July 26, 2023

Best Wine With Sushi

Are you a sushi lover in search of the perfect wine pairing? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the best wines to complement your favorite sushi dishes.

Whether you prefer light and crisp whites, delicate and fruity reds, sparkling wines, sake, or even rosé, we’ve got you covered.

With so many options to choose from, the possibilities are endless. So why not break free from the traditional rules and experiment with different varieties? Let your taste buds explore the exciting world of sushi and wine pairings.

From the tangy flavors of sashimi to the rich umami of soy sauce, there is a wine out there that will elevate your sushi experience to new heights. So get ready to embark on a culinary adventure and discover the perfect wine to enhance your sushi feast.

Freedom awaits!

Light and Crisp Whites

Light and Crisp Whites

You’ll love how the light and crisp whites effortlessly complement the delicate flavors of the fresh sushi, creating a tantalizing harmony of tastes on your palate. When it comes to food pairing, finding the perfect wine to enhance the flavors of your sushi can be a delightful adventure. Light and crisp white wines are often the go-to choice for sushi lovers, as they offer a refreshing and vibrant acidity that cuts through the richness of the fish and rice.

One excellent option is Sauvignon Blanc. Its zesty citrus notes and herbaceous undertones perfectly balance the subtle sweetness and umami of sushi. The bright acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc enhances the flavors of delicate fish like salmon or tuna, while also cleansing your palate between bites.

Another fantastic choice is Riesling. With its floral aromas and fruity flavors, Riesling adds a touch of sweetness that complements the natural sweetness of sushi. Its lively acidity helps to cleanse the palate and allows you to fully appreciate the intricate flavors of each bite.

If you prefer a more unique and adventurous pairing, try a Grüner Veltliner. This Austrian white wine offers a distinctive combination of citrus, white pepper, and mineral notes. Its crisp acidity and spicy undertones create an intriguing contrast with the delicate flavors of sushi, resulting in a truly memorable tasting experience.

In summary, the light and crisp whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Grüner Veltliner, are the perfect companions for sushi. Their vibrant acidity and diverse tasting notes enhance the flavors of the delicate fish and rice, creating a harmonious and tantalizing food pairing. So, go ahead and indulge in the freedom of exploring these wines with your favorite sushi dishes. Cheers!

Delicate and Fruity Reds

Delicate and Fruity Reds

Indulging in a delicate and fruity red is an exquisite way to enhance the flavors of your sushi. While typically white wines are recommended with sushi, there are some red wine pairings that can surprise and delight your taste buds.

Here are three red wine recommendations that will complement your sushi experience:

  1. Pinot Noir: This light-bodied red wine offers a perfect balance of fruity flavors and subtle earthiness. Its smooth and silky texture pairs well with delicate fish and sushi rolls, bringing out the natural sweetness of the ingredients.
  2. Gamay: Known for its vibrant red fruit flavors and refreshing acidity, Gamay is an excellent choice for sushi. Its lightness and low tannins won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the fish, allowing the nuances of the sushi to shine through.
  3. Beaujolais: Made from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais is a versatile red wine that pairs beautifully with sushi. Its bright and fruity character, along with its light and approachable style, makes it a delightful companion to the delicate flavors of sushi.

When it comes to sushi wine recommendations, these delicate and fruity reds offer a unique twist to traditional white wine choices. So, go ahead and explore the world of red wines with your next sushi feast and experience a whole new level of flavor harmony.

Cheers to freedom of choice!

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling Wines

As you embark on your sushi adventure, don’t forget to explore the effervescent charm of sparkling wines, adding a touch of bubbly elegance to your dining experience.

When it comes to pairing sparkling wines with sushi, there are a few key factors to consider. The delicate flavors and textures of sushi call for a wine that can complement and enhance these qualities.

One of the best sparkling wines for sushi is Champagne. Its crisp acidity and lively bubbles cleanse the palate, preparing it for the next bite of sushi. The toasty notes and subtle fruitiness of Champagne can beautifully complement the flavors of fresh fish and delicate rice.

Another great option is Prosecco, a light and fruity sparkling wine from Italy. Its vibrant bubbles and citrusy flavors add a refreshing contrast to the savory and umami-rich sushi.

If you prefer a slightly sweeter option, you can try a demi-sec sparkling wine. These wines have a touch of sweetness that can balance out the saltiness of soy sauce and the spiciness of wasabi. Moscato d’Asti, with its floral aromas and sweet peach flavors, is a great choice for those who enjoy a hint of sweetness in their wine.

