What's the Best Wine to Drink With Sushi?

I really, really, REALLY wish I could be at the Oreana Winery in Santa Barbara this coming Friday.

That’s when Fukiko Myazaki of Studio Nihon will be preparing delectable sushi to be paired with the fine wines of vintner Christian Garvin.

It’s a winemaker dinner that promises to be both unique and eye-opening… not to mention delicious.

I came to sushi late in life, just as I did with coffee. I didn’t take my first sip of java until I was 28 years old, and I didn’t make sushi a fairly regular part of my diet until I hit the big 5-oh.

The coffee “discovery” came on a wine trip to Washington state. I was waiting for a car ferry to haul me on the next leg on my expedition, and there was a walk-up coffee hut adjacent to the docks.

Even more significantly, there was a very attractive young lady in line at the hut, and I heard her order a “medium non-fat vanilla mocha with an extra shot.”

I had no idea what that was, but since I didn’t know anything about coffee, when it was my turn I simply said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

That was my “Sleepless in Seattle” moment, I guess.

I remember that the drink tasted pretty good, but mostly I recall feeling “buzzed” for about an hour after I’d finished it. I’d later learn it was that extra shot of espresso that was responsible for that condition.

As for sushi, I’d tried it a few times during my twenties, but never really cared for it that much. I just couldn’t get past the idea of eating any kind of fish or meat raw.

But that changed in recent years after I made several trips to Japan, where sushi is almost unavoidable in many social settings.

In some cases, I’d try something put in front of me at a restaurant, enjoy it, and only find out later that it was some type of sushi. From that point on, I decided to be more adventurous and actually order sushi… as opposed to being surprised by it.

In Japan, sushi typically is consumed either with sake or beer.

But I’m a wine drinker, and I’ve found that the best matches are Sauvignon Blanc or sparkling wine.

And while I love both, I’d really like to learn more about other matching possibilities. And that’s why I’d so like to attend the sushi-focused Oreana winemaker dinner.

But since that’s not going to happen, I’d like to ask you to share any experiences you may have had with sushi and wine. Have you tried different types of wine with sushi? Which kind of wine with which kind of sushi? What have been your impressions? Do you have a favorite pairing?

Drop me an email at bobwino@aol.com, and I’ll share some of the more interesting sushi-and-wine experiences in a future entry in the Editor’s Journal.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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