Sushi consumption has increased considerably in the last twenty years, especially in Western countries, mainly in the USA and the UK. In Europe, France is the 1st sushi consumer. And since France is the country of wine, we thought it was our duty to tell you which wines to drink with your sushi! You will see that many pairings are allowed as long as you respect a few rules.
When we talk about “sushi” here, we are generally talking about all those dishes inspired by the Japanese tradition, based on sushi rice and raw fish (maki, sashimi, and sushi) that can be found in many restaurants at affordable prices. However, it is important to keep in mind that in Japan, these dishes are considered as an art and are consumed during celebrations. It is therefore a good idea to pair these exceptional dishes with a drink more noble than tap water! Usually, people eat sushi with beer, tea or sake. For those who prefer wine, here are a few tips to enjoy your dish at its best.
The sushi rice and the tannic red wine make a rather bad match. But if you really want to drink red wine, a light Pinot Noir should do the trick. On the other hand, avoid sweet soy sauce and opt instead for a slightly neutral tasting fish like tuna.
Sushi and white wines
As you may have understood, it will be more pleasant to enjoy your sushi with white wine which goes very well with sushi rice and fish. Indeed, the diversity of aromas of the white wine will respond well to the subtlety of raw fish.
- For sushi, sashimi or other makis based on white fish, you can choose a lively Chardonnay with woody notes.
- For more fatty fish such as salmon, you may prefer a dry white like a Mâcon or a Chablis.
- A plate with a variety of fishes will find a good harmony with a floral white wine like a sauvignon, or a Riesling.
- Also avoid white wines that are too sweet; they would take over the taste of sushi.
Be careful, however, with the sauces and condiments that accompany the dishes, and which are also to be taken into consideration. And don’t forget to aerate your wine to enjoy all its aromas (yes, white wine needs aeration too!).
Why not serve sushi with rosé but if rather if they’re made of salmon and/or tuna. French southwestern rosés for example may be suitable. They get along rather well with seafood so it should be okay.
Sushi and sparkling wines
This festive dish finds a beautiful echo in festive wines such as champagne. The crémant also goes perfectly with sushi. Choose a sparkling wine, not too sweet, to fully enjoy the subtlety of the dish and the drink. A blanc de blanc for example is a sure value, especially if you eat it with seafood sushi or shellfish such as scallops.
When we think sushi, we think Japan, when we think Japan, we think sake. And yet, we now understand why sushi is so popular in France and in Western countries: because it goes well with all wines!
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