The yearning for Spring is so strong. After a long gray Winter, nature is finally coming back to life. The days are becoming longer and the first Spring messengers are beginning to sprout from the earth and prepare us for the warm season. Even better, it’s time for the vegetable season to make its debut – with asparagus. During its limited appearance, from April to June, the craving for all kinds of asparagus dishes accompanied by their charming companions, Austrian quality wines, is certainly very high. In order for these seasonal culinary delights to fullfil everyone’s long-awaited expectations, we recommend the brochure “Asparagus & Wine” from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.
What Counts: Harmonious Flavours
While Austria’s wine is made from 46,000 hectares of vineyards, Austrian asparagus is grown on a modest 600 hectares – which is approximately the same size as the wine region of Vienna (Wien). A similar ratio can be found in consumption. According to Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing (AMA), an Austrian eats an average of around half a kilo of asparagus in one season. Wine consumption is higher, of course – around 30 liters annually – since good wine can be enjoyed all year long. But even though asparagus and wine are so different, their flavours, when combined, unite in suchharmony, that they become an optimal pair!
Spring – Goes Right to the Stomach
Fresh asparagus spears make a juicy “squeak” when they are rubbed together and cut. If not prepared on the same day that they are picked or bought, asparagus still can last two or three days more in the refrigerator when wrapped in a damp towel. This means that nothing can prevent the preparation of an asparagus dish! The absolute favourite is asparagus cream soup. In contrast to other foam soups, this one can be matched wonderfully with wine. Elegant Zierfandler and Rotgipfler or a fruitySauvignon Blanc harmonise especially well with the delicate nutty taste of the asparagus. A lovely, uncomplicated dish is asparagus risotto, with its thick and buttery creaminess requiring a powerful wine as an accompaniment. Excellent for this areGrüner Veltliner and Wiener Gemischter Satz as well as ripe, classic matured wines from the Burgundy family, such asChardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grauburgunder. The combination of fish and asparagus, which lends a creative touch to home cooking, is well complimented with a full-bodied Riesling without any botrytis tone.
For a hearty alternative to Sunday schnitzel, there is baked asparagus, which can be combined perfectly with Austria’s typical white variety wines, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. And finally, don’t forget that there is also something sparkling for the palate. Austrian quality sparkling wines fit optimally to asparagus delights – giving that extra “pep” to appetizers – and leaving the palate wanting more, and more!
For other creative asparagus ideas to marry with Austrian wine, have a look at the “Asparagus & Wine” brochure from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.