, Gloucester, MA

January 9, 2013

Pairing asparagus's anise notes with wine

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

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Ever have difficulty selecting the perfect wine pairing for a special meal?

Kathleen Erickson, “The Wine PhD,” helps demystify the wine pairing process as our own personal wine consultant. Erickson first points out that when pairing food and wine one is “focusing on flavor, not the food.”

One of the major flavors to look for when pairing food and wine is anise. Because it can be found in many different ingredients, many different wines can easily be paired with this pleasant flavor.

For this simple dish of Asparagus with Goat Cheese with subtle hints of anise, Erickson picks out four different wines that she believes would pair well.

The first wine is a Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is made from a grape originating in France that produces a white wine that is usually described as being crisp and refreshing. Erickson says that this wine is a classic pairing for cheese so it would go beautifully with this dish.

A Riesling and Veltliner would work also, along with a Vernaccia from Italy, which is known for its anise and fennel flavors.

Once a basic understanding of flavor profiling is established, the doors of opportunity for mixing and matching wine and food are opened to many new possibilities. And remember, there isn’t always one right answer to wine pairing, “any (wine) could be your choice, depending on your mood, your tastes or your guests” (Erickson).

Asparagus with Goat Cheese

Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 2


1 pound asparagus

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ounce goat cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)


1. Wash the asparagus and trim the stems.

2. Coat asparagus is olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Place asparagus on grill and cook on high heat for a few minutes, or until tender.

4. Place the cooked asparagus on a dish and top it off with the goat cheese.

Recipe courtesy of Kathleen Erickson, 2012.