People who say they don’t like sushi fall into two basic categories: 1) those who have never tried it, and 2) those who have an aversion to eating raw fish.
To those who fall into the first group, all we can say is: You don’t know what you’re missing. To those in the second camp, you get a pass from us; nobody can tell anybody else what they should and shouldn’t eat.
Because sushi comes in many flavors and nearly as many levels of spiciness, wine pairing can be a challenge unless you know exactly what you’re ordering, and stick with it throughout the meal. But that defeats the purpose of going to a sushi bar, which at least partially involves trying new things and introducing your palate to a variety of flavors, spices and textures.
So, what wine to pour with sushi? If you’re taking the (recommended) smorgasbord approach, we suggest Champagne, as it’s known in France, or sparkling wine, as it’s referred to elsewhere around the world. Sparkling wine typically is bright and refreshing, but more importantly, it lacks the kind of assertive flavors that would clash with the flavors of sushi.
One of the world’s great Champagne-and-sushi restaurants is Azuma, located in the Chifley Square of Sydney, Australia. It’s where local chefs go when they want a true sushi experience, and Azuma does not disappoint with its extensive menu. It’s highlighted by a 10-piece meal that includes tuna, salmon, salmon belly, salmon roe, prawn, scampi, scallop, oyster, eel and white fish.
The Champagne list has a couple of modest selections that come in airline-sized bottles. But we suggest skipping those and opting for a truly stylish experience with full bottles of Moet Chandon Nectar Imperial, Veuve Clicquot or Gosset Grande Reserve Brut.
Yes, sushi and Champagne can make for an expensive meal, especially in Sydney. But aren’t you worth it?