Red Wine and Sushi


This is a typical dish at Wasabi Sabi. They pay a lot of attention to presentation.

Wasabi Sabi, the name of the restaurant is clearly a pun, a play on the Japanese asthetic ideal of impermanence. The interior design, of the restaurant, the presentation, are all suited to this ideal.

A few years ago, I wouldn’t even try a sushi place anywhere inland, unless it was at least a population of a couple of million. The fish just wasn’t up to it. These days, air freight and care have taken care of my fears.

Wasabi Sabi is a great sushi place once you accept real service, and high style influenced by nouvelle cusine. (Note the ‘high’ style of presentation; all the rage still in upscale joints around the world.)

Wine list is more than sufficient, although none of the wines are particularly sushi friendly. I went with French sauv blanc by the glass. (most people wail back on various reds – zinfandel, shiraz etc. that have little or nothing to offer sashimi & sushi.)

Iron – one of the chief ingredients in red wine – makes fish taste fishier. For most people this is bad. If you really really like fishy tasting fish, then this is a good combination. Tuscans regularly drink chianti with fresh seafood, but they avoid Brunello, which grows in iron rich soil.

About the only thing you can say in favour of monster zins and shiraz, is that the high alk/sweet finish of such wines works well with spicy foods like Thai. I think in general they’re a lousy idea with sushi but if you put a lot of wasabi on your fish, I expect they will have some appeal. If you do go this route, there is no point in buying fine wine. The cheapest shiraz or zin will do the job.

Highly recommended if you find yourself in Winnipeg.

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