Food Pairing and Japanese Food

by Michael

Vinodiversity reader Michael asks:

What are some good wines to drink with Japanese food?

Darby Says

There are a wide range of foods in Japanese cuisine so I can only give a brief answer here.

For national and regional cuisines it is sometimes best to do what the locals do, in this case drink tea or sake, but if you do want to drink wine - and why not - here are a couple of suggestions.

Sushi, sashimi and seafood based dishes of course call for white wines. But you need to consider the sauce or condiments such as wasabi which may become the dominant flavour. I would suggest an aromatic riesling, or a Gewurztraminer.

With tempura you might use a fuller bodied white wine such as viognier or perhaps a lighter red.

Grilled poultry, chicken yakatori and similar dishes can also be partnered with a fuller style white wine or a light red wine

For a rich and spicy meat dish like beef teriyaki you might consider a light to medium bodied red wine but again be aware that the spiciness may become the dominant flavour. Try a fruity wine variety, like Gamay or Tempranillo which may be better than trying to overwhelm the spiciness with a big oaky shiraz.

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