow-cooked egg and goats cheese from Adelina Yard which I picked to reflect the Italian influence of the dish and a lovely lush white Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Hauts de Barville’ 2014 from Maison Brotte with a dish of asparagus, with white and brown crab meat, saffron and lovage from Wallfish Bistro.
We finished with a cheese course rather than a dessert - Caerphilly with pickled asparagus with which I paired a medium-dry cider - Charmer from Somerset producer Orchard Pig. (Well, the dinner did take place in the West Country!).
Oh, and we kicked off with a sparkling wine called Castlebrook Brut which came from one of the asparagus producers, Wye Valley which you can actually buy in selected branches of Marks & Spencer (and from their website)
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