Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Japanese cuisine is an exciting blend of both traditional staples and modern influences. Whatever the dish, the focus tends to be on fresh, seasonal ingredients and clean flavors. A typical Japanese meal consists of rice or noodles, soup, fresh vegetables and protein, which is often seafood. When deciding what to drink with a Japanese meal, sake is probably the first thing that comes to mind, and understandably so. Sake originated in Japan and one can usually find an extensive Sake menu in any Japanese or sushi restaurant. But Sake isn’t the only option when it comes to Japanese cuisine. Wine can make an exceptional pairing to elevate your dining experience. We have some recommendations for you to try with your next Japanese meal.

Best Red Wine With Japanese Food

As a whole, red wines are not going to be your best choice. However, if red is your preference, you should select a soft, low-tannin red.
  • Barbera: juicy, light, with notes of strawberry and sour cherry.
  • Pinot Noir: always a popular choice; light on body, high on aromatics.
  • Beaujolais: also known as Gamay, light, fruity and low tannins.

Best White Wine With Japanese Food

Crisp, acidic whites will make excellent pairings with many Japanese dishes.
  • Riesling: Light, sweet, crisp, and highly acidic. Known for being food-friendly.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: highly acidic, fruity, dry white with herb tones.
  • Rosé: bright acidity with strong berry flavor.
  • Grüner Veltliner: Light, citrus-focused flavors of lime, lemon and grapefruit.
  • Champagne: Bubbly, floral, and fruity with notes of citrus, peach, or cherry.

Pairing Wine With Various Japanese Dishes

Pairing Wine With Onigiri

These balls of rice wrapped in seaweed paper can have many fillings, but your best for wine pairings will be a Brut Champagne or any dry sparkling white wine.

Pairing Wine With Yakitori

A crisp, grassy Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect complement to these char-grilled chicken skewers.

Pairing Wine With Sukiyaki

This dish of slow-cooked fatty beef, vegetables and noodles will go nicely with a Pinot Noir.

Pairing Wine With Sushi

The types of sushi are abundant, but some good all-around pairings would be high-acid whites, like Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. You will want to avoid fruity, high-tannin reds as these will overpower the fish and anything high in alcohol will exacerbate the heat in spicy sushi rolls or wasabi.

Pairing Wine With Sashimi

You’ll want to take care to not overpower the delicate flavors of the fish. Albariño or a Pinot Grigio will fit the bill nicely.

Pairing Wine With Beef Teppanyaki

This is a rare time when a bold red will be your best selection. We recommend Bordeaux.

Pairing Wine With Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is a deep-fried pork cutlet. The acidity of a Grüner Veltliner or an off-dry Riesling will cut through the fat. You could also choose a Rioja, if you prefer reds.

Pairing Wine With Karaage

Karaage refers to any protein deep fried in oil. Similar to Tonkatsu, a high-acid white like Grüner Veltliner or Albariño will complement most karaage dishes.

Pairing Wine With Oden

Oden is a fish cake stew in a light, dashi broth. Red or white, a wine low in tannins and higher in acidity will pair nicely. Try Grüner Veltliner or a Rioja.

Pairing Wine With Miso Soup

Miso is relatively salty, so a light, slightly sweet white, like Sauvignon Blanc or Sauternes, will pair nicely.

Pairing Wine With Ramen, Yakisoba, or Udon

Pinot Noir or Beaujolais are perfect complements to these popular, noodle-based soups.
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Pairing Wine With Ramen
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Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish consisting of a Chinese- style broth, usually chicken or pork broth, with super umami flavors of soy sauce and miso; garnished with toppings such as sliced pork, nori (seaweed), scallions and a boiled egg … Read More

Sushi Wine Pairing
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Sushi is the dish to have if you’re looking for something new. The nice part is that it goes well with wine. Sushi is rolled rice wrapped in seaweed and mixed with vinegar. The seafood inside the roll can be … Read More