Sauvignon blanc is one of the rare grape varietals that can complement artichokes. Known as an “unpairable” food (like asparagus and green olives), artichokes contain a compound that makes most wines taste unpleasantly sweet. Sauvignon blanc, however, has a particular, almost vegetable-like flavour that works. French versions exude a steely, mineral character with notes of dried herbs and citrus fruit, while those from New Zealand are associated with the smell and taste of cut grass and gooseberries. Both are assertive and vibrant, and they show off the distinctive flavours of artichokes. To play up the match, we stuffed the artichokes with goat cheese, as its creaminess, grassiness and naturally high acidity pair perfectly with sauvignon blanc and make the wine taste softer and fruitier. Mint, basil and lemon zest also flatter both the wine and the artichokes. A final flourish of crunchy bread crumbs makes these spring vegetables a delightful first course.
Perfect pairing: Sauvignon blanc + Lemony goat-cheese-stuffed artichokes