Sushi and Wine

by greenpepper

Contrary to popular belief, sushi is not just about raw fish (that would be sashimi). It signifies anything that is placed on sushi rice. Although raw fish is commonly seen on sushi, certain regions in Japan specializes in placing other meats on sushi like bacon and even horse meat. Thus, pairing sushi and wine depends on what comes with the rice.

For light-bodied, white-fleshed fish

If you have sole fish sushi for dinner, pair it with a light white wine that has the right amount of acidity and sweetness. Examples of which are drier German wines in Kabinett and Spatlese, un-oaked Petit Chablis, Muscadet, and drier Chenin Blanc.

For richer or sweeter white-fleshed fish or shellfish

The likes of scallop sushi go well with white wine that is a little bit fuller. High-quality champagne, for instance, is a good choice, as well as Premier Cru, Grand Cru Chablis, and aged Aussie Semillon. Make sure to go for un-oaked wines since it clashes with some of the elements of sushi.

For Hikari mono sushi

For sushi that features fish with silver skin like mackerel, sardine, or young seabream, go for something herbal and assertive like a Sauvignon Blanc, Loire, or un-oaked Rias Baixas.

For red-fleshed fish

If there is tuna sushi on the table, go for a lighter red with hints of acidity but not too much on tannins. Go for New World Pinot, Cotes de Beaune reds, lighter Gamay, and Dolcetto. Never pair it with anything “too grapey” or heavy, because the fruit of the wine tends to overwhelm the fish.

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