When ordering sushi the inevitable question of “What do I drink with it?” comes up. The traditional pairings would be tea, inexpensive plum wine, sake, or even beer. But the beauty of pairing wine and food is that when you combine things just right, you can discover exciting combinations that actually enhance the flavours of both the food and the wine in a way nothing else can.
The key to most wine and sushi pairings is to choose a wine with simple and delicate flavours that won't overpower or compete. We recommend staying away from wines that are oaky or too full-bodied, and typically you'll want a white wine that's lighter, balanced, and with subtle citrus flavours. And since sushi is designed to be enjoyed in one bite, it doesn’t make much sense to order a different glass every time you have a different flavour of sushi (but hey if gettin smashed while eating sushi is your thing - more power to you!). Here is our short guide with a few different sushi pairing tips to get you started!
W I N E . P A I R I N G
Here are a few suggestions on pairing wine with different types of sushi:
Sashimi: With delicate and lighter fish dishes such as scallops or Yellowfin, that are served in the traditional raw Sashimi style, you'll want to pair with dry, acidic and mineral white wines such as this unoaked Urban Chardonnay from WineMood Wines.
Spicy Tuna Roll: The combination of German Riesling and the spicy flavours are particularly cool for the taste buds. The interplay of sweetness and acidity in Riesling and the unique, algae-fishy sushi taste compliment each other incredibly well. Additionally, it's widely known that sugar compliments heat and sushi rolls are no exception. So, aromatic wine with some sweetness, such as our Riesling Spätlese "Spätsommerliebe" from Lebenshilfe would be a great match!
Unagi Roll: Unagi, or freshwater eel, is similar in texture to chicken and can have a caramelized and smoky flavour. It's a strong taste so you'll want a wine with comparable strength. For white wines, we'd suggest something like our PIW - Hörner - Gewürztraminer Spätlese from our Partner in Wine line. Unagi is also one of the few times in sushi pairing that a red wine with mellow tannins would work. This PIW - Schwedhelm - Pinot Noir, also from our Partner in Wine line, is a good choice that wouldn't be too overpowering.
Restaurant Ordering Tip: If you are going to an authentic Japanese restaurant, we'd suggest ordering your dishes in groups based on ingredients and chose wines to go with the different groupings.
And finally, if you're looking for a wine to take you through the whole meal we'd recommend something with more pairing potential like Champagne, or an off-dry riesling. Head to our Food & Wine Page to see even more pairing suggestions and find the right wine to go with any type of dish!