At Tsuru Japanese restaurant, near the Tate modern, they have drafted in Damian Tillson, Deputy Director of wine at Sothebys to pursue the wine buff holy grail… what wine do you drink with sushi? Damian chose six different European wines, three whites, one rosé, two reds.
“I’m a Europhile”, he explains. “I chose these wines because I love them. Matching wine with sushi is not easy” he admits”fish is delicate and a big powerful wine can knock sushi out of the water. One also has to work with the unique textures of sushi and sashimi, the wasabi and the pickled ginger.”
The usual pairings with sushi are beer and sake. Tsuru are aiming to:
“break the rules a little”, says Damian. “80% of food and wine go well together. 10% can be stunning. 10% can be awful, the food and wine kill each other. “
“Hold up your glass. Check the wine is not cloudy, has no bits. Smell it. Don’t agitate it. Taste. Only after smelling and initially tasting, give it a swirl. This will amplify what you originally tasted. To taste properly, take a teaspoon amount in your mouth, slurping it up. After maintaining the wine in your mouth for a little while, spit it out into the spitoon provided”.
“People are snotty about Beaujolais. Red are difficult to match with delicate food because of the tanins” he continues.
Not me. I fucking love Beaujolais. But then I’ve spent considerable time in the region and it’s always better when you visit the vinyards, Fleurie, Brouilly, Chiroubles, St Amour, Julienas, Morgon, Mercurey, Moulin à Vent (latter on the border between Beaujolais and Bourgogne). Just writing the names down puts me into a similar reverie I experience when I hear the shipping forecast. Every Sunday in the Beaujolais region, you get car loads of pissed people trying to sober up on the lawns outside the ‘caves de degustation’.
“Baked beans?” I reply