Whether sushi, nigiri or maki - Austrian wines with their wide variety of grape varieties and styles offer an exciting "wine and food pairing".

Whether sushi, nigiri or maki - Austrian wines with their wide variety of grape varieties and styles offer an exciting "wine and food pairing".
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Delicious combination: the best Austrian wines to pair with sushi

Wine from Austria is a very good choice for sushi variations. To make the combination successful, there are a few rules to follow. A short guide and a selection of local wines to complement your sushi indulgence.

Sushi gives the bouquet of the wines a stage, as cold sushi usually only smells subtle. Wines with loud aromas such as those from the Muscat group are not in demand here. Sushi with vegetables calls for a lively Sauvignon Blanc, with shrimps the sushi can also tolerate a little more acidity, an elegant, not too mild Pinot Gris is a good choice here. Dry sparkling wines, especially Blanc de Blancs, are a safe choice with sushi.

For nigiri sushi (rice ball sushi), which is topped with fish, scampi or omelette, the acidity of the wine can be slightly higher than for maki, where the nori leaf, which acts as a wrapper, brings delicate bitter notes from the fermentation. One exception is the uro-makis, where only a small nori leaf covers the filling and which are "breaded" in sesame salt (gomashio) and sesame seeds: Here you could also consider a more powerful wine such as a Zierfandler, Rotgipfler or a Roter Veltliner.

Red wines, especially those with a higher tannin content, are not a good combination as they can produce unpleasant, metallic aromas. This is due to reactions with the protein content of the sea creatures. A fruity, young Zweigelt could be the right choice if smoked fish such as eel or mackerel is on board. On the other hand, delicately fruity rosé wines are conceivable in exceptional cases, but without woody notes and excessive alcohol. Stronger Grüner Veltliners can be paired with the deep-fried sushi versions inspired by the USA. When combining sushi with wines, it is important to remember that too high an alcohol content usually makes the wasabi that comes with it appear aggressive and pungent. Fine white wines with a subtle minerality are preferred here: Chardonnay without noticeable wood, Pinot Blanc, Veltliner, but also delicately fruity sweet Riesling work well.

By the way: Austrian wine is also enjoying growing popularity in Japan itself. Wine exports to Japan last grew to 242,000 liters in 2022, which is 0.9% of the exported volume. At over 8.60 euros per liter, the highest average price for Austrian wines is achieved in Japan.

The Falstaff Sushi selection

Bright golden yellow, silver reflections. Floral honey and passion fruit underlay with spicy nuances, delicate honeydew melon, inviting bouquet. Juicy, good complexity, salty, ripe tropical fruit on the finish, finely spicy aftertaste, balanced acidity, mineral echo, a versatile food wine.
Weinviertel, Austria
Light greenish yellow with silver reflections. There is an undertone of fresh meadow herbs to the aromas of Golden Delicious apple, touches of mango, tangerine zest and a mineral touch. Juicy and elegant on the palate, with notes of ripe stone fruit, it is full-bodied without being opulent, with fine, lively acidity, good length and a slightly saline finish. An ideal representative of the variety.
Lower Austria, Austria
Light yellow-green, silver reflections. Fine fruity nuances of mango and honeydew melon, a touch of fresh orange zest, mineral touch. Taut, tight-knit, fine stone fruit nuances, lively structure, clear as a mountain stream, lemony and salty aftertaste, good persistency for a long time, has ageing potential.
Kamptal, Austria
Medium greenish yellow, silver reflections. Finely spiced white currant, vanilla, grapefruit residues, delicate nougat, multi-faceted, inviting bouquet. Complex, full-bodied, fine fruit sweetness, a touch of peach, lively structure, has very good length, fruity finish, certain ageing potential, a harmonious food companion.
Southern Styria, Austria
Pale yellow, green hints, silver reflections. An inviting bouquet with subtle underlying nutty notes, yellow pear and hints of candied orange zest. Juicy, elegant and taut with quite distinctive acidity and a mineral-citrus finish. A fresh, delicate and animating food companion.
Wachau, Austria
Light golden yellow, silver reflections. Delicate herbal savouriness, a touch of nougat, a touch of pineapple and mango, fine blossom honey, orange zest, a complex bouquet. Nuances of ripe apple, quince, subtle acidity, fine fruit expression, some caramel on the finish. Already accessible, some lime blossom in the finish.
Lake Neusiedl, Austria
Light golden yellow, silver reflections. Fresh orange zest, nuances of tobacco and herbs, a touch of pear, mineral appeal. Juicy, complex, fine fruity sweetness, lively acidity, mineral-salty finish, a hint of lime, remains long lasting, a finesse-rich food companion with safe maturity and certain ageing potential.
Vienna, Austria
Dark ruby, purple reflections, subtle edge brightening. Attractive dark berry fruit, delicate notes of blackberry and cranberry, fine savouriness, with ripe plum in the background. Juicy, medium complexity, delicate fruit sweetness, good freshness, mineral and persistent, an elegant food companion, versatile.
Carnuntum, Austria

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Peter Moser
Peter Moser
Wein-Chefredakteur Österreich
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