Wine expert Britta Wiegelmann’s monthly recommendation. Today: Franck Giovannini’s green asparagus royale – paired with sparkling perry.

Rosé is normally a fail-safe accompaniment to green asparagus. But there are exceptions to every rule. Such as Franck Giovannini’s green asparagus royale – a dish rich in cream and egg. Bubbles – champagne in particular – are the answer. (Champagne is always the answer.) But today I want to suggest a quirky variation on this theme: perry, a sparkling beverage that is made from pears in much the same way that cider is made from apples. Perry and asparagus royale make a surprisingly great combination. Eric Bordelet is a master of his craft in Normandy who has catapulted perry (or poiré) to unprecedented levels of quality, while Cidrerie du Vulcain in the canton of Fribourg is one of a number of producers that are currently reviving the perry-making tradition in Switzerland. A good perry is bottle-fermented like champagne – with an aromatic nose, delicate sweetness, a fine mousse, crystal-clear acidity, and less than five per cent alcohol. It will dance on the palate, cleansing it after every spoonful of royale that enters your mouth.

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