Wine Pairings for Calamarata con Gamberi e Asparagi (Shrimp and Asparagus)
Asparagus can be tough to pair with wine because of its grassy flavors. So, the best tactic is to match those flavors with similar flavors in your wine. Grape varieties with herbal notes, like Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc, and wines from cool climates – which often show an herbal edge – make the best pairings. The mountainous Val d’Aosta region bordering France, where vineyards sit at 2,500 feet and higher, provides a number of fun and unusual options with herbal undertones.
In the white wine category, the hard-to-find wine called Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle (notice the name is French, not Italian), made from the local grape Prié Blanc, is perfect for this dish. If you have a wine-geeky store nearby, see if they carry the one made by Ermes Pavese. Of course, if you can find one at all, pick it up for the experience!
Among the tasty Val d’Aosta reds to look for is the Caves de Donas Donnas Rouge, a blend of Nebbiolo and Freisa, tops my list for refreshment. The wine called Chambave by La Crotta di Vegneron is another lighter red, blended from a handful of local varieties along with some Pinot Noir, that works well with this lighter pasta dish.
If not from Val d’Aosta, I hope you find some great mountain wines on your shopping trip!
Christy Canterbury, Wine Editor, Master of Wine