The spring vegetable, ASPARAGUS with wine in three preparations

The beautiful Magnolia tree was the first to bloom and the other blossoms are also gradually emerging. Let that be the starting shot of one of my favorite seasons, spring… This season provides so many tasty and fresh ingredients on the plate and they cannot do without the best matching wine in combination. Every year we wait impatiently for the first Belgian white asparagus to hit the market. In my enthusiasm for this top vegetable, I dedicate an entire blog post to the combination of asparagus and wine.

An asparagus is a very pure and fine vegetable that I prefer to get on my plate in all purity and then also approach it in the glass. Depending on the preparation and what is served with it, the choice of wine can be adjusted. Due to its delicate, fresh-bitter and vegetal taste, not every wine can cope with it, but that makes it very interesting. Below I have selected three of my favorite dishes with asparagus and I have added two wines that I think are a 'match made in heaven'.

Health & tasty,

Dries Corneille

Fresh spring salad with asparagus tips, cooked ham and soft-boiled egg

A fresh salad that I often make at home in the spring, super simple, quickly prepared and with top ingredients.

Tips for the salad:

- Use a good cooked ham for the salad: e.g. Brasvar ham from Nevele;
- Arrange the soft-boiled eggs lukewarm in the salad;
- Cook the asparagus for this salad al dente, so they are wonderfully crunchy in the salad.

Marc Josten riesling Schiefer - Mittelrhein - Germany

This very tight and fresh riesling from Marc Josten does very well with this dish. Due to its lightness and crisp, juicy acidity, the combination is made beautiful with the bitterness of the asparagus and the salty accent of the cooked ham. In terms of aroma, this Riesling gives a lush bouquet, even slightly floral, which goes well with the fat of the - still running - egg yolk.

Marc Josten is one of our younger producers, but certainly no less talented. Marc has an incredible perseverance to get even better quality from his vineyards in the Ahr and Mittelrhein every year and this in the purest possible way. For lovers of great riesling, be sure to try his riesling Grosse Lage 'Forstberg'.

 Serving suggestion: Serve this wine from a carafe, especially in its youth, this wine has so much to offer and does not always show it immediately. A little oxygen can do wonders!

The classic of all classics – asparagus à la Flamande

Never change a winning horse… a delicious combination with the fresh-bitter of the asparagus against the savory-fatty of the best farm butter and eggs.

Korta Katarina posip - Orebic - Croatia

Asparagus à la Flamande is in itself a hearty and concentrated preparation, apart from the fresh bitterness of the asparagus, it is a dish with strength and complexity. The butter and eggs make it rich and bold, the white pepper and nutmeg add complexity and length on the palate. In contrast to this dish, I think this wine is a real discovery, on one of the islands off the Dalmatian Coast, the Korta Katarina domain is located on the island of Peljesac. Posip is their white wine, which tastes remarkably elegant for such a warm climate zone. In the nose you are spoiled with ripe stone fruits and fresh walnut, wood aging is not involved here. In the mouth, the wine starts very fresh and tight in acidity, but then very mouth-filling, rich and long in the aftertaste. A small and pleasant bitterness makes the nod to the asparagus while the complexity lingers for a long time and manages to tame the rich 'Flamande' with the eggs and butter. Enjoy this wine in a wide wine glass!

Raymond Usseglio 'Les Claux' – Côtes du Rhône Blanc – France

As a more classic counterpart to the 'asparagus à la Flamande' I go to the Rhône valley in the South of France. We are at the historic and also biodynamic domain 'Raymond Usseglio'. The white cuvée 'Les Claux' is a typical white blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne. In the nose this wine shows ripe white peach and fresh blossoms, even a discreet nutmeg accent already makes the link in the nose with the nutmeg in my favorite asparagus dish. In the mouth, this wine is mouth-filling, warm, soft and very intense, which proudly offers resistance to the rich sauce with eggs and butter. Although it is surprising how this wine with its fine acids finishes everything in elegance and freshness and winks at the purity of the asparagus. Serve this wine at 10°C and let it warm up in the glass while eating to release all the fine aromas. SANTE!

Baked asparagus with rye wing and beurre noisette

I think rye wing is a delicious fish and ideal if you don't like to find bones in the fish. You can't help but score this fish, together with the rich 'beurre noisette', the asparagus and a delicious glass of wine! With this style of dishes I go for two powerful and rich white wines with wood aging, these wines taste intense and are very complex to support this powerful preparation.

Serving tip: Pour these wines from a carafe to give some extra oxygen, so the wine has the chance to show what it has to offer. Too few white wines are decanted, while there are many wines that really benefit from it.

Crystallum 'The Agnes' chardonnay - Hemel-en-Aarde - South Africa

For this dish I resolutely opt for Burgundian allures from South Africa, the Crystallum domain proves with their small productions in pinot noir and chardonnay that South Africa can produce particularly fine and balanced wines.

The name 'The Agnes' comes from the great-grandmother of the two brothers Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson. Agnes was a rather characteristic person who has been through a lot in her life, including the trip to South Africa at the age of 14. In the Western Cape she was known as the literally and figuratively sturdy lady who was the first woman to have her driving license in Cape Town… this powerful and broad-shouldered cuvée is a blend from different vineyards and therefore shows a lot of variety in aromas and taste, in honor of ' Agnes'.

This chardonnay shows itself to be very discreet and elegant, no 'overpowering' due to too strong wood aging or battonnage, which makes it extremely suitable for this preparation with rye wing and asparagus.

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