A Guide to the Best Wine for Sushi

Finding the best wine for sushi can be challenging. For one thing, sushi is a Japanese dish and wine evolved mostly in Europe. Unlike European and American dishes, sushi is evolved with grain based beverages like sake and beer. Even so that should not discourage you as there are wines which can be paired up with sushi.

2013 House of Independent Producers HIP Chardonnay

The HIP Chardonnay brings with it the aromas of apple and pear, and also has touches of custard, licorice, pineapple and banana. Available in a light straw color, the HIP chardonnay has a nice balance of viscosity and fruity sweetness, with the pear and apple providing just the right level of acidity.

Designed for immediate consumption, this Chardonnay doesn’t have any butter oak. Aside from sushi, this Chardonnay wine pairs well with pesto, roasted  vegetables, salmon and trout.

2015 Apothic California White 750mL

The Apothic California White combines the flavors of Pinot Grigio, Resling and Chardonnay, and the result is a medium body wine with multiple flavored layers. Its Pinot Grigio element gives the California White its juicy, fruity flavor reminiscent of apricot, peach and pineapple.

Its Chardonnay element gives the wine balanced, textured taste, while Resling gives the White acidity and a floral element. The wine isn’t too sweet, and has just the right combination of lightness and crispiness.

NV Miranda Lambert Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Sweet White

This wine goes especially well with sushi thanks to its flavors, a combination of honey, raisins and a touch of ripened pears. Most people like their sushi wine not too flavorful, but it you want some extra sweetness to complement the taste, then the Lambert Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The lightness of this wine makes it good not just for sushi but also light desserts, sorbets and cheese. Its unique taste also makes it the ideal pair for other Asian delicacies, glazed chicken and brunch.

2015 Black Oak California Chardonnay White Wine 750 ml

The golden straw colored Black Oak has the scent of flowers and tropical fruits, in  particular fresh peaches. Each sip of the Black Oak also gives it a smooth and silky taste that is akin to vanilla bean and baked apples. While it has a tropical flavor, the Black Oak makes for the perfect complement to shellfish, light chicken and other Japanese dishes.

2013 Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk 750 mL Wine

For a dry but fruity flavor, Fifty Shades of Grey is the right choice. Its aroma is reminiscent of pear, honey and lychee, and this is matched by its lush and mineral pear flavor. Every sip comes alive with the taste of grapefruit and just a little bit of butterscotch.

The distinct flavors of Fifty Shades of Grey make for excellent pairing with Japanese food and other Asian dishes. It also complements scallops, cream pasta, chicken and fish. Fermentation took place under 50 F and stored in stainless steel to maintain its character and flavor.

2013 Albertina Gold Medal Winner Quentin’s Reserve Pinot Grigio

Quentin’s Pinot Grigio pairs nicely with sushi owing to its distinct flavors, apple,  melon and a taste of pear. Quentin’s is also an appropriate companion when you have salads, seafood and other Asian dishes.

This Pivot Grigio should be stored below 55 F and served cold. Its aroma brings to mind orange blossoms and complements its fruity flavors nicely. The taste is also smooth and has a fresh flavor to it.

Other Types of Wine for Sushi

If you’re looking for other wines to pair with sushi, check out the following.

  • Vinho Verde: Vinho Verde means young wine, and they come in rose, white and red. For sushi however you’ll want to go with the white. Since they’re bottled at an early age, the fermentation and carbonation are perfect for sushi. Pinot Grigio is a good choice obviously as are other floral and fruity types.

Particularly nice are Vinho Verde with greenish fruit flavors as they’re delicate and won’t overpower the sushi. At the same time the carbonation is able to cut through any powerful flavors that the sushi may have, i.e. tempura butter or soy sauce.

  • Dry Rose: still or sparkling, rose is perfect for sushi and seafood in general. Another advantage of rose is the way it holds up to textured and flavored foods like sushi.

For the best combination go with a dry rose, one that doesn’t overpower the sushi but isn’t too light. You want a flavorful wine but not to the point it’s too fruity or sugary. Aside from what we mentioned above, wines from burgundy, Alsace and also pinot noir grapes are ideal.

  • Red Burgundy: red burgundy, or the red pinot noir to be specific. Red burgundy grapes are different from those produced elsewhere as it is lighter yet has more acidity. What makes red burgundy so attractive for sushi is its ability to withstand strong flavors.

Furthermore, red burgundy has an acidity that cuts through salmon, and sushi. Its style also manages to strike the right balance of flavor without being too powerful.

Other Tips to Find the Right Wine

One way is to read the wine’s product description: if you shop for these online you’re going to find the wine lists the food it goes along well with. Even if the wine doesn’t specifically say that it is for sushi, listings for Asian food will do.

You also have to consider the type of sushi you’re going to have., i.e. the spiciness. If you’re having spicy sushi, you’ll want to balance it a bit by drinking white wine like Chablis or Sauvington Blanc.  Either one will do nicely as they’re rich in flavor but won’t dilute the sushi’s taste. If you love red wine there are a lot of good choices too, and you’ll find Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon great not just for sushi but other types of seafood.

Conclusion

What all these wines have in common is they have the right balance, not too heavy and too light. With these wines you’ll savor the delicate taste of sushi and still get to enjoy its distinct flavor.

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