by Wendy Stuckey

Wendy Stuckey knows her Riesling as much as she loves it—a lot. Her first encounter with the variety was back in the late ’80s—at a small family owned winery in the Clare Valley in Australia. Her immediate affinity for the white led her on a journey to explore other regions in the world that produce a range of world class Riesling styles. After many noteworthy experiences, including studying winemaking at the world renowned Roseworthy College and 15 years based at the Wolf Blass Winery she is presently situated in Washington, America, where she is custodian of the number one selling Riesling in the world at Chateau Ste Michelle. Says Stuckey of the wines from the region: “the wines from Washington are quite unique. Our wines represent the best of both worlds—we grow our fruit in the new world and many of our wines exhibit the old world structure. To achieve this we use a combination of both old and new world techniques that allow the fruit expression of Washington to be maximized.” It is clearly these unique attributes that have her now happily calling Washington home.

Merlot/Syrah/ Chardonnay

Contrary to the still widely held belief thai reds and seafood are not the best of food and wine pairings, these varieties actually work well with grilled fish like tuna or salmon, as well as soy-based marinades.

Riesling/ Sparkling

These wines are excellent with sushi and sashimi as well as spicy, salty, or smoked foods. The slight residual sugar and acidity of the wine an* highly complimentary with these foods.

Here in island Japan, seafood continues to reign as one of the top choices for any casual or luxurious meal out, whilst permitting many other major mains to play in as well. Wendy gives her expert advice on some of the most palate-friendly cuisine and wine pairings with popular Japanese flavors in mind.

Cabernet and Red Blend Grilled meat

With these reds, it is still grilled meat or duck that pair well. For more Asian-fare pairings, try sweet soy marinades (such as teriyaki) on beef, pork, or lamb.

Sushi and sashimi

Sauvignon Blanc/Pinol Gris/Sparkling

These wines are also great with sushi and sashimi. Sauvignon Blancs and Pinol Gris have a cooling effect on the palate and can stand up to wasabi sauces and any raw or grilled seafood.