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The Best Wine For Any Restaurant: A Complete Guide to BYOB Wine Pairing in Hawai‘i

Master sommeliers share the best wines for every cuisine. Plus, our favorite BYOB restaurants in Hawai‘i and the unwritten rules of BYOB dining.


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(page 1 of 4)

Photo: Steve Czerniak, Product Photos: David Croxford

 

Ahh, BYOB dining, where the food is taken care of and enjoying a drink with dinner doesn’t make your wallet cry. The only disadvantage? There’s no wine list or advice from a sommelier to make pairings easier. You’re on your own, staring at a seemingly endless wall of potential bottles at the wine shop. But never fear. We’ve asked local wine experts for pairing tips, and they had all kinds of ideas. Think it’s impossible to pair wine with a plate lunch? Think again.

“I’ve done it,” master sommelier Patrick Okubo says. “At K’s Drive In in Hilo, we have plate lunches and wine. You know, chicken katsu, beef stew, or pancit. [The wine] goes great with it.”

From Japanese to Hawaiian food, if you can order it in Hawai‘i, there’s a wine pairing for it. Here’s our wine guide for local BYOB dining.

 

Our experts:  

  • Chuck Furuya (master sommelier, d.k Restaurants)

  • Patrick Okubo (master sommelier, Young’s Market)

  • Roberto Viernes (master sommelier, Southern Wine and Spirits)

  •  Marvin Chang (general manager, R. Field Wine Co.)

 

Japanese/Sushi

“Traditionally, sushi is about seafood—fresh, pure and delicately nuanced,” Furuya says. “I think the paired wine should be, too. Avoid wines with oak, higher alcohol or bitterness, because they will clash with shoyu and wasabi.
 

➸ Hans Wirsching Scheurebe Dry (about $19)

At R. Field Wine Co.

The white grapes used in this wine are grown in red sandstone hillsides of Franconia, Germany. “It’s rounder, coarser, and way more apropos [for sushi] than any other white wine I can think of.” —Chuck Furuya
 

➸ Rudolf Furst Muller Thurgau Dry “pur mineral” (roughly $23)

This wine can work with many types of sushi. “The wine is delicately dry, finesseful, pure, minerally and remarkably light and ethereal.  It works especially well with seafood nigiri.” —Chuck Furuya


 


➸ Calcu Rosé from Chile ($10.99)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times 

Ready to venture toward stronger flavors like unagi or uni? “This dry rosé from Chile fits all of that. It’s one of the few things that is a good match with shoyu.” —Patrick Okubo
 

➸ 2012 S.A. Prum Riesling “Essence” ($13.99)

At R. Field Wine Co.

“Dry to off-dry Rieslings work beautifully with Japanese sushi. The natural acidity of the wine matches up perfectly to the rice-wine vinegar element of the sushi rice. The subtle sweetness of the sushi is complemented by the balanced sweetness of the Riesling.” —Roberto Viernes
 

NV Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blanc Champagne ($47.99)

At R. Field Wine Company

“Sushi with Blanc de Blanc Champagne is one of my all-time favorite pairings. The creaminess and acidity of the Champagne together with fattiness of the fish with soy and wasabi are magical.” —Roberto Viernes
 

➸ 2011 Hans Wirsching Silvaner Trocken ($16)

“Much of Japanese cuisine and especially sushi is about the purity of the ingredients. It is very elegant and full of finesse. Wines of power and bigness often overpower this type of food. The Silvaner is pillowy and fragrant with an umami-like deliciousness to it.” —Roberto Viernes
 

➸ NV Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blanc Champagne ($49)

“Sushi with Blanc de Blanc Champagne is one of my all-time favorite pairings. The creaminess and acidity of the Champagne together with fattiness of the fish with soy and wasabi are magical.” —Roberto Viernes

 

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Honolulu Magazine January 2017