Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Pairing Wine With Sushi

with No Comments

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 served raw or cooked. Depending on the ingredients and sauces used, they can be prepared in a variety of ways. Due to its delicate nature, pairing it with wine might be tricky. Sushi enthusiasts may suggest rice wine or beer. However, we can always experiment by trying other wines. We’re here to guide you in finding the perfect wine to combine with sushi, whether you’re dining at home or in a restaurant.

Best Red Wine to Pair with Sushi

When selecting a red wine to accompany sushi, it’s crucial to consider the type of sushi you’re enjoying. For lighter, more delicate fish such as salmon or tuna, opt for a light red wine with low tannins and good acidity, like a Pinot Noir or a Beaujolais. These wines won’t overpower the delicate fish flavors and will complement them beautifully.

For sushi with stronger, more pronounced flavors like eel or spicy tuna rolls, you can venture into medium-bodied red wines, such as a Merlot or a Shiraz. Chilled or slightly chilled red wines can work exceptionally well with sushi, enhancing the experience. Ultimately, the key to a successful pairing is balance; the wine should enhance the sushi’s flavors without dominating them, creating a wonderful dining experience that pleases the palate.

Experimentation and personal preferences play a significant role in finding the perfect red wine to pair with your favorite sushi. It’s worth noting that adding soy sauce and wasabi to your sushi is not suggested because they’ll overpower the wine.

Best White Wine to Pair with Sushi

The choice of white wine largely depends on the specific type of sushi you’re indulging in. For lighter, milder fish like flounder or snapper, opt for a crisp and unoaked white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Albariño. These wines bring out the subtle nuances of the fish without overpowering them.

On the other hand, for sushi with more intense and creamy flavors, like rolls with avocado or spicy mayo, consider a Chardonnay. Its fuller body and slight oak influence can complement the richness of the dish. Serve the white wine well-chilled to enhance its refreshing quality and to act as a palate cleanser between bites.

Ultimately, the goal is to balance the wine with the sushi’s components, creating a complementary and enjoyable experience. Here are some of our favorite white wines to drink with sushi.

Riesling – is a great sweet wine to pair with spicy sushi because it balances out the heat.

Prosecco – is an excellent wine to match with chopped scallop roll because it’s fruity and slightly sweet.

Sauvignon Blanc – deep-fried sushi pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc to balance out the flavor.

Grüner Veltliner – this wine is ideal with sushi rolls that have eel or crab because it masks the fatty taste of the fish.

Albariño – tempura and Albariño are a great match since the high-acid wine balances out the sweetness of the shrimp.

Pairing Wine With Different Sushi Types

California Roll The California roll, which is famous for its avocado, cucumber, and crab filling, pairs well with Rosé and Grüner Veltliner.
Crab roll Pairing sweet crab with Grüner Veltliner is a wonderful combination.
Nigiri Nigiri is a raw fish wrap with wasabi on top. The flavor of Nigiri is enhanced with Pinot Noir.
Philadelphia Roll Cream cheese, salmon, and cucumber are served on a Philadelphia roll. The best wine to pair with this sushi is Viognier.
Rainbow Roll Sushi with avocado, cucumber, crab stick, and tuna, known as a rainbow roll, is ideally eaten with Prosecco.
Sashimi Sashimi is served with raw fish and excellent with Muscadet and Pinot Noir.
Spicy Tuna Roll Dry Riesling will bring out the full flavor of the meaty fish in this spicy tuna roll.
Tempura It is a traditional favorite seafood dish that pairs well with Gruner Veltliner and Albariño.
Uni Uni, or sea urchin, is a delicious, fresh seafood that can be found on the ocean’s rocks. It has a sticky texture and a rich umami flavor. This dish is best enjoyed with a glass of champagne.
Veggie Roll The veggie roll is the one to order if you’re looking for plant-based sushi. Cucumber, avocado, and asparagus make up this sushi. Choose Sauvignon Blanc to bring out the freshness of the vegetables.

Pairing Sake With Sushi

If you want an authentic Japanese pairing, consider enjoying sake with your sushi. Sake, a Japanese rice wine, can be an excellent complement to various types of sushi, enhancing the overall experience.

When enjoying sushi, particularly traditional nigiri and sashimi, sake can enhance the dining experience. Opt for a good quality, cold sake (rather than warm) to complement the fresh and delicate flavors of the fish. Sake’s clean, slightly sweet, and umami-rich profile marries well with the clean taste of raw fish. The temperature matters, so make sure the sake is chilled to around 50-55°F (10-13°C). It’s a pairing that celebrates Japanese culinary traditions and showcases the depth and versatility of sake when paired with sushi.