The incredible versatility of Japan’s wines with food is a recurring theme as the trade and consumers respond to the increased availability of the wines in the UK.
The fusion tasting menu created by the team from The Ivy Asia at a tasting held for on 22nd January 2019 [click here] perfectly demonstrated this. We’ve outlined a few of our favourite pairings and explored why they were so, so delicious.
Tuna sashimi crisp with avocado and truffle – Chardonnay from Nagano, Yamagata and Miyazaki
These Burgundian style Chardonnays were beguilingly creamy and rich-textured. Combined with naturally fresh acidity, it was a match made in heaven for the unctuously textured avocado, cutting right through the fattiness of the crisp and salty sashimi crisp.
Nobashi prawn with traditional dashi dip – sparkling Koshu
Sparkling Koshu is made using the traditional method; combining fierce-as-a-blade acidity with yeasty complexity from a minimum of 18 months on the lees. It was a no-brainer with the crunchy tempura batter – like Champagne with fish and chips given an Asian twist.
Robata grilled asparagus skewer – Hokkaido Kerner
Asparagus is notoriously tricky to pair with wine, but the delicate, almond tinged aromatics of the Kerner were lovely with the smoky, fresh taste of grilled asparagus. A hybrid developed in Germany by crossing Trollinger and Riesling, Kerner’s gentle acidity and sleek-but-not-heavy body are making their mark in Hokkaido.
Slow cooked pork belly with Asian barbecue sauce – Muscat Bailey A reds
Luscious, melt-in-the-mouth pork and sauce neatly combines palate-coating texture with sweetness, aromatics, spice and saltiness. Muscat Bailey A’s heady fruit fragrance – reminiscent of cru Beaujolais – and mouth-watering acidity was a revelation with this rich dish.
Yellowfin tuna, tataki citrus and white soy – orange skin-contact Koshu
Meaty tuna combined with richly umami, salty flavours needed richly textured wine with grip. Lightly tropical with a light grip from skin contact, orange Koshu was the perfect match.
Warm mango and yuzu doughnut with coconut dipping sauce – Aruga Branca sweet Koshu “Doce”
This unique and dainty sweet wine is delicately fragranced with notes of chamomile flowers, blossom honey and hint of sweet citrus, still maintaining Koshu’s trademark freshness. It was heavenly with these tropical, yuzu-spiked donuts.