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Washington Asparagus At Home or At Ivar's

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Washington state’s fresh Asparagus season is at its peak right now; our state is also the top producer of domestic asparagus. The April-to-June fresh season means area farmers markets, grocers, and restaurants such as Ivar’s full-serves: Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Salmon House and Mukilteo Landing are filled with the bounty.

Fresh asparagus offers a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate (a prenatal staple to help prevent birth defects) and glutathione (an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant). It contains no fat, no cholesterol and is very high in fiber. Asparagus is also extremely versatile for cooking, from steaming and searing to grilling and baking, and through the years, Ivar’s has served it all. 

When it comes to pairing wine with fresh asparagus and cedar planked halibut—a popular combination this time of year—Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing recommends a Chenin Blanc whose grapes hail from the same backyard of where Washington asparagus is widely grown: the Yakima Valley.

The Lobo Hills Chenin Blanc, Roth Rock Farm, Yakima Valley, WA is “very much a food-friendly wine by winemaker design,” says Greg Covey, General Manager at Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing. “Crisp and clean flavors of lime and honey are well-balanced to cut through asparagus’ unique notes, while leaving the palate cleansed to enjoy the delicate flavors of the fresh halibut.”

At Ivar’s Salmon House, steamed asparagus graces the plate alongside Alder Grilled Wild Alaska Halibut, lightly seasoned with Himalayan pink sea salt, sauced with preserved lemon-fennel beurre blanc, and roasted garlic Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

Here, Ponzi Pinot Gris is the perfect aromatic white wine to tie together all these great flavors. In addition, harmonizing with asparagus’ grassy-green characteristics, it pairs perfectly with delicate white fish.

“Ponzi from the Willamette Valley is another of our favorite brands,” said Michelle Dobaran Deide, General Manager at Ivar’s Salmon House. “This beautiful wine with balanced acidity preserves the flaky texture of the halibut while cutting the beurre blanc sauce. The layers of fruit and spice complement the sea salt preparation on the fish.” 

Ponzi will also be featured in Ivar’s Salmon House’s upcoming annual wine dinner featuring Copper River Salmon (https://www.ivars.com/events/item/559-ponzi-dinner).

Whether enjoying fresh Washington asparagus at home or at Ivar’s full serve restaurants, don’t hesitate to pair a crisp, acidic white wine alongside this seasonal treat!