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About this Episode

Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier, joins Robert Tas to explore the wine list of Jungsik. Drinking wine with Korean food may seem like an unlikely pairing, but Grace identifies the wines that work well with the menu, even when it comes to the reds on the list. Grace also explains how understanding the basics of acid, fats, and spices can help you make informed decisions in wine pairings.

Wines reviewed include:

  • Egly-Ouriet brut Grand Cru Champagne
  • Geschickt Riesling from Alsace, France
  • Josef Ehmoser from Wagram, Austria
Transcript: Jungsik


RT: Hello and Welcome to CorkRules! 

A podcast where we will review a wine list from your favorite restaurants. I’m your host Robert Tas along with Grace Hood, wine educator and certified sommelier. Hello Grace, it’s great to have you!

GH: Happy to be here as always Robert

RT Before we jump in, let’s talk about those wine lists. We created CorkRules to help demystify wine list’s because we know from experience, that sometimes when we get that list handed to us, well… it can be intimidating, and even a little daunting.

Our aim is to help prepare you to navigate that list, find those hidden gems, or value wines or that special bottle that will take your dining experience over the top.

RT: So today we’re talking the Manhattan sushi restaurant, Jungsik. Now Grace the real question is, can we pair sushi and wine?

GH: Robert we can pair ANYTHING with wine! If you understand the basic elements of acid, fat and spices, and how wines can balance out food, you're golden! So even though sushi is again one of those Asian cuisines that traditionally didn't have wine pairings, there are some lovely wines that complement sushi. 

RT: Love your outlook, Grace. So, what are your initial thoughts on Jungsik?

GH: So Jungsik is one of my favorite types of sushi restaurants aka one with no menu, where you put your faith and trust in the hands of the sushi chefs and let them dish you up incredibly fresh decadent sushi grade catches of the day. I absolutely love omakase menus - it’s going to be such a unique experience b/c it will depend on what is fresh that day and what the sushi chefs are feeling like dishing up that day. In terms of wine pairings, when you think of sushi, you def are thinking of a lighter style cuisine, right? But where we get to really divide and conquer, are in the types of fish and any sauces that are between those delish rolls of rice and seaweed. We're still going to be utilizing the old Asian food wine paring stand-by, Riesling, but we can also expand into some other light to medium-bodied whites, as well as rose, and a few select light white, oh and of course champagne. 

RT: OH, you can definitely trust a sushi chef. Sounds like an amazing experience. What are your thoughts on their wine menu?

GH: So just like the omakase menu, Juku's wine menu is straightforward and highly curated. the whole cocktail wine and beer menu fits on one page, so this is going to be a fairly straightforward pairing! If we're thinking of having sparkling with our lighter style white fishes or fresh shellfish, I would go with Egly-Ouriet brut grand cru champagne. This is another one of those small production champagne houses beloved by sommeliers and sparkling fans alike. 

RT: Champagne and sushi – makes total sense. What about some of those other styles of fish? We’re going to have to break it down by their profiles I presume

GH: Absolutely. So, this is where we start to get into semantics. If you're having something with a little kick to it, like a spicy tuna roll and something with wasabi, then that is where we're going to want to balance it out with something a little sweet. The Geschickt Riesling from Alsace, France would be a perfect complement. If we're going with a dish that has a little bit more fat to it or some shellfish, like a California roll with the avocado and crab, and even eel, then a bone dry wine like Gruner Veltliner would be the way to go. On the Jungsik list, I would go with Josef Ehmoser from Wagram, Austria.

RT:   I love it. Now, what if you’re not having something raw from the sushi bar? Can you still do wine pairings?

GH: Totally.  If you're having a tempura dish, you're going to want to cut and balanced those breaded and fried elements. So, we're going to want a dry white that can still stand up to the deep-fried goodness - the Isabelle Garalaut Sancerre from the Loire valley of France would do the trick. Another great pairing for that would be a lighter unoaked chardonnay like a chablis - on the juku menu I would go with gilbert pique premier cru - that salinity and bright acid and lighter citrus notes will be a great pairing for fresh fish. 

RT: Makes total sense. Complementing flavor profiles. Now Grace the real question is, can you pair red wine with sushi?

GH: Yes! A lighter style red like a pinot or a gamy would be great with your fattier cuts of fish - your tuna your salmons etc. From this list, I would grab Domaine les Hauts Noelle’s which is a Gamay noir from the Loire valley in France. If you wanted to stay in France for your pinots, I would go with the David Trousselle Santenay from Burgundy. Or you wanted a new world pinot, they have the 2015 Evening Land la Source from the Eola-Amity region in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, which we know is my personal pinot heaven.

RT: Amazing Grace. Great choices as always. Thank you for helping us navigate the wine list at Jungsik.

To our audience, thank you all for joining us here on CorkRules.  If you would like us to review one of your favorite restaurants, please send us email to: Info@CorkRules.com or visit our web website where we have a request form available and we will do our best to get it in the queue as quickly as possible.

We are looking forward to being with you on another CorkRules episode soon. In the meantime, please check out our website for other episodes of your favorite restaurant wine lists. Follow us on social media @CorkRules and @wineswithgrace

And finally, drink what you love and please make sure you drink responsibly.

Thank you.







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