Are you preparing for sushi night and don’t know what wines will perfectly match your favorite sushi sets? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place!
Picking an ideal wine is essential for enhancing your dining experience and making it more memorable. While sake is known for tasting like heaven with basically every kind of sushi and sashimi pairing, many wines also highlight those pure fish flavors.
As you know, each roll is topped with different seafood and fish. Therefore, pairing it with the right-tasting wine is vital for reaching the perfect balance and getting maximum pleasure.
Read on and find that ideal bottle for your sushi night!
Try it with Nigiri
You’ve probably heard of the ‘rule’ that fish pairs well only with whites. The good news for red wine lovers: there are a few delicate reds that match perfectly with your favorite sushi sets.
A well-liked Pinot Noir is among them. Moreover, it’s considered one of the most food-friendly red wines. What’s the reason for such an honor?
First and foremost, Pinot Noir has an exceptionally delicate flavor that won’t overpower the fish and instead will complement your dish.
A light wine with fruity notes pairs particularly well with yellowtail, fatty tuna, or sea urchin.
Consider a bottle of pinot from the Willamette Valley. The wines from this region have a well-earned reputation for being elegant, light, fruity, and easy to drink.
Try it with Spicy Tuna Roll
For all spicy sushi lovers who want to reach a real “foodgasm,” Kabinett Riesling is a must-try.
Kabinett Riesling is at the top of the pairing list for a couple of reasons. First, it fits most budgets and tastes.
Also, this versatile white wine is well-known for its acidity, intense flavors, and ability to complement a great variety of foods.
An off-dry Riesling goes particularly well with rolls made with spicy mayo or chili oil. Its aroma, sweetness, and high acidity will certainly turn the dial down on chili heat, making sushi night a real adventure!
Try it with Avocado Nigiri and Philadelphia Roll
A popular and unmistakable Sauvignon Blanc is a much-loved white wine known for its “green” herbal flavors and racy acidity.
Sauvignon Blanc and sushi pairing are considered a real classic. A semi-aromatic wine with fruity-floral notes and vegetable nuances pairs especially well with vegetable-based and cheesy sushi such as Avocado Nigiri and Philadelphia Roll.
If you are a vegetarian, do not doubt that Sauvignon Blanc is the best wine for you. Its brightness and high acidity will create unforgettable taste sensations when combining the wine with your favorite veggie and cheesy sushi rolls.
Try it with Boston Roll and Hamachi Sashimi
Pinot Grigio, which showcases its lemon, pineapple, and grapefruit flavors, goes perfectly with light fish flavors.
So if you enjoy sushi dishes with light, lean cuts of fish, such as Hamachi Sashimi, go for a light-bodied white wine Pinot Grigio!
Also, it makes a perfect match with Boston Roll. The fruity and citrus flavors of the white balance the shrimp and avocado in the roll.
Try it with Shrimp Tempura Roll and Fried California Roll
What about pairing your favorite sushi with a bottle of sparkling wine? This match is undoubtedly hard to beat.
Prosecco is especially delicious with sushi dishes, particularly those with a fried component. The effervescence of the sparkling wine helps to balance out the greasiness of the fried food and harmonize the spice of sauces. Therefore Shrimp Tempura Rolls, Fried California Rolls, and sushi with fried mushrooms or fried tofu are particularly suitable.
After each bite of your beloved rolls, Prosecco’s remarkable acidity and relative simplicity will help to cleanse the palate. Sushi tastes best with an extra-dry Prosecco that also has a hint of sweetness.
So if you want to bring a feeling of fancy to a casual sushi night, find a bottle of affordable Prosecco and enjoy!
Try it with Salmon Avocado Roll and California Roll
Now it’s the turn for rosé wine lovers. Pairing rosé wine with sushi is always a no-lose choice. If we are talking about Provençal Rosé, its dryness, bright acidity, slate minerality, and strawberry notes make it an awesome pairing for sushi containing salmon, tuna, or crab.
Who could resist a mouth-watering California Roll whose ingredients like crab and creamy avocado are just begging for a light, mineral-driven rosé?
If you are not a big fan of raw fish, try pairing wine with veggie maki. Avocado rolls or crunchy rolls with cucumber and rosé wines make a perfect match.
Try it with Sweet Potato Roll and Unagi Roll
An impeccable white wine boasts plenty of complex aromas, including ginger, lychee aroma, rose petals, smoky aroma, and Ruby Red grapefruit. Due to its good freshness and moderate structure, the wine is an infallible classic when paired with sushi.
Gewürztraminer is highly versatile. Its sweetly spiced nature makes a perfect match for Sweet Potato Rolls. Also, the strong taste of Unagi Rolls begs for a wine with comparable strength. So this sushi wine pairing is definitely a must-try.
Mind avoiding high-acid soy sauce when it comes to lower-acid grapes like those in Gewürztraminer. Your taste buds will not pardon such a combination.
Try it with Dragon Roll
A dry white wine Grüner Veltliner is characterized by hallmark high acidity and a great range of flavors like white pepper, green peas, grapefruit, lime, and lemon.
A Dragon Roll goes especially well with Grüner Veltliner. Just imagine the flavor: the razor-sharp bright acidity cutting through the richness of the eel sauce and the sticky rice, and the green flavors match perfectly with the avocado and cucumber.
Try it with Shrimp Tempura Roll
One more great white wine on the list, Albariño, offers a mouth-watering blend of minerality and tropicality that matches flawlessly with seafood and spicy dishes.
A phenomenal combination of Shrimp Tempura Roll and Albariño will surely blow up your taste buds. The shrimp’s sweetness and the sauce’s acidity will weave in the dance with a refreshing citrus flavor, subtle saltiness, dry taste, and high acidity of the white wine.
If you are a fan of Western-style sushi rolls, Albariño will perfectly accompany them too.
Sushi and Wine Pairing: General Rules
Remember that it’s all about simplicity and delicate flavors when pairing sushi with wines. To reach a perfect flavor balance, stick to the following rules:
- Avoid wines that are excessively showy or full. On the contrary, choose the ones with balance and subtlety.
- Don’t pick too alcoholic wines as they could clash, especially with Wasabi. Try low-alcohol ones with citrus acidity. Such a choice is always a win-win option.
- Exclude high-tannin wines such as Chateau Montelena, Nebbiolo, or Syrah. Strong tannins can impart an unpleasant metallic flavor to the fish and also may be excessively tart for the delicate flesh of the fish.
The Bottom Line
When choosing a wine to accompany your favorite sushi rolls, it’s important to consider your preference first. Fortunately, the choice is vast whether you are a rosé, white, or red wine lover.
If you fancy hand-making or ordering spicy sushi, go for a bottle of off-dry Riesling or Prosecco to harmonize the spiciness. Light, mineral-driven rosé wines best match with cheesy sushi containing salmon, tuna, or crab.
A wine and sushi combo is a great idea for any occasion, whether it’s your cousin’s birthday or a casual summer outing. Just strike the harmony between the two, and enjoy delightful sushi wine pairings! Have you already picked your favorites?