martes, diciembre 15, 2009

Worldwide Discovery: The only international beverage that pairs with sushi is the sweet Sparkling Wine that also bonds with Wasabi and Ginger.

Research: Silvia Ramos de Barton, Sommelier.
Translators: Kar Rmermaid and Silvia Ramos de Barton

After trying sushi and conducting a long research with all recommended and most favorable beverages, here is the actual beverage that pairs with the Japanese specialty.

Sushi: My First Contact
July 12th 1988. My 22nd birthday. I took my first flight to Japan. 36 hours of flight ahead, huge experience. I was in my way to attend a Worldwide Convention of Young People United by Worldwide Peace. I arrived at Keio Plaza Hotel (5 stars Hotel) in Tokyo. I was impressed by its beauty. I will never forget this hotel as well as the city. I was attending conventions, meetings, conferences and dinner parties when I received an invitation to take part at the opening of a 5 stars restaurant at the core of Tokyo. That was the first time I tried sushi, fin shark soup

and the finest plates of Japanese food (I do not even remember all of them). The opening consisted of a Sumo in traditional attire that screamed in his language at the top of his lungs and plunged a wooden hammer in a barrel filled with “Sake” (meaning alcoholic beverage made from rice fermentation).

That same Sumo was in charge of serving the “rice wine” to toast. At the moment I screamed “chin chin”, sadly for me, the meaning of those words was not the happiest meaning at all in the Japanese language (instead, that was the usual expression to describe the male Japanese sexual organ).From that moment on, it was very clear to me that sake was sushi’s best partner. Nevertheless, with the passing of time, after I became a sommelier I kept asking myself about the true marriage. Not ALWAYS had to be a regional bond.

In the Search for the Sensation of Plenitude

I invested two years of my life and profession looping for sushi’s perfect partner. I never thought that sake was the best and even though beer was closer, I had the feeling that there should be another beverage to bond with Japanese food “forever”. I started with Sake, Green Tea, drinks with Sochu, National and European Beers, and different wines: Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, dried Jerez, Sparkling Extra Brut and finally, Japanese Beers. Nothing made me feel what I felt with a cantucci with a Passito, a foie gras with a Sauterne or an empanada salteña with a Torrontés.
I did not give up and I started all over again but this time, taking notes. First, I excluded dry and white wines since the marriage with these wines did not improve salty rolls. Both have their own element and there was no union between them. Wasabi and Ginger made a metallic taste in the palate.Then I started with the regional pairing and I tried green tea: The bitterness of the tea did not match with the salt of the roll. Next was the sake, even though it was more harmonious, it is a drink with an acquired flavor that it is not very gracious for occidental palates. A few months later, I order at a Belgrano restaurant a sparkling extra brut and my palate collapsed: very dry with very salty, very sparkly and cold with warm and soft. Horrible!

Finally, I found a considerable and respectful bond, Japanese beer. The freshness and the heavy touch of the hop of the beer with the salt, made the marriage extremely better but it did not cause the sensorial experience I was looking for yet. We should also agree on the fact that beer is easy to pair with extravagant and spicy foods. It is always a good match and it is not a DISCOVER!

After investing a lot of money a year later I told myself: "If the common marriage is coke with French fries (very sweet with very salty) why I should not try a very sweet wine with sushi?” After finding the right path I said: “That’s it, bubbles! Sweet and Sparkly!” I picked “El Plata Rosé Dulce" from Bodega Mainqué, 70% Malbec & 30% Chenin, (sweet sparkling wine from Mendoza, Argentina made of malbec and rosé). I was surprised and I invited with this same sparkling wine 5 more people that did not understand the subject but loved sushi. It was the same night that I met sushi from Moshi-Moshi. I did not say a word expecting their reaction.

I got what I expected: They started to express their feelings while trying these exquisite and very salty rolls with sparkling, SWEET, harmonious and delicate wine.

The sweet sparkling wine cleans the salty roll with the wasabi and the ginger, and RETURNS TO THE PALATE causing an elegant and unforgettable sensation that also invites to taste them over and over again.The marriage is perfect, no other beverage pairs with the sushi like the sweet sparkling wine.

I repeated the experience with the general public last September 11th, during a Master Class about Sweet Wines of the World organized by the “Blog de Vinos & Arte” - Wines & Art Blog - (I am one of the Partners).

We had very salty and delicate rolls from Moshi-Moshi who was deleited to accompany us through the experience and the sparkling wine picked was Santa Florentina Dolce, 100% Torrontés Riojano from Bodega Coop. La Riojana. Faces spoke for themselves:

Conclusion: When a marriage is perfect, we only get smiles and live a sensorial experience never lived before and that is what this sparkling and sweet wine causes with sushi.

Next try on Saturday December 19th in Buenos Aires, Hotel Vista Sol at 19.30 hs!

Silvia Ramos de Barton
Director of the Blog of Wines –Argentina- (Blog de Vinos)
Partner & Director of Wines & Art Sensorial Events (Vinos & Arte Eventos Sensoriales)
Managing Director & Partner of Wine Lottery The Argentine Quiz Game (Lotería Vitivinícola)

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