Tsuru, Japanese food/European wine – video


Tsuru in Southwark

I was invited to a Japanese food and wine matching dinner the other night. Japanese food is notorious for it’s difficulty in matching with wine. Sweet, salty, spicy, fried, grilled, raw, cooked, with all those flavours and textures to match in one sitting, it’s no wonder most people stick to beer, saki or when push comes to shove, riesling. This was a food and wine match with a difference. All the wines were to be from the Old World. Damian Tillson of Sotheby’s, who chose the wine list, believes that there are perfectly good European wines available that can be matched with Japanese food.


Proprietor, Emma Reynolds

The tasting was held at Tsuru in Southwark, just behind the Tate Modern. The joint, opened almost a year ago by Emma Reynolds and partners, aims to be an ethically sourced restaurant, featuring line caught tuna, salmon from the Shetland islands and free range chicken from the West country. All the sushi is hand made on the premises by their expert sushi chef.

The food served was a combination of sushi, sushi rolls and chicken and steak teriyaki. The food by itself was very tasty. It was fun to compare and contrast with the other food and wine bloggers at the tasting, Wineconversation, Winematcher, Londonelicious, MsMarmiteLover (of underground restaurant fame) and Gourmet Chick. How’d it do with the wine list? Watch the video to find out.

[viddler id=de92829e&w=437&h=333]

Here’s a list of what was on tasting and my notes:


2007 Domain de Ricaud, Entre-deux-Mer, Bordeauxherby, grassy nose, medium body, good acidity, minerally with green fruit

 2007 Domaine Bailly-Reverdy Sancerre, Loireherbacious, hay, gooseberry nose, gooseberry/grapefruit, light but sleek, flinty, was the best food matcher of the evening

 2006 Domaine Leflaive, Macon Verze, Burgundy (biodynamic) nicely integrated fruit and oak, pineapples, floral and citrus fruits, fine acidity, quite full bodied


2007 Domaine Pique Roque, Cotes de Provence – syrah/cabernet sauvignon blend – fresh strawberry and red fruit nose, dry but subtle red fruits, great example of Cotes de Provence rose


2007 Domaine Georges Viornery, Cotes de Brouilly, Beaujolaisnice cherry nose, bit of earthiness, fresh cherries and lovely red fruits on the palate, soft and light

 2005 La Tunella, Colli Orentali del Friuli, Cabernet Franc, Italybell pepper, rocky nose, red cherries, leather, a powerhouse compared to the rest, good with the steak teriyaki and the “best brownies outside of Borough Market”.




  1. Nice to meet you Wine Sleuth – I am laughing reading your tasting notes because they are SO much more advanced than mine!

    • Hi GG, great to meet you, too. My wines notes might be more extensive but you got me beat on the foodie side 😉

  2. Love it! love it! I like saying Sancerre and like drinking it even more. I’ll bet it was delish! As for gthe Cab Franc, bold. I’ll bet that was tasty. I only like infused sake and so have a super hard time matching wine. I will have to try the Sancerre! Thanks for sleuthing it out for us!

    • Infused sake, you say?hmmmm….There is a sake tasting coming up there, I may just have to check it out. One thing I didn’t note, which I should have, is that we did the tasting WITHOUT wasabi, which I thought was a bit peculiar but it worked. May have to go easy on the wasabi, although a Japanese friend of mine once told me that we Westerners use WAYYYY too much of it. It’s supposed to be a whisper, not a shouting match, of wasabi. Uncouth Westerners! 😉

  3. Lovely to meet you winesleuth. But….I still think sake goes better with sushi.

  4. Very nice post, Chief Inspector! Looks like you guys had a fun time.

    My knowledge and experience with wines being quite circumscribed, I usually drink Riesling with sushi and occasionally Saki. Interesting to see the different alternatives presented here.

    Lovely blog you have here. Gonna have to take a tour.

    • Urban Masala, please do have a look around and let me know if you have any questions!

      Ms Marmitelover, well I have to admit even before this event I preferred wine to sake so probably not the most impartial of judges! Whatever floats your boat works for me! Thanks for reading! 😉

  5. another event I couldn’t make it too but really wanted to… but seems my belief of Sauvignon being the most versatile and food-friendly variety is holding up

    • I was surprised how well the Sancerre went with everything but since it was French, maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised!


  1. Wine and sushi at Tsuru in the City « The Winesleuth - [...] Last year I went to a food and wine matching night at Tsuru sushi at Bankside near London Bridge.…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.