How to perfectly pair sushi with Bordeaux wines
Making your own sushi at home might sound intimidating, but the process can be simpler than you might expect. First off, you’ll need fresh fish, of course. Very fresh fish. We recommend going to a specialty seafood store or Japanese market—it’s usually wise to avoid standard supermarkets when shopping for sushi-grade fish.
You’ll also need rice, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, wasabi, and—if you like—pickled ginger. After fish, rice is the next most important element in sushi (some say it’s even more important than the fish). Start with a short-grain Japanese variety of rice such as Koshihikari and rinse thoroughly before cooking, discarding the cloudy water that will be left over before replacing entirely with fresh water.
Once your rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and carefully mix in sushi vinegar (rice vinegar seasoned with sugar and salt), trying your best not to mash the rice. Slice the fish against the grain and towards yourself with a very sharp (preferably Japanese—it makes a difference) knife, using one clean movement per slice to avoid rough edges.
The wasabi and ginger served with sushi require tight white wines, like those from Entre-Deux-Mers. Produced from Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon grapes, these wines are nervous and well-balanced, with flavors of citrus, white flowers and tropical fruits. Reasonably priced and easy to drink, Entre-Deux-Mers whites make great partners for a sushi feast, whether it’s homemade or at a Japanese restaurant.
You can also take the sting out of sushi’s spicy garnishes with the slightly sweet character of a Bordeaux Moelleux wine. These lesser-known but excellent and highly affordable off-dry white wines are made by arresting fermentation at the desired level of residual sugar and tend to be balanced and vibrantly acidic but still contain a wonderful sweetness.
Whether you end up choosing the more classic pairing of Entre-Deux-Mers or the bold choice of Bordeaux Moelleux, we hope you enjoy your sushi and Bordeaux wines!