So, as you indulge in the artistry of sushi, consider adding a bottle of sparkling wine to your dining experience. It will not only elevate the flavors of your meal but also bring a sense of celebration and joy to the table. Cheers!


Sushi and Sake

When discussing sake, it’s important to mention three key points: Junmai, Ginjo, and Daiginjo.

Junmai refers to sake made from only rice, water, yeast, and koji mold without the addition of any additional alcohol or additives.

Ginjo sake is made with a special brewing method that involves fermenting the sake at a lower temperature, resulting in a light and fruity flavor profile.

Lastly, Daiginjo is the highest grade of sake, made using highly polished rice and a longer fermentation process, resulting in a refined and complex flavor.


For a delightful sushi experience, you can’t go wrong with pairing it with a crisp and smooth Junmai sake.

Junmai is a type of sake that falls under the junmai classification, which means it is made purely from rice without any added alcohol or sugar.

This pure and traditional brewing method results in a sake that has a clean and full-bodied flavor, perfect for enhancing the flavors of sushi. When it comes to choosing the best Junmai sake brands, there are a few standouts that are known for their exceptional quality.

Some popular options include Dassai, Hakutsuru, and Hakkaisan.

These brands offer a range of Junmai sakes that vary in flavor profiles, allowing you to find the perfect match for your sushi preferences.

So, next time you indulge in sushi, elevate your experience with a glass of Junmai sake. Cheers to freedom and exquisite taste!


Ginjo sake, a premium type of sake, is known for its fragrant and fruity aroma, making it a popular choice among sake enthusiasts. When it comes to pairing ginjo with sushi, the delicate flavors of both can complement each other beautifully.

Here are some benefits of choosing ginjo and tips on how to pair it with sushi:

  • Enhanced experience: The floral and fruity notes of ginjo sake enhance the flavors of sushi, creating a delightful dining experience.
  • Balance of flavors: Ginjo’s light and smooth texture pairs well with the delicate flavors of sushi, allowing each bite to be savored.
  • Versatility: Ginjo can be paired with a variety of sushi, from light and refreshing options like sashimi to richer choices like spicy tuna rolls.
  • Cleansing the palate: The clean and crisp finish of ginjo helps cleanse the palate between sushi bites, allowing you to fully appreciate each flavor.
  • Freedom to explore: With ginjo, you have the freedom to experiment and discover your own unique sushi and sake pairings, creating a personalized culinary adventure.

So, next time you indulge in sushi, consider pairing it with a glass of ginjo sake to elevate your dining experience and enjoy the freedom of flavor exploration.


Daiginjo, a refined type of sake known for its exquisite craftsmanship and complex flavors, offers a luxurious pairing option for those seeking an elevated dining experience. Made with the highest quality rice and polished to at least 50% or more, Daiginjo embodies elegance and sophistication.

Its delicate aroma and smooth texture make it a perfect accompaniment to sushi. The brewing process of Daiginjo involves meticulous attention to detail, with the rice being fermented at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. This results in a sake that is light, fruity, and well-balanced.

When paired with sushi, the subtle sweetness and umami notes of Daiginjo complement the fresh flavors of the fish, enhancing the overall dining experience. Whether you prefer delicate sashimi or rich rolls, Daiginjo is a fantastic choice that will elevate your sushi experience to new heights.


Rose & Sushi

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of sushi with a perfectly paired rosé. This elegant wine offers a delightful contrast to the delicate and complex flavors found in sushi.

Here are three reasons why rosé is the best choice for your sushi pairing:

  1. Versatility: Rosé is an incredibly versatile wine that can complement a wide range of sushi flavors. Whether you’re enjoying a light and refreshing cucumber roll or a rich and flavorful spicy tuna roll, rosé can enhance the taste experience by adding a touch of acidity and fruitiness.
  2. Balance: The best rosé for sushi is one that strikes the perfect balance between acidity and sweetness. This balance ensures that the wine doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the fish, but rather enhances them. The crisp acidity of rosé cuts through the richness of the sushi, while the subtle sweetness provides a harmonious pairing.
  3. Refreshing and Vibrant: Sushi is known for its fresh and vibrant flavors, and rosé complements this perfectly. With its lively aromas and light-bodied nature, rosé refreshes the palate between each bite, allowing you to fully appreciate the flavors of the sushi.

When it comes to rosé pairings, finding the best rosé for sushi is key. Look for a rosé with bright acidity, notes of citrus and red berries, and a dry finish. So go ahead and embrace the freedom to explore new taste sensations by pairing sushi with a perfectly chilled glass of rosé.

