Perfect Beer and Wine Pairings for 8 Popular Local Dishes

We tapped the experts in a battle of the boozes to find the best drink pairings.


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Beer: Occidental Altbier ($12.49 for four pints)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times

“Occidental Altbier has a unique blend of malts that will give flavors of caramel and toffee to match the great caramelized flavors of the burger patty and even caramelized onions and toasted bread. The hops in this beautiful can will add a crisp finish to the beer that can hold up to those delicious tomatoes, fresh lettuce and pickles, while also helping to cut the delightful fattiness of the burger.”

Bill Carl 


Wine: Domaine de la Tour du Bon, 2011 ($36.99)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times

“For the classic burger, rustic roots of beef draw me to the flavors of Old World reds over single varietals or modern, fruity expressions. With the caramelization of a medium-well-plus burger, I lean to darker flavor notes from grape blends. This wine, from Bandol, is laced with brambly black fruits, dried herbs, iron and minerals with drying tannins.”

Kevin Toyama




Green Curry


Beer: Samuel Smith India Ale ($6.49)

At Whole Foods

“Curry and IPAs are a match made in, well, India,” Carl says. But IPAs also go well with Thai curries. This balanced beverage highlights a range of ingredients: “Fish, meat? The caramel and toffeelike malt will match up just fine. Thai basil, kaffir lime, chilies, turmeric? Sounds like a great match for earthy, slightly spicy, English-grown hops. Rich coconut milk? India Ale would love to clean up the richness of the sauce with its delicate carbonation and even lends flavors of toasted malts to the coconut. Take that, wine!”

Bill Carl 


Wine: Bonny Doon Vineyard Vin Gris de Cigare 2014 ($14.99) 

At Fujioka’s Wine Times

“Dry, citrusy whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Muscadet are good, classic choices here, as are slightly sweet Rieslings,” Fiedler says. “But when it comes to dishes with some spice, I find nothing is drinkable like a well-made rosé.” She says her selection here is an all-purpose match.

Jennifer Fiedler






Beer: Breakside Eurotrash India Pale Lager ($5–$11) 

On draft at REAL/Brew’d seasonally

The nose is really bright and earthy with a moderately tropical hop character. This beer will hold up perfectly with the [light texture of sushi], whereas the hop profile will cut the saltiness of the shoyu.”

Anthony Messina 


Wine: Pierre Peters “Cuvée de Réserve” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($60.99) 

At Fujioka’s Wine Times

This mouthwatering Champagne is always a crowd pleaser and is a great pairing for an assortment of sushi. Palate-cleansing bubbles, juicy apple, stone fruit and minerality will complement and not overpower the sushi.”

Brynn Burbach





Uni Pasta


Beer: Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales Seizoen ($11.29)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors

This delicate dish, one that Loperfido calls “one of the most precious Italian masterpieces,” poses a challenge. “It would be a sin for me to pair a beer with it,” he says, “as I strongly believe that a fine Falanghina white wine is the perfect pairing for this dish.”


Carl suggests this Logsdon Seizoen, which he says “will blow any wine out of the water.” It’s “delicate enough to allow the flavors in this dish to shine through, even matching the noodles with the use of wheat and oats in the beer. That sweet and briny flavor of uni won’t be overdone by a beer of this strength. The elevated alcohol level (7.5 percent ABV) will cut some of the fattiness, and the prickly carbonation will cleanse the palate of rich sauce.”

Bill Carl 


Wine: Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko 2013 ($22.99) 

At Fujioka’s Wine Times 

“To go with the creamy texture and briny flavor of uni pasta, I’d choose a dry white wine with some body and stone flavors. [This] Greek white from the island of Santorini has good minerality and acidity.”

Jennifer Fiedler 





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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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