April 2015 | Events, General, Recipes

Vivace Pinot Grigio meets Dutch White Asparagus


The 1st Annual White Asparagus (Asperge) Event 

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Mrs. Dienske Heijkoop, our very own Rasoul Salehi and Mr. Roger Smits of Restaurant de Hamert, Netherlands


Recently we had the pleasure of working with the Chefs from the Hostellerie de Hamert in the Netherlands (a legendary classic Dutch institution) for a special event with the Consul General of Holland in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The 2014 LaStella Vivace Pinot Grigio was selected from dozens of wines as their pairing of choice to go with the white asparagus dishes they created in Vancouver’s first annual “Confrerie del Asperge Limbourgondie”.

White Asparagus is considered a rare spring delicacy. The “white gold” or “queen of vegetables” as is often referred to is only available for a brief time in early spring. But why is this white vegetable so special? It’s grown in complete sun deprivation, by piling the dirt around the stalk until it is completely covered. This way no photosynthesis takes place as it does not see the sunlight, and the result is more delicate flavour than green asparagus.



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A few well-known folks were in attendance such as Jackie Ellis (Beaucoup Bakery & Café) and writer Sid Cross, who writes about his experience and the famous white asparagus  on his blog: The International Wine & Food Society.


Here are a few photos (courtesy of When They Find Us) and recipes from the 7-courses created with the White Asparagus. Pour yourself a glass of Vivace and read on…

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Dutch Gin marinated wild salmon with a tagliatelle of white asparagus & herbs


Basic Preparation of White Asparagus

  • Place the asparagus into a pan of cold water before you peel. The sterns will then be easier to peel.
  • Put the asparagus on a cutting board. Use a potato peeler or a special asparagus knifĂ© and peel toward the end of the stem, while holding the head. Turn the stem a little while each peeling movement.
  • Cut off the fibrous bottom ends (about 1,5 cm).
  • To enhance the final taste, put the peels and the end cutoffs into the bottom of the pan; cover them with a clean cloth.
  • Place the peeled asparagus on top of the cloth. Cover the asparagus with cold water until they are submerged. Add salt and butter, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes on a low flame.
  • Remove from heat. Put the lid on the pan and leave the asparagus in its juice for 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by feeling the bottom of the sterns with a fork for tenderness.
  • lf done, take out the asparagus with a skimmer. Place them gently into a colander with sterns down.

Remember: Treat the White Asparagus with the care it deserves, and you will enjoy all the royal dining pleasure it will give you. Bon Appetit!


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White asparagus cocktail made to celebrate the birth of prince William- Alexander: with chicken, fresh orange slices, and curry/ginger mayonnaise


Cocktail Prince Willem-Alexander

(4 portions)
300g asparagus (cooked)
2 oranges
150 grams chicken (cooked)
iceberg lettuce or mixed greens
few sprigs of chervil (parsley)

Ingredients for the Sauce

150 ml mayonnaise
½ tbsp sherry
3 tsp ginger syrup
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp whipping cream, whipped semirigid
pepper and salt


Cut the cooked asparagus into pieces of 2 inches. Cut the oranges into wedges, hold 4 wedges for the garnish. Cut the cooked chicken into cubes. Mix these ingredients lightly.
Wash and dry the lettuce. Take beautiful leaves of the crop and cover the four glass plates.
Whisk mayonnaise with sherry, ginger syrup, curry powder, half whipped cream and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the cocktail, filling in the sections.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley and a slice of orange on the rim of the glass.


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“Comme il faut” Asparagus with Butter Sauce
(Recipe serves 4)


2 kg asparagus AAI Super
25 g salt
500g cooked ham
8 eggs

Ingredients for the Sauce

100g asparagus (pieces also allowed)
½ cup cream
½ cup dry white wine or Extra dry Vermouth
½ cup asparagus water (see recipe)
100g butter
pepper – salt – cayenne
Preparation of the Sauce

Cut the asparagus from the lower ends (2 cm) and let it cook until tender. Keep 50ml of the asparagus water, mix with the cream, white wine or vermouth and the asparagus, boil and reduce to about half. Mash the asparagus with a hand blender or blender and press through a strainer. Then mix the sauce with the 100 g butter and season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Preparation of the Asparagus

Half and hour before peel the asparagus in cold running water. Peel the asparagus and cut carefully after peeling about 2 cm from the lower ends off (the peel and the remaining lower ends can be used for the sauce, see above). Put the peel and the remaining lower ends in a pan, put a towel over the peeled asparagus. Pour in plenty of water and add the salt. Bring to a boil. Let the asparagus cook for three minutes and then remove the pan from the heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes – with the lid on.

Meanwhile, cook the eggs for 8 minutes and you peel them. Check the asparagus by pricking with a fork in the lower ends to see if they are sufficiently soft.
Divide the asparagus among four plates, cut the eggs in half and place it on top of the asparagus, divide the ham over the asparagus and pour the asparagus butter sauce over it.

A boiled new potato tastes excellent with this!


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Local media personalities and sweethearts Erin Cebula & Erin Ireland along with our own Rasoul Salehi


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The Consul General’s house welcomed everyone with tulips in bloom


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Sean Salem, Proprietor of LaStella Winery appreciating the creations with a glass of Vivace Pinot Grigio


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Rasoul with Chef Tojo (local Vancouver celebrity and creator of  the California Roll). At Tojo’s Restaurant, Vivace Pinot Grigio is on the wine menu and pairs well with their sashimi.


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Chefs and Manager of Restaurant de Hamert



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Steamed white asparagus with scallops, wild mushrooms, and slow cooked pork belly “smoked bacon”


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Each dish went perfectly with the 2014 Vivace Pinot Grigio


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Dutch Gin marinated wild salmon with a tagliatelle of white asparagus & herbs


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An official swearing in, makes this the 1st annual White Asparagus Event in Vancouver


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Asperge, flown in from The Netherlands special for this event


So now all you have to do is buy a bottle, actually 2, scratch that, youy might as well grab a  case of our 2014 Vivace Pinot Grigio and see what all the fuss is about! 

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