Sushi is one of those age-old foods that everyone says you can't pair with wine. Why? Because there's a large savory characteristic with sushi, not to mention the overwhelming spice of wasabi. These are things we would say "are not wine friendly." But I say, "Who cares?! Let them drink wine!"
I'm just going to call this the Adventure Roll(Photo by author)
I've only attempted to make sushi once. "Johnny Depp" and I bought a sushi making kit and we went out first thing Saturday morning to our fresh fish market while we were living in CA. After talking to the fisherman, we felt like we were buying a product that was safe for raw consumption. I don't recommend this unless you know what you are doing, know the risks of consuming raw fish, and know the quality of fish you are buying. There is always a risk when consuming raw products.
That being said, lots of places, including many grocery stores like Trader Joes, Wegmans, Safeway, and Publix offer cooked sushi. For those first time sushi goers, I suggest things like the tempura roll (it's crispy and cooked) or a cooked shrimp roll. Yummy!
Wasabi Roll from Wegmans
Shrimp Tempura Roll
(Photos by author)
Wine Pairing: Crisp, White Wine with a Hint of Sweetness
How vague can I get, right? Honestly, I think you can get a lot of things that will match "close enough" with sushi. I'd have to say that I've never found a wine that enhances the sushi eating experience (which is supposed to be the purpose of drinking and pairing wine with food). However, there are plenty of wines you can sip with your sushi and still enjoy both. I'd look for something with crisp acidity, perhaps a touch of sweetness, and make sure it's chilled! My suggestions:
(Photo by author)
Loved this bottle of Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc for $10 (found at Total Wine). It was a real steal, a great wine, superior flavor, and it went nicely with some our high end sushi. You can see my whole review here.
(Photo by author)
This 2007 Pinot Blanc from Alsace (France) would go wonderfully. I believe this was a $12 bottle. This wine was very creamy, grapey, perfumey with a hint of honey. There appeared to be a small touch of sweetness in the finish, and it was overall very pleasant. I see this as a good sushi wine.