Wine pairings for O’ Vesuvio con Asparagi
Bianco: Tiefenbrunner Sauvignon Blanc Kirchleiten, Angelo Gaja Alteni di Brassica, Pojer & Sandri Traminer Aromatico, Franz Haas Traminer Aromatico
Often times it’s the simplest things in life that are the sweetest. However, the rewards for simple things can be rather demanding. Asparagus as a major ingredient in any dish is a perfect example. And, asparagus is far from sweet. Its vegetal and white pepper spice properties call for wines that echo its flavors. Unlike with many other ingredients, there’s very little chance of contrasting well with asparagus. A compliment it must be.
Minerality, herbal top notes and a faint touch of tannin are the calling cards of asparagus. You can dare a rosé or attempt a red, though you’ll be better off with the rosé given Italian red wines’ tannins. Still, every Italian wine has some tannins, even in white wines. That works out okay in white wines, especially in whites from the north as they tend to be lean and a wee bit green – perfect for this pasta.
Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing with asparagus. The wine’s character matches the vegetable’s herbal elements. Both also have very high acidity and an almost raspy green character. Additionally, the leanness of the Sauvignon Blanc helps to cut through the density of the pasta itself.
Traminer is a parent of Grüner Veltliner, another top-choice pairing for asparagus. Grüner Veltliner is grown almost exclusively in Austria, but Traminer is widely present in Alto Adige. Additionally, Gewurztraminer, an extension of Traminer in the word, is the forebear of Traminer. These wines have the lightest edge of roundness to them to take off just enough of the asparagus’ bitter herbal element to make a solid match.
Check out our recipe for O’ Vesuvio con Asparagi .
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)