That massive health scare earlier this year taught me a few things: First, I’m not getting any younger. My body is beginning to fail in catching up with people significantly younger than I am.
Second (and in relation to the first lesson), I have to start taking better care of my body. I can’t process the same amount of junk than I used to ten years ago, and being sick was a huge wake up call to start being more mindful of what I eat.
So, confession: My name is Gail, I’m not indestructible, and I’ve decided to start eating better.
Anyway, after a trip to the nutritionist (who gave me a pretty cool meal plan that takes into consideration my having to work with alcohol), one of the things that became mandatory is the increase in eating vegetables.
For me, it’s not a huge stretch… I love vegetables, and I’m one of those weird freaks that actually grew to love bitter gourd (our yaya makes a mean stewed vegetable dish choc full of this), plain celery sticks, and asparagus.
The thing about asparagus is, I couldn’t find the kind that I like… I mean, I’m okay with eating the dinky green ones normally plated to seem like an afterthought in a lot of dishes in fancy restaurants, but my palate – nay, my soul – is looking for great asparagus that I can really enjoy (and order off a menu).
Enter Brotzeit, home of all gastronomic things German, including beer, some of the best Oktoberfest parties, sausage platters, and pretty recently, proper white asparagus imported all the way from Germany.
Now, I’m not a food writer, and I don’t claim to specialise in food… All I know is that the way the dudes from Brotzeit prepared their asparagus dishes, with an authentic homage to Spargelzeit (“asparagus time” or the season when asparagus is in abundance, which runs from April to 24 June), was absolutely delectable. They have menu items ranging from just the vegetables to an Asparagus Platter (which requires an army of foodies to finish, IMHO), all featuring some of the freshest spargel I’ve ever had in my life.
The beverage geek in me wondered, however: What would pair well with white asparagus?
According to research*, here are the top wines that pair well with the vegetable:
- Chablis – A typically unoaked, generally crisp white wine made with Chardonnay grapes, this Burgundy white is especially good when the asparagus is served with hollandaise.
- Chardonnay – When strapped for cash, an unoaked Chardonnay (preferably from a cool climate region) could also do the trick.
- Grüner Veltliner – Famous in Austria, this white wine (famed for being generally “food friendly”) is typically peppery and fresh with minimal aromas.
- Dry Muscat (especially from Alsace) – The biggest misconception of Muscat is that it’s a sweet wine. There are many styles of Muscat in terms of sweetness, and the dry (and incredibly aromatic) ones are pretty common in Alsace.
- Well-chilled Pouilly-Fumé – Pouilly-Fumé is a region in France famous for making a steely, mineral style of Sauvignon Blanc (and has gained notoriety as Christian Grey’s favourite wine).
- Dry Riesling (preferably from Alsace) – No matter the sweetness of Riesling (in this case, it’s a dry style), it will give off characteristics of freshly opened tennis ball cans and white flowers on the nose.
- Sauvignon Blanc (especially from New Zealand) – Completely deviating from the Pouilly-Fumé style, the New Zealand version is typically reminiscent of freshly cut grass and gooseberries.
Of course, Brotzeit is famous for having some of the best German beer selection in town… Would beer pair well with asparagus? Yes, but I highly recommend going for wheat beer for the best asparagus and beer pairing. The Paulaner Weißbier I had wasn’t too bad, either.
Those who want to try this healthy alternative to bar chow (asparagus is apparently full of fibre and vitamins, aids in digestion, lowers blood pressure, and aids in weight loss) can go to the nearest Brotzeit branch. Details below. Prost!
Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
GF6 Ground Floor Shangri-La at The Fort
30th corner 5th Avenue, Taguig
PS: For those who want to take baby steps in introducing asparagus in their diet, there’s always the Deconstructed Lemon Cheese Tart, which comes with white asparagus ribbons (had to say it, it was too yummy not to talk about)
*Source: What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page