Experiment with Different Varieties

Sushi & Wine

If you want to experiment with different varieties of wine, there are a few options you should definitely try.

Grüner Veltliner, a white wine from Austria, is known for its crisp acidity and flavors of green apple and white pepper.

Gewürztraminer, a fragrant white wine from Alsace, France, is characterized by its exotic aromas of lychee, rose petals, and spice.

And if you’re looking for something a little different, Torrontés, a white wine from Argentina, offers floral and citrus notes with a touch of sweetness.

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner, a crisp and aromatic white wine, pairs exquisitely with sushi. Its vibrant acidity and unique flavor profile make it an ideal choice to complement the delicate flavors of sushi. This Austrian wine is known for its citrus and green apple notes, which add a refreshing touch to each bite. Whether you prefer traditional sushi rolls or sashimi, Grüner Veltliner provides a harmonious balance that enhances the overall dining experience.

When it comes to food pairings, Grüner Veltliner offers versatility. Its acidity cuts through the richness of fatty fish like salmon or tuna, while its herbaceous character complements the flavors of seaweed and soy sauce. If you’re looking for alternative options, consider trying Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. These wines share similar characteristics with Grüner Veltliner and can also elevate your sushi experience. Remember, the best wine with sushi is ultimately a matter of personal preference, so feel free to explore and find your perfect pairing. Cheers to the freedom of choice!

Grüner VeltlinerFood Pairings
Citrus and green apple notesRich fatty fish such as salmon or tuna
Vibrant aciditySeaweed and soy sauce
Herbaceous characterTraditional sushi rolls or sashimi


If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful wine to pair with your sushi, look no further than Gewürztraminer. This aromatic white wine is known for its intense floral and spicy flavors, making it a perfect match for the delicate flavors of sushi. Gewürztraminer is a versatile wine that can complement a variety of sushi dishes, from classic rolls to sashimi.

When it comes to choosing the best Gewürztraminer for your sushi, there are a few standout brands to consider. One of the top choices is Trimbach Gewürztraminer, which hails from the Alsace region of France and offers a beautifully balanced and complex flavor profile. Another excellent option is Hugel Gewürztraminer, known for its rich, exotic aromas and vibrant acidity. Lastly, don’t overlook the German producer Joh. Jos. Prüm, whose Gewürztraminer is highly regarded for its elegance and finesse.

In summary, Gewürztraminer is an exceptional choice for pairing with sushi. These top brands are sure to enhance your dining experience.


When you’re looking for a refreshing and vibrant wine to complement your sushi, Torrontés is a fantastic choice. This aromatic white wine, originating from Argentina, pairs beautifully with a variety of sushi dishes. With its bright acidity and floral aromas, Torrontés is the perfect match for the delicate flavors of sushi.

The flavor profile of Torrontés is characterized by notes of citrus, peach, and white flowers, adding a touch of elegance to each bite. It has a medium body and a crisp finish, cleansing your palate after each sushi roll.

To help you visualize the perfect pairing, here is a table that showcases the torrontés food pairings:

Sushi RollIngredientsTorrontés Pairing
Spicy Tuna RollFresh tuna, spicy mayoTorrontés Reserva
California RollCrab, avocado, cucumberTorrontés Seco
Salmon NigiriFresh salmonTorrontés Dulce
Vegetable RollAssorted vegetablesTorrontés Espumoso

So, whether you’re indulging in a spicy tuna roll or enjoying a vegetarian sushi, Torrontés will enhance your dining experience and provide a refreshing freedom for your taste buds.

Wrapping Things Up

In conclusion, your sushi dining experience can be taken to new heights by pairing it with the perfect wine. From light and crisp whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling to delicate and fruity reds such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais, there’s a wine for every sushi preference. Sparkling wines like Champagne and Prosecco add a touch of elegance, while sake offers a traditional and refined option. For a unique twist, consider trying rosé wines that beautifully complement the vibrant flavors of sushi.

So, the next time you indulge in a sushi feast, don’t hesitate to explore the freedom of wine pairings and let your taste buds embark on an exciting culinary adventure. Cheers to discovering the perfect wine to enhance your sushi journey!

About the author 

Karina Kahale

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. After years of travel, exploration, and education, I founded Underground Wine Merchants in 2019.

Currently, I work as a sommelier at a fine dining restaurant here in Hawaii. I pursued my education at the prestigious ICE Sommelier Institute in Los Angeles, which has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to excel in my profession.

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