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Mar 31, 2008 03:52 PM

Wine with artichokes?

Has anyone had a good wine with artichokes?

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  1. *Many* wines are good with artichokes...

    ...but you have to know how to get a good match. Artichokes contain cynarin, a substance that changes the flavor of wine and makes wine taste sweet.

    Grilling artichokes (halve them first) before eating them reduces the amount of cynarin by half. That's a good trick.

    Another is to provide a bridge to the wine, like serving the artichoke with a butter sauce, a Meyer Lemon aioli, or any aioli or flavored mayonnaise. That makes the wine pairing work.

    In that case, I like Chenin Blanc, from the very inexpensive Vouvray to more the expensive Chenin Blanc wines from the Loire region or from California. Many other whites will work as well. Even some reds, depending of course, on whatever else you're serving with the artichokes. Proceed without fear.

    P.S. There have been several other threads about artichokes on the Wine Board if you'd like to do a search. Best, M.

    5 Replies
    1. re: maria lorraine

      While I wholeheartedly support the idea of "bridges to wine" in general I most often find that whenever I suggest same I invariably get a chorus of "oh you don't need THAT"...

      When, in fact, bridges are often needed to optimize the food match to the wine.

      In this case the butter / aioli / slash mayo are all great ideas for bringing artichoke closer to the wine (and asparagus for that matter)... with these veggie bridges I personally really like sauvignon blanc and chardonnay here.

      1. re: Chicago Mike

        I guess it depends on the dish, the nature of the "bridge" (if one is needed at all), and the wine.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          FYI.... we had them with a mustard sauce and the wine I served was an Albarino. It worked well.

          1. re: eescuder

            Since I have tried to cut back on mayonnaise, I've used a nice balsamic vinegar on artichoke and asparagus. I’ve never had a wine, red or white, that I didn’t enjoy with that.

      2. I'm enjoying these responses. I never heard of the "bridge" concept before, so thanks, Maria & Mike!

        My take has always been that "wine that's good with artichokes/asparagus" is an oxymoron because of that funky naturally occurring chemical that makes the wine taste off. So my preference has always been to serve something white, dry and not too serious/expensive.