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Saturday 12 May 2012

Matching Japanese Food and Wine

Below is a piece I wrote on matching Japanese food and wine for the Real Wine Fair taking place in London on 20-22nd May 2012.

I am often asked in my Japanese supper clubs which wines diners should bring to match the food I serve.  Traditionally, and to a large extent to this day, food in Japan is served with sake or beer.  In recent years however, wine (along with other typically Western products such as cheese and butter) has gained a substantial share of the market especially among the younger generation.

When I lived in Tokyo, I drank my fair share of sake, with or without food, and really enjoyed it.  Old habits die hard though, and I found it difficult to manage without wine.  I was able to enjoy every local dish I cooked with a glass of wine, confirming my belief that almost any Japanese food can be matched with a quality wine.

One of the rules of thumb when matching food and wine is to match locally produced wine and food.  What to do though, when some of the primary flavours of the cuisine come from soy sauce, fermented soya beans and air dried fish with no locally produced wine to match?  It can be tricky.  Partnering Japanese food and western wines requires some careful thought because of the differences in flavour combination between Europe and Japan. A little understanding of Japanese cuisine goes a long way here.

To continue reading this article, visit the Real Wine Fair link HERE.    


  1. The best wines from Italy are typically medium-bodied, higher-acid red wines, and for a good reason—those are the wines that best fit the food! This is particularly true of wines based on the Sangiovese grape, like Chianti. Its firm acidity works with the acidity in tomatoes, yet at the same time contrasts very nicely with the richer ingredients—cheese, olive oil—found in pasta dishes, pizzas and so on.”

  2. This is a great piece- thank you.


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