Sushi Recommendations and Food Pairings

Sushi Recommendations and Food Pairings

We are often asked about our favorite foods — what recipes we like to cook at home, which restaurants we like to go to for brunch, lunch and dinner out on the town, but the most popular question is what our favorite dishes are to pair with SYLTBAR, whether home cooked or out at a restaurant. While there are many different types of food that pair beautifully with SYLTBAR wines, one of our absolute favorites is definitely sushi.

SYLTBAR is delighted to be on the drink menus of many sushi restaurants all over the country, including what could be the biggest and best names in sushi, Nobu Restaurants. NOBU has been a SYLTBAR customer for a long time — 6 years! We love it because it’s not just sushi; it’s a whole experience.

Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is at the forefront of the sushi restaurant phenomenon. His restaurants and dishes change the way people approach and appreciate Japanese cuisine. What makes the Nobu Restaurants stand out is that they are part of the Nobu Hotels concept, with locations all over the world (although, note that not every single Nobu Restaurant is attached to a Nobu Hotel). Chef Nobu founded the hotel concept along with famed actor Robert DeNiro and film producer, Meir Teper. There are countless restaurants and hotels all over the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. No matter where you are in the word, you can probably find a Nobu to visit!

The Nobu brand is all about giving customers a truly unforgettable, high quality experience — and that is exactly what SYLTBAR’s company culture is all about too. There is even a Nobu Hotels Magazine that emulates the luxuriousness of the brand. As recognizable as Nobu Restaurants is, we cannot forget where it all began, at Chef Nobu’s original restaurant, Matsuhisa, which opened in Beverly Hills in 1987. Since then, he has opened ten more, including locations in Colorado, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Cyrpus.

Sushi is undoubtedly one of the most popular cuisines in the US. There are so many sushi restaurants, and it’s not uncommon to find seafood restaurants that also offer a separate sushi menu.

Sushi is such a versatile food that has the ability to appeal to many different palates. At its core, the category of sushi includes raw and cooked fish, vegetables and seasoned rice with vinegar. Sushi is also accompanied by wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce. Some sushi may also have tempura, which means that one or more of the ingredients has been battered and deep fried.

Sushi can be broken down into different preparations too, including:

  • Maki: the classic idea of what you think of when you think of sushi; rolls sliced into bite-size pieces wrapped in nori (paper-thin slices of seaweed), with the rice on the inside.
  • Uramaki: the opposite of maki, where the rice is on the outside of the nori.
  • Sashimi: thick slices of raw fish served a la carte.
  • Nigiri: thick slices of raw fish served over a small mound of rice.
  • Temaki: also known as a handroll, where the nori is shaped into a cone and the roll is not sliced into pieces, but rather picked up and eaten like a small taco or burrito.

Aside from the different styles of preparation, there are endless amounts of fish and seafood, vegetables and toppings to make each piece of sushi unique.

With so many options, it could be hard to decide what beverage to drink with your sushi meal. While sake might seem like the most obvious pairing for sushi, wine is also a huge contender.

SYLTBAR wines are the perfect pairing for your next sushi feast, whether you are eating out, ordering delivery or challenging yourself to make your own sushi at home. Sushi is delicate and full of flavor, so the main idea is to choose a wine that will not overpower the freshness of the sushi, as well as a sushi that will not overpower the wine. They must match and balance each other, so the two components live in perfect harmony.

These are our favorite sushi and wine pairings with SYLTBAR:

Mr Premium Prosecco with Tempura

The bubbly effervescence of a premium Prosecco like Mr is exactly what you need to cut through that tempura-coated sushi. Tempura is not as thick and heavy as typical fried food. The crisp coating is light, so the delicate flavors of the seafood still shine through. Shrimp is one of the most common types of tempura rolls, and many places do vegetarian rolls with tempura veggies.

Mrs Sparkling Rosé with Seared Sushi

Many times, especially in the case of nigiri, sushi chefs will simply kiss the top of the fish with a torch so it is slightly seared. It adds a little extra depth to the flavor and texture, and can be exciting to watch too. Mrs is the same — it is more exciting, more flavorful and more aromatic than your typical sparkling rosé, so it deserves to be paired with something equally as fulfilling.

White Linen Pinot Grigio with Eel

Eel is typically prepared barbecue-style, giving it robust, sweet and smoky flavor and aromas. It’s also much more “meaty” than your standard sushi-grade fish. It needs to be well balanced with something light, crisp and fresh — exactly what our White Linen embodies.

Silk Friulano with Spicy Sushi

If you see spicy mayo, jalapeño or chili listed as an ingredient in your sushi, it’s crucial to have the right wine pairing to offset the spiciness. Our Silk is soft and smooth, delicate and floral, with just the right amount of fragrant flavor and aroma to act as the perfect partner to that spicy tuna roll.

Junior Pinot Grigio Ramato with Shellfish

Our Junior Ramato is made in the 70s style of macerating the grapes in their own skins for one night, giving this wine much more depth than the typical Pinot Grigio you are used to. It’s not as light, so it needs something fresh and crisp to balance its boldness. Any type of sushi that features shrimp, crab, or lobster will do the trick!

Cashmere Cabernet Franc with Fatty Fish or Meat

Fatty fish options like salmon, salmon belly, tuna, and toro (tuna belly) can stand up to a more full-bodied red like our luscious and smooth Cashmere. While sushi is 9 times out of 10 always going to be seafood, there are some places that offer options that include steak, like a surf-and-turf roll. Cashmere is the perfect pairing for that.

One thing we want to point out about sushi is that it is a pretty general term. Like Prosecco! It can be a lot of things (like Prosecco has lots of brands) that don’t all taste the same or have the same quality. For us, regular sushi is okay, but the best part is when a restaurant offers a whole Japanese Fusion experience, which means there are a variety of sushi items but also other dishes aside from sushi with Japanese as well as other Asian or sometimes even Latin culture-inspired flavors and preparations.

There is also a huge difference between sushi rice and regular rice. Sushi rice is made using short-grain rice and seasoned with vinegar, sugar and salt. It’s stickier, which is why it works so well for rolls, and much more flavorful than regular rice. Quality rice can make or break sushi. It is a hugely important component!

Use our online locator to search for sushi restaurants in your area that offer SYLTBAR on the menu. If you don’t see your favorite sushi spot listed, send an email to atyourservice@syltbar.com and let us know so we can try to get Mr and Mrs invited in!

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