Spring is here so chef Kamil wants to share his favorite wines and vegetable pairings.

Spring to me is all about vegetables, mainly Asparagus and Artichokes, two of my favorites but Romanesco and Turnips I also love.
Today I will pick wines that go well with these Spring time vegetables.

Let’s take asparagus first…it is a vegetable that makes most wines taste metallic but they are few wines that stand up to it well. It is truly fun when you actually do your own trial, grilled asparagus with little bit of lemon – aioli and then open bottle of red, let’s say Cabernet Sauvignon and eat piece of asparagus followed by a sip of the Cabernet and then try the same thing but with Gruner Vetliner from Austria. You will see a huge difference in taste. You can get a decent Cabernet for under $12 like Columbia Crest from Washington state and you can get Austrian Gruner Vetliner for around the same price. It is a fun experiment and one that makes you realize that it is all about chemistry.

Anyway going back to Asparagus and wine pairing. I love Gruner Vetliner for it’s character and taste. My favorite producer of Gruner Vetliner is from Huber family, it is great wine that has both fruity notes as well as vegetable ones. It is perfect wine for green vegetables, asparagus and artichoke are best “buddies” with Vetliner. Huber is priced around $16 and you can buy it at my favorite wine store, K&L Wines on Vine street in Hollywood. If you want something less expensive then I would recommend Etz Gruner Vetliner, fresh and crisp wine that comes in one litter bottle instead of 750ml and comes with $13 price tag , now that is a great deal and you can also find it at K&L Wine store. This wine also pairs well with green veggies. Artichoke is also perfect with Gruner Vetliner. Usually I steam both vegetables and then I charred them on the grill just a bit. Aioli is perfect companion with these two veggies since the “creaminess” brings a nice balance to the acidity. I sometimes add a bit of dried chili to the aioli to get little “heat” going . Both of these vegetables will do “well” when paired with wines that are crisp and dry. I also would love for you to do another experiment, get buttery, oaky, inexpensive Chardonnay and drink it with these two vegetables, so basically you need to experiment with 3 wines…Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Gruner Vetliner and see for yourselves which one you think works best for you and which ones you prefer.
Have fun and don’t be afraid of experimenting…
Chef Kamil