I was fortunate enough to spend last Thursday lunchtime at Le Gavroche selecting the wines for our forthcoming Spring lunch. I took the opportunity to buttonhole the head sommelier David Galetti, who presides over a list of biblical proportions, about his personal recommendations of wines to accompany asparagus.
When English asparagus is in season, as it is now, it can’t be beaten and my personal philosophy is to enjoy it as frequently as possible so I was keen to hear David’s recommendations. His first observation was that if asparagus is properly cooked it should still have a little bit of a ‘croquant’ bite and that you must therefore select a wine that is ‘fresh’ and isn’t heavily marked with oak. Although Sauvignon Blanc is widely acknowledged as being the classic accompaniment (and they list our Pouilly Fumé ‘Les Loges’ from Dominique Guyot in bottles and halves at Le Gavroche - which would be a good match) David said that it probably wouldn’t be his first choice. He looks for a wine with ‘a hint of citrus’ and averred that it is important to have some savoury herb notes too. Pinot Blanc and dry Chenin Blanc ‘can work very well’ apparently – so I look forward to experimenting with some of those forthwith. David dis-recommended Chardonnay as a general rule “you don’t want anything too heavy, oaky or buttery” and surprised me with the revelation that his personal preference is for a Corsican Vermentino!
So what are you waiting for? Get the green spears of goodness on the stove and start experimenting with some fresh, clean Spring whites in the newly shipped 2010 vintage.