Sip Through the Sea This Holiday Season: Top Wines To Pair with Sushi

Want to figure out how best to mesh sushi and vineyard grapes? Explore our guide on some of the best wines to pair with sushi—it’s a match made in the sea!

Comfort food looks different for everyone. As the weather gets chillier, people pull out slow cookers, soup recipes, mashed potatoes, and even their sushi mats. If you’re a sushi comfort food person, then take your autumn comfort to another level with these wines to pair with sushi. Rather than surf and turf, make it surf and sip—you won’t regret starting off the season on the right fin.

Keep in mind that just as there are different types of wines, there are also different sushi varieties—which means these pairing ideas aren’t all-encompassing. In general, when you’re pairing, go for wines that are higher in acidity and lower in tannins and that have a more delicate flavor profile, rather than robust and overpowering. Let’s jump in!

Albariño

The best all-around winner for wine with sushi, Albariño takes the cake. It bursts with citrusy flavors and hints of green peas and blossoms—which may seem odd but fits beautifully with shrimp’s sweetness and the acidity of sushi sauces. It’s got a higher acidity than other whites, with a phenomenal (not overwhelming) bitterness to finish it off. Pair this bottle with any tempura—your taste buds will thank you.

Gewürztraminer

Another great option originates from Germany. If you can snatch a bottle of this, try it with an unagi roll… or whichever roll is your favorite, really; it works well with most. Typically, however, this wine works a little better with sushi rolls with a strong taste. The best part is if you’re a wasabi-lover, the residual sugar in Gewürztraminer bottles can quell the burn. Just be sure to pay attention to soy sauce, which won’t mix well with the low acidity of this wine.

New Zealand Pinot Noir

Of course, we have to include a red on our list of the best wines to pair with sushi. You have to be careful with this one because heavier reds will overwhelm that comforting sushi taste. Instead, pick up a bottle of a lighter, less acidic red, such as a New Zealand Pinot Noir. As we mentioned, opting for a red with tons of tannin won’t do your mouth any favors (think metallic), which is why a Pinot Noir’s low tannins and higher acidity pair beautifully with most rolls. 

Grüner Veltliner

Not German this time around—rather, an Austrian native variety that typically isn’t grown elsewhere. This bottle will bring a high acidity and flavors full of white pepper, lime, and lemon. That high acidity—while at times a bit overwhelming on its own—finds its match with rich sauce and sticky rice in something like a dragon roll. Those citrusy notes we discussed? They dance beautifully with cucumber and avocado—this is another wine that will mesh with a variety of sushi rolls.

These are just a few of the different wines that pair well with sushi. But as with most things, it’s up to your taste buds. Do a little taste testing with your bottles from Wines ’Til Sold Out and see which ones tingle and which upset your mouthfeel. Our online wine shop has everything you’d want to choose from—whether it’s for sushi pairing or any other comfort food match made in heaven. Shop our collections now!

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