Japanese alcohol
Food - Drink
Why Sake Isn't Usually Paired With Sushi In Japan
Sake is an alcohol made with rice that is often called "rice wine," but it's actually brewed in a manner similar to beer, and it's a common pairing with sushi in restaurants in America and other countries. However, should you find yourself in a traditional sushi restaurant, perhaps even in Japan, you might want to rethink the pairing.
Japanese diners don’t traditionally drink sake with sushi because both have a base ingredient of rice, which some believe is too much of a good thing and fills the diner's stomach too quickly. It's almost like sake takes the place of rice on the table; when rice dishes like sushi are served, the sake is put away, and vice-versa.
Sake is also quite alcoholic in taste, and may overpower more delicate-tasting fish. Joshua Rolnick, beverage director at the traditional sushi restaurant Neta in New York, says that Japanese diners typically order beer, fruit wine, or tea to drink with sushi, and white wines like Riesling and light reds such as Pinot Noir are great choices.