Homie of the Day: Catherine of Grapes of Cath

Guess who’s back?!  It’s our favorite wine aficionado and fellow blogger, Catherine, with her latest seasonal wine selections!  We just love these creative guides that she prepares exclusively for Sister Disco.  Can you guess the inspiration for this installment??



(image via here)

I get excited about asparagus season.  For real!  Like fresh, in-season, not-supermarket asparagus.

It’s nice in risotto…  Wrapped in pancetta…  Roasted and sprinkled with parmeggiano-reggiano…  Grilled and salted and dripped with lemon juice…  Blended into a soup…or crunched on raw.

It’s a segue-into-spring veggie.  I may still be wearing tights and boots, but when I bite into some fresh asparagus, I know I have made it through the winter.

I’ve never fully understood the obsession with wine and food pairings.  Going crazy over the perfect match-up seems like a waste of energy.  Perfection is relative anyway.  I believe there is an interchangeable spectrum of wines that can go with a particular dish.  The creative journey of finding all the ways they pair up is part of the fun.   Food and wine can have many soul mates…whatever works…free love!

Drink a wine that is delicious to you along with simple food that is tasty and real.  Do so with people and spaces that make you feel good…and there you have it.

That being said, there are some exceptions, such as asparagus (and a few other vegetables like artichokes), that are notoriously finicky as far as wine match-ups go.  Drink the wrong wine and you may find a chemical, too grassy, kind of gross taste in your mouth.  Not nice.

So, in celebration of a spring that has finally come and the harvest of those awesomely weird, stringy, bitter green stalks with their pretty bushy heads, here are 8 wines to help your asparagus experience be all that it should.

1)  Frascati Superiore DOC by Principe Pallavicini.  Approx: $10


Frascati was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of wine for asparagus.  So here it is to start the list.  An ages-old blend of grapes local to the rolling hills surrounding the eternal city is the perfect suitor.  This particular blend includes Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia del Lazio, and Trebbiano Toscano.

2) Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Vigna di Gino by Fattoria San Lorenzo.  Approx $15


Verdicchio is a native grape to the region of Marche, located in Central Italy on the Adriatic coast.  Verdicchio makes a white wine rich in saline minerality and sweet yet savory grassiness.  It is a grape that can turn out a fairly complex white of medium body.

3)  Erbaluce di Caluso La Rustia by Orsolani.  Approx: $22


Erbaluce is another indigenous Italian grape.  This one being native to the Canavese Valley Piemonte, located in the northwest corner of the country.  Erbaluce makes bright whites with citrus, sunshine, and heady herbal qualities.  This one is made by a generations old producer from their version of a “roasted slope.”  Luscious.

4)  Malvasia “Emiliana” Colli Piacentini DOC by Lusenti.  Approx $22


This wine is so fun.  It is made from Malvasia di Candia Aromatica, a local clone of a grape that grows all around Central Italy.  This particular take on malvasia is a straw-like shade and a little cloudy.  It is made completely naturally and has brilliant acidity.  The texture is frizzante – perfect for cleansing the palate.  Go ahead, try something different, get crazy!

5)  Salento IGT Le Vigne Rare by Pirro Varone.  Approx: $16

Vigne Rare

If you ask anyone from Puglia, fiano minutolo is something completely unrelated to Fiano di Avellino…or any other fiano for that matter.  Whether or not this is true, this varietal expression of the fiano minutolo grape produced by Pirro Varone, an organic winery with a beautiful history, is something distinct.  Zingy, lean, and bright – the epitome of spring.

6) Vouvray Spring Sec by Vincent Careme – Approx $14


100% Chenin Blanc produced organically and aged on its lees for a bit of time. Chenin Blanc is one of the most capable little grapes and can make a wine that is luxuriously rich in body and flavor.

7)  Rias Baixas by Santiago Ruiz.  Approx $17


Here is a traditional blend of grapes native to the O Rosal sub-zone of Rias Baixas – albarino, loureiro, and treixadura.  Like licking a salty, rainy rock…in the most delicious way, of course.

8)  Sauvignon Blanc by St. Supery.  Approx $16


100% Sauvignon blanc grown and made in the good ‘ole Napa Valley.  In classic Cali fashion, this is a pleasantly bold and sun-kissed expression of a well-known variety.


Past guides from Catherine:

12 Wines to Keep You Cozy in Winter / Guide to Rosé / Guide to Bubbly

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