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wine with sushi?

Love sushi, not a fan of saki...ive always been weary to drink wine with sushi although i'm not sure why. Can anyone enlighten me on the subject?

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  1. Okay, let me start by saying that I am NOT very knowledgable about wine. However, we went out to sushi last weekend and they do not have their liquor license. We stopped at a reliable wine store who recommended a Riesling. The slight sweetness of the wine paired well with saltiness of the sushi. We enjoyed it immensely.

    1. Any light and non-oaked (e.g. 99% of chardonnay is oaked and heavy so avoid this) will go nicely with sushi. Try a pinot grigio, reisling (dry or off-dry, not sweet), or even sauvignon blanc. Some of the Alsacian whites like pinot blanc are very nice as well (or blends like Gentil Hugel or Alsace ONE). Some like gewertztraminer although I am not a big fan - generally find them too sweet & cloying - I like more minerally whites with fish esp with the delicate flavors of sushi.

      Also, have you ever tried cold sake? Generally much better quality (try junmai - it has a lovely gentle flavor) and IMO goes much better with sushi than the hot jet fuel stuff.

      1. One wine that I have always found complimentary to sushi is the Groth Napa Sauvignon Blanc. It is fruit-forward enough to stand up to wasabi and the salt in most shoyu/soy sauces makes it seem a touch "sweet." By itself, it isn't as crisp, tart and bracing as a New Zealand SB, but with sushi, it seems to be a great ticket. Site: http://www.grothwines.com/wines.html

        I would also look into the suggestion of an earlier poster to explore Rieslings, especially in the Kabinett range. If one is having dishes with more "heat" the fruit in most Rieslings would compliment the food.


        1. The single best thing with sushi is Asahi SuperDry beer.

          1. I agree with Steve K, beer is very good. But if not, I would say jcanncuk hit the nail on the head - minerally but nothing oaky or sweet. I would also recommend a nice Loire white like Sancerre, or even Champagne/Sparkling.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tpapa2

              My palate just can't handle any alcohol at all with sashimi or sushi. I've tried saki, or different wines and they throw my taste buds off. Usually we are eating many different fish, and we want to experience the flavors, I love the fresh taste of good sushi, or sashimi, their delicate flavors are not to be messed with at all. If I drink Sake, then all I taste is Sake. The same with a beer, so for the sushi/sashimi we prefer, just a water, Pellegrino or even plain.

              1. If you're not having sake (which I hate personally) the definitive wine for sushi is Champagne... whiner is right on!!

                1. The most intelligent list of suggestions I've encountered was posted by Bruce Gutlove on the old Wine Lovers Discussion Group. www.wineloverspage.com/cgi-bin/foodwi...

                  The problem with Gutlove's approach is the fact that most North Americans eat a mixture of the various types of sushi at a single sitting, and having four or five bottles going at the same time isn't likely to happen. My fallback one-size-fits-all wines are similar to those mentioned above: bubblies (though I'm more likely to turn to one of the crémants or better cavas than to Champagne) or a high-acid white with a touch of residual sugar (off-dry Vouvray, for example, or a German "dry" riesling).

                  1. Go with ice cold Japanese beer or sparkling wine (champagne).

                    1. I never have paired wine with sushi... mostly sake and japanese beers, which haven't been memorable.... but since I'm going to a sushi rest. this monday, i will !!

                      I must say that when I saw the question the first wine that came to my mind was riesling.

                      I can also see the posters suggestion of Champagne. ... for that matter, why not a chardonnay ?

                      Gewurztraminer I would expect is fairly good, Viognier could be great... what about a Soave Classico Superiore ??

                      All of these varietals strike me as worth trying... Muscadet maybe also...

                      It's time to do a sushi & wine tasting, obviously :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chicago Mike

                        IMO anything with oak is pretty overwhelming for something as delicate as sushi. That rules out chardonnay (well, most of them - there are a few unoaked out there) & viognier.

                      2. I think the best pairing is Champagne, but beleive it or not I also like to pair it with Burgandy, especially a Côtes de Nuits.

                        1. Yes to the burgundy- great acidity which goes nicely with suchi rice (rice which is mixed with vinegar). Rich, fatty fish like tuna or salmon will go nicely. Chanpagne a close second, but preferably one with as much pinot (i.e., not a blanc de blac) as possible

                          1. Just curious, when you say you dislike sake, do you mean that hot crap most places sell? Or do you mean the real stuff? Served cold, premium junmai ginjo, etc. Anyway sake isn't traditionally supposed to be drunk with sushi. Beer is more appropriate and traditional.

                            1. In my experience, sushi pairs easily with an array of dry and off-dry white wines. Champagne + sushi is always a winning combination--a no-brainer. Riesling and pinot gris are nice. Gruner Veltliner would also be a great choice.

                              1. Vigonier is a winner, too, a brut sparkling wine is my first choice if I feel like wine.

                                1. I have to confess: I used to hate sake, but there are a number of truly excellent ones available now: Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai-Ginjo, Daiginjo and Ginjo . . . I find that I enjoy sake now quite a bit. (Chilled -- never that hot stuff!) So whereas I used to always have beer (Asahi SuperDry is a good one), I've been enjoying sake more.

                                  That said, I second (third?) the ideas of Riesling, a Sauvignon Blanc (though I should think something from the Loire), or a crisp, lighter sparkling wine would work quite well.

                                  1. I think jcanncuk said it nicely. One other alternative is a Proseco (champagne like and alot less expensive)

                                    1. There is a grape called Kerner that is grown in the Alto Adige region of Italy. The wine made from it tastes like a superior Riesling without the residual sugar. Perfect for sushi.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: LisaC

                                        Tremendous stuff. Full of lemon and minerals. Would be versatile with any type of fish/shellfish, I believe.

                                        1. re: beef

                                          along those lines, Muscadet would make sense. I haven't tried the combination...I drink sake, only a good subtle chilled one, stay away from warm sake with sushi.

                                      2. I tend to like Burgandies with lots of minerality in them to go with the sea flavors. Chablis is great with oysters, right... and a good minerally pinot noir also works well especially if you prefer darker fish like tuna and salmon. I agree with the comment above on the bubbly to look for a champagne with more pinot over chard content. You don't need too much acid since good sushi is all about subtle flavors. Prosecco would generally be too harsh, but if you find a more subtle one, it's a good value.