What Wines Pair Best With Sushi?

What Wines Pair Best With Sushi?

From delicate slices of toro to giant rolls stuffed with cream cheese and eel tempura, sushi can take on a lot of different forms. On top of that, it tends to be served with intensely flavored accompaniments like wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger. As a result, trying to pair wine with sushi can make you feel like Charlie Kelly tracking down Pepe Silvia. But it doesn’t have to. The key is to keep it simple with a few go-to styles, like the ones we’ve called out below.

The Best Wines To Drink With Sushi


For any pairing, you’re always safe choosing wine that comes from the same place as the food. Sushi is no exception. But rather than searching for sauvignon blanc from Hokkaido, just go with sake. This one from Akabu is super crisp, with refreshing saltiness that’ll remind you of coastal white wines.

Ideal Pairing: Akabu, Junmai $45

Coastal White Wines

Speaking of coastal white wines, they’re great options here as well. Specifically, look for ones with texture and saltiness, like Etna Bianco or wines from the Canary Islands.

Ideal Pairing: Coastal Whites 3-Pack $90


Chablis has high acidity and salty minerality, which makes it a great complement to raw fish. Or if you prefer a narrative to hard facts, then know that Chablis lies on an ancient seabed, and its soil is laced with millions of fossilized oyster shells. So in a way, everything on the table is from the ocean. Harmony.

Ideal Pairing: Dauvissat, Petit Chablis 2019 $85


Champagne pairs with everything, sushi included. Its acidity cuts through the richness of the fish, while its bubbles act as a palate cleanser between bites. The combination of those two factors also makes Champagne ideal with fried food, which you should keep in mind if you’re a fan of tempura.

Ideal Pairing: Laherte Frères, Extra Brut Champagne 'Les Empreintes' 2014 $95


When one person at the table orders sashimi, and someone else gets every specialty roll with “spicy” in the description, wine pairing becomes particularly dicey. Enter riesling. Its piercingly high acidity can slice through the richest cuts of fish, and its touch of sweetness can balance the kick from wasabi, ginger, or spicy mayo.

Ideal Pairing: Philip Lardot, Riesling 'der Bauer' Trocken 2019 $65


Tannins in red wine make fish taste metallic. However, that doesn’t mean red grapes are off the table. You can still go with rosé. You’ll want one that’s structured enough to balance bolder pieces of sushi, but light enough so your hamachi doesn’t just taste like strawberries and cherries.

Ideal Pairing: Clos Cibonne Tibouren, Rosé Provence 2020 $45

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