Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé #WinePW

The Flavors of Spring
Our Wine Pairing Weekend April assignment is to share our favorite flavors of spring.  At our house, this definitely means fresh asparagus and rosé. At the bottom of this post, you can link to a dozen other great ideas from my partners in our #WinePW group.


Spring Into Being
Truth be told, it isn’t spring yet in Minnesota. Winter is over, but April is always a roller coaster: a warm day then snow, sometimes all in the span of 48 hours.  Outside the grass is barely beginning to green and  our farmers markets won’t start up until mid-late May.

Not winter, but spring has not yet sprung

Not winter, but spring has not yet sprung

Rosé Season Opener
Likewise, 2014 rosé has started to appear, but just barely.  We know that spring is inevitable, and cracking our first bottle of 2014 rosé seems as hopeful as the home opener is to baseball fans.

That bright color and fresh aroma reminds us that spring will come!

That bright color and fresh aroma reminds us that spring will come!

Two Shepherds Wines
Two Shepherds is on our short list of favorite California wineries.  William Allen works to ensure his wines express their home vineyard and the vintage. I think of the wines as having one foot in their California home and one foot in their historic old world heritage. They are never overripe or over-extracted, and are perfect at the dinner table. Definitely worth a visit if you are near Santa Rosa in your wine travels! I met William on a visit two years ago, and after tasting the wines, I immediately signed up for the wine club.  We get a few of his wines in Minnesota now, but I’m sticking with the club because I have access to everything he makes.  I say “he” intentionally, as this is a very small operation and William is a one man show.

Two Shepherds Grenache rosé is intensely fruity, crisp and bone dry

Two Shepherds Grenache rosé is intensely fruity, crisp and bone dry

Two Shepherds Grenache Rosé 2014 ($24 from the winery)
Eye: Almost clear, just a hint of haze, bright, electric strawberry color.
Nose: Bright, ripe strawberries bright fruit. in the background, a hint of herbs and earth.
Mouth: Bright strawberry fruit, tart acidity, very dry. Refreshing and very nice.

Spring Flavors
At our house, the return of fresh asparagus is another favorite sign of spring, even if it isn’t local. Either celebrating or using it to wish spring into place, a dinner centered around rosé and asparagus is perfect.

Freshly roasted asparagus, ready to go!

Freshly roasted asparagus, ready to go!

Fresh Asparagus on Toast with Two Shepherds Grenache Rosé 
By itself, freshly cooked asparagus on toast would be a nice starter, but may fall a bit short as a meal.  Adding a poached egg and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese adds enough body to make this a very nice light dinner, also reminding us of the warm weather ahead. Finally, this makes a lovely Meatless Monday meal if your definition of meatless allows eggs and cheese.


For the wine pairing, a bright crisp rosé is just right. Plenty of bright flavor and acidity, but not so much that it overpowers the food. When asparagus is the main flavor to match, I often reach for rosé and find it pairs beautifully.  Actually, as the weather warms, I reach for rosé a lot!


More Spring Pairing Ideas
Looking for more ideas for your spring table? Here’s another dozen, to go!
Join our monthly Wine Pairing Weekend chat by following #WinePW on Twitter this Saturday, April 11 from 10-11 CDT. We’d love to hear from you!

Spring Pea Risotto with Picpoul de Pinet by Curious Cuisiniere

Spring-Kissed Seafood Chowder with Pelerin 2011 Les Tournesols by Cooking Adventures with Camilla

Wine and Dine: Las Lilas Vinho Verde 2013 and Chilled Cucumber with Mint Soup by Grape Experiences.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Spring Peas and Westrey Pinot Noir by Pull That Cork

Red Wine with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Cooking Chat

Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé by Food Wine Click

Leap into Spring with Pasta Primavera by Vino Travels

Spring Fling with Greek Pizza and Wine by Confessions of a Culinary Diva

Spring Flavors with Hungarian Pinot Grigio by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Welcoming Spring with #WinePW by Rockin Red Blog

Winter’s Hill Pinot Blanc and Warm Arugula, Bacon and Asparagus Salad by Tasting Pour

Roasted Halibut with Potatoes and Lemon and a Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas by Enofylz Wine Blog

Beets and Wine Pairing by Girls Gotta Drink

Fresh Asparagus on Toast

This is my favorite kind of recipe, flexible, easy ingredients, quick to put together. Serves 2 for a light dinner, 4 as a 1st course. Serve with a crisp, dry rosé.


  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
  • 4 slices of really good, crusty bread
  • 1 lemon, sliced crosswise very thinly
  • 4 pieces of lettuce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Pre-heat oven to 425° F
  • Fill a frying pan with water, add 1 Tbsp white vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a high simmer, but not boiling
  • Prep fresh asparagus, breaking the bottom of the stems off by bending
  • On a sheet pan, lay a piece of parchment paper, layer the lemons on the bottom and lay the asparagus on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast the bread
  • Put the asparagus in the oven, 5 minutes for small stalks, or more depending on how big the asparagus is.
  • While the asparagus is roasting, crack an egg and place in a small teacup, gently pour it into the simmering water. Repeat. Poach for 3 minutes for a warm runny yolk, up to 4 minutes for a firmer yolk. Note the egg will continue to cook after you remove it from the water.
  • Plate the toast, top with lettuce, lemon, asparagus and finally the egg. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Shave Parmigiano-Reggiano on top, and serve.


18 Responses to “Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé #WinePW”
  1. What a beautiful brunch pairing. Great choices on vegetable and wine.

  2. This would make for a wonderful brunch dish and pairing!

  3. A nice and light dish. I’m a fan of rose and the grenache probably makes it a little heavier than some with nice ripe fruit, correct?

  4. culinarycam says:

    This is gorgeous! What a great idea.

  5. Looks like a great pairing Jeff. I dig what William is doing at 2 Shepherds.. you described it well one foot in the Old World and one food in the New. I’ll have to see if I can get a bottle or two…the 2014 looks like it’s darker than the 13 Still Grenache Gris?

    • Martin, don’t wait too long, I think the Two Shepherds rosé is going fast. Yes, it’s really an intense red and quite a bit darker than last years’ Grenache Gris.

  6. Have not tried Two Shepherds. Maybe they should be on MY short list too!

  7. Sounds wonderful. It’s always rose’ season in Palm Springs. I love roses’ and we drink them 9 months out of the year – I’ll have to look for this one. We have the issue of it not being summer, but our temps have already been in the low 100’s and pretty much are in the 90’s this month.

    • Christy, I do like 4 seasons, but every once in a while, the dry heat of Palm Springs sounds really good. The only problem with 4 seasons of rosé is that it doesn’t leave lots of time for big reds. We have plenty of time for them in Minnesota!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé by Food Wine Click […]

  2. […] Peas and Westrey Pinot Noir by Pull That Cork Red Wine with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Cooking Chat Spring Hopes: Asparagus and Rosé by Food Wine Click Leap into Spring with Pasta Primavera by Vino Travels Spring Fling with Greek […]

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