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Sushi wines

Friday - 5/20/2011, 2:02pm  ET

by Scott Greenberg, Special to WTOP.com

Here are a few choice selections to look out for at your favorite sushi restaurant or to pick up with your carry out.

I really like sparkling wines with sushi dishes, particularly if they're on the drier side. The Non-Vintage Fitz-Ritter Sparkling Dry Riesling from Pfalz, Germany is lively offering features notes of brioche, peach and honey on the nose. Flavors of apples, nectarines and white cherry are buoyed by the tiny bubbles and hints of spice on the crisp finish. The abundant acidity provides a palate-cleansing finish that goes nicely with the avocado-rich California Roll. $20.

Off-dry wines can be a heavenly match with sushi, like the 2007 Trimbach Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France. This lovely gewürztraminer exhibits a floral bouquet of nectarine, Lychee nut and nutmeg. Flavors of mango and passion fruit are built on a slightly sweet frame, but the crisp acidity keeps the flavors focused and clean. Hints of tangy ginger on the finish make this an ideal pairing with sweet shrimp or yellow tail. $18.

Sometimes, I like a wine with bright acidity to clean my palate. The 2009 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand from down under does the trick, with fresh flavors of passion fruit, grapefruit and green grass. The lemon/lime finish refreshes the palate and makes a great match with brinier offerings on a sushi menu such as uni (sea urchin). $20.

Pinot Noirs go great with richer fish, such as salmon and tuna. This substantial weight and grip of the 2007 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir, Yamhill Cuvee from Willamette Valley, Oregon is a great choice, with a wonderful nose of strawberry, black plums and graphite. Concentrated flavors of black cherry, wild strawberry, spice and violets are in balance with the firm tannins and abundant acidity. $35.

If Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls are how you roll, then you'll want a glass of the 2008 Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, California by your side. This spicy red has intense flavors of plum, cherry and black pepper that coats the entire tongue and has great mouthfeel. The briary finish is long and lithe and can certainly hold its own with spicier fare. $16.

The 2009 Stickybeak Semillion (72%) Sauvignon Blanc (28%) from Sonoma County, California is a white blend that is a bit softer than a traditional Sauvignon Blanc, with more emphasis on fruit than finish. The fragrant nose features scents of tropical fruit and lemon/lime that also show up on the palate where they are joined by flavors of honeydew melon and peach. The wine has a nice balance between acidity and fruit with a slightly softer finish featuring lingering notes of citrus and minerals. A good wine to enjoy with scallops or oysters. $15.

2008 Deloach Vineyards Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Calif ($21). This domestic pinot has a lighter style with aromas of cherry cola, red plums and vanilla. Cherry and red berry flavors stay bright on the palate thanks to tangy acidity. Hints of cinnamon and orange rind float in on the medium-bodied finish. Just right for the mild flavor of tuna, particularly the ultra-smooth toro.