You ask: what is Belgium all about? Well, chocolate and beer! Definitely not wine. I even ignored Belgium is producing wine. But here it is – Belgian wine.
Probably not the best known wine in the world and I can assure you, not easily available either. However having friends who like their food (and wine) means that occasionally that odd bottle out will make its way to our cellar. Recently, it was this bottle of Belgian white wine – Genoels Elderen Chardonnay. The gift came with the advice (warning?): not to be drunk with anything but asparagus dishes. Perfectly aware of the Belgian folie when it comes to asparagus I nodded, and thought nothing of it.
We opened the bottle, and emerged into our first Belgian wine tasting. First impressions? The wine was a very translucent yellow, with almost greenish hints. The taste crisp and fresh, even a little bitter, like biting into a fresh asparagus (!). An explosion of fruit, and spring, with a decent finish. A hint of bubbles without being bubbly.
Of course we followed the recommendations made, and drank the wine with Asperges a la Flamande. A tasty combination (no wonder the wine won the Silver Award ‘Best Wine with Asparagus’). I am always (still) amazed at how much the right combination of wine and food can make a lasting impression.
Belgian wine doesn’t come cheap, so it will probably not figure as a constant in our cellar. However I am now curious to discover more about Belgian wine, perhaps the reds as well, and try the white/ asparagus combination again next year. For wine aficionados, worth a try just for the pure discovery and pleasant surprise of a not so common wine.