Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The grape for sushi

Generally I don't usually think of wine when I have sushi. I much prefer a nice light crisp clean beer to cut through the wasabi and the vinegared rice. It is so difficult to pair a wine with all the flavors that are going on with sushi. I mean soy sauce, horseradish, ginger, fish, vinegar all together is bound to clash with wine. I know some people reach for a sweeter gewurztraminer or riesling and they are ok, but not great in my humble opinion. I would pair a crisp sparkling wine with sushi over a still wine any day. I am not the only one who thinks this way. There is a wine made especially for sushi and it comes from, of all places, Spain! That's right. Sushi wine from Spain. What an interesting story this is. This was introduced to America by Freixenet and it is produced in Tierra de Castilla, Spain. This is a creation of winemaker Yoko Sato who spent a year developing the perfect blend to compliment sushi. She chose a blend of grapes that bring together the crisp clean qualities that would be demanded of it. It's made from 60% airen, 30% macabeo and 10% muscat grapes. It has a lighter alcohol rolling in at around 11%. It is balanced with just a hint of sweetness to bring it off dry and it has a crisp acidity that helps cut through the spice and the oils of the fish. On my palate I found it to be quite enjoyable and yes, it did go well with sushi. It had a nose of citrus, grass and fruit that was hard to distinguish. It was crsip and light in the mouth with flavors of grapefruit and gooseberry. The muscat provided a nice lingering fruity finish. It was refreshing and clean, off dry but definitely not sweet. It actually paired very well with sushi as it was designed to do. All in all I would say if I had to pair a still wine with sushi I wouldn't think twice about reaching for a bottle of Oroya. I still prefer beer though.

No comments: