Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Spring is in full flower - I know this, because I am sneezing continually - and in addition to the burgeoning boughs and all come asparagus, snap peas, watercress, spinach, artichokes, you name it. Basically, everything’s gone green.
With that, if you’re a wine lover, there’s also the question: What wines go best with green vegetables?
In general, for richer dishes, choose more substantial wines (Rhône whites, Chardonnays, Viogniers); for lighter dishes, lighter wines (Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde and dry Rieslings are good possibilities).
There are a few specific pitfalls lurking around, too. Foods that have a bitter edge (endive, radicchio, and so on) tend to intensify the perceived bitterness of tannins in wine. In other words, avoid big, powerful reds.
Asparagus (and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli) contain sulfur compounds, again not great with red wine, tending to make it taste metallic. If you want asparagus with your Bordeaux, though, grilling the asparagus will help (or slathering it in some sort of creamy sauce).
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