Sommelier's Guide to Wine Pairing: Japanese Edition

Join us as we explore the world of food and wine through the lens of sommeliers. There are always fun and unique and wine pairings to explore within each cuisine, so we asked our Wine Advisors to let us in on their favorite pairings, dishes, and styles for each cuisine. Our second edition is Japanese! 

sushi wine pairing

what is your favorite wine pairing with Japanese cuisine?

TALI: Agedashi soup and Fino Sherry.

JORGE: I love to pair Chablis with Japanese fried rice.

AMANDA: Shoyu Ramen and Forlorn Hope "Ost Intrigen" St. Laurent - The ramen has such a heavy savory, salty, mushroom broth but then a light sweetness from the bamboo shoots and noodles- it craves something with a little ripeness but with that same earthy complexity.  The St. Laurent is a little lighter in body like a pinot but without all that bing cherry - it’s such a fun wine to pair with complicated dishes like this.

TAMARA: Bone dry riesling with hamachi sashimi. 

japanese food and wine pairing

what is your favorite style of Japanese restaurant?

TALI: Bohemian in NYC.

JORGE: Izakaya for sure.

AMANDA: Ramen Gaijin in Sebastapol.

TAMARA: Hagi, a sake bar in a basement just off of Times Square. They're open late and serve a variety of Japanese street fare, including fried octopus balls, ramen, and hamachi collar. Along with plenty of sake and Japanese beer, of course.



what is your go-to wine brand or style for Japanese food?

JORGE: Dauvissat always delivers!!!

TALI: A refreshing wine; anything light in body and high in mineral. 

AMANDA: That’s an impossible question to answer - Japanese cuisine is SO varied and complex.  You have everything from Sushi to Yakitori to Ramen - and every intensity from sweet to spicy.  I couldn’t possibly pick one, I don’t even think Champagne would work across the board in this case, too much acid, not enough base a lot of times.  Maybe a still Rose or Vin Clair - the Brick and Mortar Vin Clair is surprisingly versatile in situations like this, it has the unique ability to ebb and flow according to the needs of a dish, pretty amazing stuff.

TAMARA: Dry rieslings from Clare Valley, Australia, like Grosset Wines, are absolutely perfect with Japanese cuisine I tend to order most often - usually sushi.