Drink me

Hamish An­der­son

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - The Cut//food -

Ac­cord­ing to con­ven­tional food-and-wine­match­ing, two veg­eta­bles are par­tic­u­larly trou­ble­some: ar­ti­chokes and as­para­gus. Ar­ti­chokes do make most wines taste sweet. But although as­para­gus is not a great all-rounder for wine, you can avoid dis­as­ter by steer­ing clear of al­most all reds (tan­nic ones es­pe­cially) – though a light, soft pinot will work with char­grilled spears. Swerv­ing oaky whites is sound ad­vice, but with hol­landaise, some creamy oak works a treat.

For a clas­sic pair­ing, I look for high acid­ity and the grassy, fresh flavours found in the veg­etable. Sauvi­gnon blanc is a pop­u­lar choice, though go for re­straint rather than ex­u­ber­ance, such as the clas­si­cal ex­am­ples of the Old World, in par­tic­u­lar the Loire Val­ley. In Al­sace, mus­cat is poured dur­ing the as­para­gus sea­son, and it’s a lovely part­ner­ship. Italy’s crisp, herba­ceous north­ern whites do an ex­cel­lent job, and don’t ig­nore Aus­tria’s grüner velt­liner. Ries­ling is ex­cel­lent in gen­eral, but avoid off-dry styles. Let the spears take cen­tre stage with these spring­like matches.

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