Experience Umami

While a large majority of sake breweries are aiming for fruity/floral types, Philip Harper, maybe the only non-Japanese master brewer in Japan, is going for flavour and has created an umami bomb. The Tamagawa 3U limited edition series 純米吟醸 無濾過生原酒  from Kinoshita Shuzo in Kyoto prefecture is a seasonal item sold between December and April. The 3U... Continue Reading →

SAKE WITH SPAGHETTI ALLO SCOGLIO

I’ll be honest with you, I’m a fiend for bold, complex, flavourful sake and the simpler styles never really enticed me. That is until I started pairing them with food, and today, spaghetti allo scoglio was on the menu; pasta with fresh seafood. Being from the island of Sardinia, I would usually pair this summer... Continue Reading →

NAOHIKO NOGUCHI SAKE INSTITUTE

Master brewer Naohiko Noguchi goes by the nickname of kamisama meaning ‘god’ and rightly so. With experience in sake brewing that spans seven decades, and winning “Gold Prize” 27 times at contests hosted by the National Bureau's Research Institute of Brewing, are there any that match this legendary status? A sake brewer since he was 16,... Continue Reading →

Matching Sake to Spicy Food

This year's summer in Tokyo is an absolute scorcher with record temperatures as high as 41 degrees, and even the sighting of man-umbrellas! It may seem counterproductive but when it gets this hot, I often turn to spicy food as it seems to keep me cooler but what kind of sake is best paired with... Continue Reading →

ALPHA KAZE NO MORI KIJOSHU

Kijoshu, meaning noble brew, is a sweet style sake where some water additions to the main mash are replaced with sake. In this case, 9 year old Koshu or aged sake. It’s recommended as a digestif or dessert pairing sake, created to match premium noble-rot wines such as Sauternes and Tokaji. Wine talk; Noble rot... Continue Reading →

WHAT IS KOJI? – THE MAGIC MOULD

Without Koji, sake would not be with us today in its current form. Rice is a grain just like barley but since it's polished, removing the germ (the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant), it is unable to go through a malting process that beer does. As a result, a different approach... Continue Reading →

HANATOMOE – MIYOSHINO JOZO

Hanatomoe from Miyoshino Jozo, well-known for its bold sake with character, have been brewing sake since 1913 in Nara, arguably the birth capital of sake and also the first permanent capital of Japan from 710 to 794. More recent developments include the Yoshino Cedar Project which helped the brewery revive brewing sake in cedar barrels... Continue Reading →

THE NEW JUNMAI GLASS BY RIEDEL

Glassware: it's more than just aesthetics. Choosing the right vessel to drink your sake can either enhance or leave you missing out on what the producer intended you to experience, just as with wine. When it comes to sake, the traditional ceramic cup, the o-choko, is the default choice but can be somewhat limiting for... Continue Reading →

KATORI 80 & KATORI 90

Katori 80 and Katori 90 from Terada Honke in Chiba prefecture; defying the highly polished scene. Katori is a nod to the nearby agricultural city and the 80 and 90 are an indication of its spec; the rice used is only polished to 80% and 90% remaining respectively. It's Masaru Terada's mission to brew most... Continue Reading →

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