wine education

A pairing guide for Japanese food and wine

A wine pairing guide for Japanese food

Whether you’re dining at a fine restaurant in Tokyo or attempting your first sashimi at home, matching the right wine with your Japanese feast can be surprisingly simple.

We’ve compiled a few basic rules for creating perfect harmony throughout your Japanese menu.

1White Sashimi = White wine

Sashimi is well-loved across the globe – for its simplicity, purity, flavour and art-form. The delicate flavours of white-fish sashimi, such as kingfish, can be complemented with the soft acidity of a white wine. Try a Riesling, Pinot Grigio or white blend.

2Red Sashimi = Red wine

Red-fish sashimi, particularly tuna, harmonises to perfection with red wines displaying characters of vibrant fruit and savoury aromas. Pinot Noir, Rose or a red blend are good options. Grenache-dominant blends or lighter European reds, such as a Valpollicella or Barbera, also work a treat.

3Soy Sauce = White wine

Soy sauce is a staple throughout Asia, with consistencies that vary from country to country. Typically, Japanese soy sauce is lighter and thinner, making it an ideal accompaniment for subtler dishes paired with a good white wine. Opt for a Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling wine (white or Rose) or Pinot Gris.

4Chicken Yakitori = White wine

Yakitori is a popular Japanese dish dating back centuries, and is an ideal appetiser. Traditionally, the chicken skewers are marinated in shio or tare sauce (a mixture of sake, soy sauce and sugar) and then grilled or barbecued. They’re particularly moreish when coupled with a lightly oaked Chardonnay or a white blend.

5Wagyu Beef = Red wine

Wagyu, the ‘beef of Japan’, is famed for its high marbling, full flavour and tenderness. It’s the royalty of red meat, and as such, needs a dignified wine partner. Choose a robust Pinot Noir, a lightly oaked Shiraz, blends with Grenache, or Tempranillo straight or blended wines. The St Hugo GSM is an ideal companion.

Of course, a perfect pairing enhances your culinary experience. If you’d prefer to leave the match-making to the experts, you’ll love our new wines created to be enjoyed with Japanese fare.

Introducing Jacob’s Creek WAH

Jacob’s Creek has expanded its range for the Japanese market with the launch of WAH White and Red to match Japanese cuisine.

Jacob’s Creek わ (WAH) White was co-created with leading 4th generation Japanese sushi chef and owner of 120-year-old sushi restaurant ‘Ginza Sushi Kou’, Mamoru Sugiyama.

The wine is generously flavoured with a combination of sweet melon, nectarine and fresh Nashi pear fruits which are framed with a lovely soft acidity and creamy textural but savoury finish.

Serve with white-fish sashimi, crustaceans, Japanese dango fishballs, chicken yakitori and cuisine flavoured with dashi or soy sauce.

Jacob’s Creek わ (WAH) Red has been developed in partnership with Japanese chef, Toru Hashimoto.

For the WAH Red, Jacob’s Creek chief winemaker Bernard Hickin highlighted the “blend of vibrant fruit, savoury aromas and soft tannins that perfectly balances the subtle flavours and succulent texture found in Japanese cuisine”.

Couple with beef yakitori or wagyu dishes.


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