The Best Wines to Drink with Spring Veggies
Now that it’s officially spring, we’re sprinting to our local farmers’ markets and scooping up all the straight-from-the-ground seasonal produce. Whether leafy (spinach, watercress) or earthy (fava beans, morel mushrooms), spring’s bounty is easily (and best) enjoyed with a wide range of wines. Here are some of our favorite pairings, featuring recently rated bottlings you can buy today.
A notoriously difficult wine partner, artichoke contains cynarin, which makes wine taste sweeter. Opt for a dry, bright Austrian Grüner Veltliner, which delivers a one-two punch of lemon zest and high acidity—the perfect match for tricky artichoke.
Super vegetal asparagus deserves wines with a decidedly grassy profile, like Vermentino, to balance out similar flavors. What you’re left with is pleasant peach, apricot and spring-like floral notes.
Dense, buttery avocado is best paired with a wine that will refresh your palate. Enter Portugal’s uber quaffable Vinho Verde, with a light hit of fizz that cuts through avocado’s richer profile.
Rich, buttery fava beans (also known as broad beans) also boast a subtle earthiness that serves as the perfect foil to Cabernet Franc’s herbaceous and softly tannic structure.
Fresh fennel’s slightly sweet, licorice and anise notes are very pronounced, but a slow-roast mellows out those flavors, adding a unique layer of complexity to play around with. With high, bright acid and green-herb notes, Spanish Verdejo is fennel-friendly, regardless of preparation.
Evoking the very flavors of the forest floor, morel mushrooms are characteristically earthy and savory. No wonder chefs go out of their way to score the meaty fungus at the beginning of spring, which is the height of its growing season. Pour a German Pinot Noir—which boasts fresh acidity alongside cherry and forest floor flavors—to amp up the mushroom’s umami qualities.
Fresh peas find their match in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Zippy, grassy and herbaceous, it’s the country’s signature grape precisely because of its tell-tale English pea aromatics and palate.
Bitter and astringent, fresh spinach makes a delightful base for a salad, but is not easily paired with wine. A citrusy vinaigrette will encourage spinach to play nice with wine, in this case, a dry, fruity rosé from the Finger Lakes. With hints of rose petal and cherry, it’s the ideal salad wine.
Yes, delicate, leafy watercress is ideal with crisp, grassy and peppery whites, but for an off-the-beaten path pairing, reach for Italian Barbera in a lighter, more playful style. Bright cherry notes and high acid dance across the tongue, accentuating the green’s peppery qualities.
- 4Fava Beans
- 6Morel Mushrooms