Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Raise your glass: Sushi and Wine

Published:Thursday | September 10, 2015 | 9:00 AMJason Clarke
Ian Allen/Photographer Teriyaki Chicken bento box and Oyster Bay Pinot Noir. 
Ian Allen/Photographer Marilyn monroll with Mionetto Prosseco.
Ian Allen/Photographer Dancehall Queen Roll with Woodbridge Moscato.
Ian Allen/Photographer Wine and food at Roa Restaurant in Soverign North Liguanea.
Ian Allen/Photographer Bamboo Walk and Bread and Butta Rolls with a Baron Phille de Rothchild Chardonnay. Wine and food at Roa Restaurant in Soverign North Liguanea.
Ian Allen/Photographer Marilyn Monroll paired with Minuty Rose. Wine and food at Roa Restaurant in Soverign North Liguanea.
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Sushi and wine

WINE AND sushi can be challenging to pair, particularly because of the presence of wasabi and ginger.

The secret is to choose aromatic whites that have an interesting mix of flavours ranging from dry to sweet. I recently had the pleasure to pair sushi with a bit of Jamaican flair and wines at Roe Fine Japanese Sushi and Tea House in Sovereign North.

Salmon

When pairing salmon, think pink. The Marilyn Monroll is a roll with salmon, plantain, pink sushi sheet, topped with red mesago. By itself, the plantain gives it surprising sweetness which you tend not to expect from sushi, but the combination is incredible.

A dry rose is the ideal option to really highlight the citrus nature of this dish. The Minuty Rose is extremely aromatic with a refreshing feel in your mouth. With this rose, the Marilyn Monroll really begins to be exciting in your mouth.

Bamboo Walk

Browsing the menu, I came across the Bamboo Walk - ackee and bread and butta. The combination seems particularly interesting - having typical Jamaican food in sushi. The Bamboo Walk is ackee and salmon skin in an eel sauce, while the bread and butta was breadfruit, belcore tomato chutney, cream cheese, and salmon skin wrapped with sushi rice. For rolls like this a Chardonnay is simple, yet perfect. The Baron Phillipe de Rothchild Chardonnay by itself has a medium body fruity nose with good acidity and texture. With sushi, it highlights some of the more complex flavours and the saltiness.

Most rolls with eel like the Dancehall Queen, which is eel cucumber and scallion topped with eel, is going to have an intense earthiness and spice to it, particularly when you add ginger and wasabi into the mix. One might think dry might be best, but I disagree. Something sweet to balance out the heat and earthy flavours work much better. The Woodbridge Moscato was an ideal option and was a good marriage of flavours.

Teriyaki Bento Box

Moving away from sushi, I tried the Teriyaki Bento Box. A Bento Box is a single portion serving with chicken or fish, rice and vegetables, which is ideal for a quick lunchtime bite. My ideal pairing is surprisingly not a white wine. The general rule of thumb suggests white meat like chicken or fish is to be paired with white wine. In this particular instance, a light to medium-bodied red would certainly do the trick. Oyster Bay Pinot Noir was a great pairing option with fragrant cherry and berry notes which complements the sweetness of the Teriyaki perfectly. This certainly is one of my preferred Pinot Noirs.

As our desire for new and interesting foods evolve, we should be bold to experiment as the chefs did at Roe, just to keep things interesting. Cheers to fabulous eats and great wine pairings.

n I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com.