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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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➸ Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris (about $20)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine 

This dry rosé pairs well with pipikaula, oxtail soup or beef lū‘au stew. “It totally handles the oiliness of these kinds of foods. You can even serve it in a plastic cup with ice.” —Chuck Furuya

➸ 2011 Janasse Côtes du Rhône ($15.99)

At R. Field Wine Co. 

“The flavors of kālua pig, essentially pork, smoke and salt, are simple yet utterly delicious. A rich, full red wine with a hint of spice and smoke really does the trick. I like reds made from Rhône varietals—Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, etc.—as they match the weight and overall intensity of the dish without overwhelming it.” —Marvin Chang

➸ Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling ($9.99)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times 

One of Okubo’s favorite dishes is chicken katsu curry. “The pairing for this dish is a four-mile run the next day, but wine-wise, it’s great with a slightly sweet Riesling. The Dr. L from Germany has just a little bit of sugar to it.” —Patrick Okubo

➸ 2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (about $39)

At Tamura’s Fine Wine

“I actually love Chardonnay with Hawaiian food, especially kālua pig. The smokiness of the pork melds so well with a lightly buttery and oaked California Chardonnay.” —Roberto Viernes

2013 Meiomi Chardonnay ($20)

“You must try the 2013 Meiomi Chardonnay. It is luxurious, mouth-coating with notes of tropical fruit all laced with toasted vanilla from the oak.” —Roberto Viernes




➸ 2012 Dupeuble Beaujolais (Kermit Lynch Selection) ($16.99)

At R. Field Wine Co. 

“Tandoori and tikka masala dishes work well with slightly chilled, light, fruity red wines. The fruitiness and cool temperature help to tone down the heat. Also, you want to get something that is not too high in alcohol or tannin as this will accentuate the heat in the dish.” —Marvin Chang




➸ 2012 Gunderloch Nackenheimer Rothenberg Riesling Spatlese (about $38)

At R. Field Wine Co.

“For something more decadent I would go with the Spatlese. This wine personifies the elegance and nobility of Riesling and it is just plain delish.” Also recommended: the same Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Kabinett paired with Chinese food.  —Roberto Viernes



Hot Pot

➸ Bernabeleva Camino ($11.99)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times

Sure, cold beer is always refreshing with shabu shabu. But what about wine? “I find myself waiting in line to get into one of these [hot pot] places no matter how long the wait. When you want wine, you want something a little colder. Bernabeleva Camino is what I would do.” Try this Spanish red slightly chilled at your next hot pot outing, whether it’s Japanese, Mongolian or Taiwanese. —Patrick Okubo



Light, crisp and slightly sweet wines pair well with Korean dishes.

➸ CF Wines Riesling “Estate” (about $19)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times, R. Field Wine Co., The Wine Stop and Tamura’s Fine Wine 

“Crafted exclusively for Hawai‘i, our warm weather and Asian-inspired foods, winemaker Bert Selbach of Dr. F. Weins Prum produces absolutely delicious, superbly ethereal, effortlessly light wines which are terrific young or old. Well worth seeking out.” —Chuck Furuya

➸ Catena Malbec ($22.99)

At Fujioka’s Wine Times 

“I can’t resist kalbi, especially the fatty kind with all the charred outsides. Catena Malbec from Argentina has all of the dark and smoky flavors and is $23, but well worth it.”  —Patrick Okubo

➸ 2011 Zin 91 Zinfandel ($12.99)

At R. Field Wine Co.

The shoyu, sugar and garlic of a classic kalbi marinade calls for a big, juicy, fruit-forward red wine. Zinfandel is a good choice for this dish as it has tons of fruit to match up to the sweetness of the dish and has enough body and tannin to stand up to the richness and fattiness of the beef. The slightly peppery quality of the wine is also a bonus.” —Marvin Chang 




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Honolulu Magazine January 2020