Monday, March 1, 2010

Since I love sushi, I should find a wine to pair with it. I might just have.

I'm a big fan of sushi, I'm not gonna lie. Usually I'll have a good sake and/or some Japanese beers, versus trying to pair it with wine. The main reason is that I don't usually see a good selection of wines at sushi restaurants. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining as usually I'm just fine with a cold bottle of Kirin or Sapporo. Cold Sake can also be wonderful with a couple of spicy rolls. Or hell, a combination of both can make the night memorable..or so I hear at least. When I was at Roppongi in downtown La Jolla on Friday night though, I saw this Pinot Blanc from Trimbach on the list and just had to try it out.

2006 Trimbach Pinot Blanc Alsace
Right away I smelled a couple of interesting flavors. What hit my nose was a cool mineral/grass note, like you wrapped a wet stone in freshly cut grass and took a big whiff. That caught my attention, because right after it was this really interesting stone-fruit and grapefruit scent that added a vibrant attitude to the wine, a "sass-factor" as I coined it. You could tell that it was made for something that would challenge it's flavor profile. I don't have a lot of experience with Alsatian wines much less Pinot Blanc, so I can't tell you if it was varietally honest, I can tell you though that it was tasty!

On the palate you got this big, stony acidity right up front which gave way to a fleshy but citric mid-palate feel. I'm serious, the acidity fairly exploded into your mouth but I want to make a distinction, it wasn't like this was an a-bomb of acid, just a pop that got my attention. With the spicy sushi rolls, the acidity helped clear those flavors off my palate while the fleshy almost apricot-like notes did a good job seeing me up for my next bite of the roll. While I think about it too, I want to say that I really think I tasted apple, like a Braeburn or something. It was crisp but still had a dash of sweetness, in other words just the kind I like. Really interesting the way the flavors unfolded, I literally felt the wine expand across my tounge, it was great!

Time for that fun rating, this one gets a solid A-. The pricing is good, the wine is good, the pairing worked and most importantly, I liked what I tasted. It wasn't stunning deal or an incredibly moving wine (those would get A or A+'s) but it was a wonderfully refreshing pairing that showed a lot of complexity and elegance with some good power behind the scenes. I really do recommend a bottle or two if you like this style of white wine. Thank you again for reading, hope to see some comments soon!

Beau Carufel


  1. Excellent write-up! Still wish I would have had the glass of Trimbach instead of the Sauv Blanc. Will just have to get a couple of bottles just for moi'

  2. The glass cost $8.50 and the bottles should retail for about 22$

  3. I'm fascinated with pairing wine and sushi! I'm consulting with a restaurant right now and we are working on that concept so I've been reading all I can find on the subject... and I must tell you, there is very LITTLE regarding pairing wine with sushi! There are so many ways to make it successful. The danger, I believe, comes with too much soy or wasabi. I'll have to make sure the Trimbach PB ends up on their list.

  4. Mary I agree 100%, too much soy and/or wasabi completely ruins the palate with regards to tasting the finer, more subtle flavors in good wine. It can be done though! The key (in my opinion) is moderation of flavor from the sushi side. What we should be seeking is a harmonious balance between the flavors of the sushi or sashimi and wine. That's why I was so stoked on this Pinot Blanc. Really hit the spot with the spicier rolls I had.