One of my favorite parts about working for an Italian wine importer is that I am able to spend time with Italian winemakers while they are visiting the US.  It’s a fantastic study in cultural differences and similarities- and really, it’s just a lot of fun.  One theme I have noticed recently is that our visiting winery representatives are always excited about one thing.  Sushi.

Maybe it’s because I work on the Western coast of the US, and there’s so much great seafood available.  Maybe it’s because Japanese food is still so hard to find in some parts of Italy.  Maybe there are just too many Italian restaurants in the US.  I don’t know what the reason, but all of my Italian winery representatives LOVE sushi.

Thanks to Cavatappi, one of my amazing distributors in Washington state, I found out about Nishino, locally recognized as the best sushi restaurant in Seattle.  We took Vittorio Marzotto of Ca’ del Bosco for a delicious meal there, where we learned Nishino’s glowing reputation is no joke.

Nishino’s sushi was fresh, creative and super authentic.  It certainly didn’t hurt that, along with a little sake, we enjoyed a very fine bottle of Pierre Gimonnet Champagne with dinner.

Nishino’s wine director, Yuichi, cultivates a lovely list of wines and sake.  This bottle of Gimonnet was no Franciacorta, but it was still the perfect compliment to all that fresh seafood.

Gimonnet’s Paradoxe 2004 is approximately two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay. The Pinot gives the Paradoxe a certain weight and breadth- hedonistic and full of red berries, flowers, mint and coriander.  This is a powerful champagne, capable of keeping up with spicy Asian flavors and rich, oily fish.

Next time, Vittorio, I promise you we will drink Ca’ del Bosco with our sushi…