Virtually tasty: joyous sake
Tuesday 20 July 2010
The Joy of Sake, a tour of the world's finest sakes, begins on August 19 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the event you won't make it to Hawaii, here are some tasting notes to help you savor, cook and pair Japan's rice wine.
The 'all you need to know about sake' site eSake.com's content director and leading Anglophone sake expert John Gauntner explains there are seven basic tasting parameters: fragrance, impact, sweet/dry, acidity, presence, earthiness and tail.
There are five main types of sake based on the rice wine brewing method and milling of the rice:
1. Junmai-shu (pure rice wine; no adding of distilled alcohol)
2 . Honjozo-shu (at least 30% of rice polished away; a tad of distilled alcohol is added)
3. Ginjo-shu (at least 40% of rice polished away; with or without alcohol added; if bottle is labeled Ginjo, it means distilled alcohol was added; if labeled Junmai Ginjo, it means no alcohol added)
4. Daiginjo-shu (at least 50% of rice polished away; again with or without added alcohol; if bottle is labeled Daiginjo, it means distilled alcohol was added; if labeled Junmai Daiginjo, it means no alcohol added)
5. Namazake (special 5th designation for unpasteurized sake; incorporates all four above)
FoodPairings.be, a database of food, ingredients and beverages that can enhance or replace flavors, explains that aged sake is best combined with grilled beef, Beijing roasted duck and roasted chicken, baguette, rye sourdough and toast, bell pepper coulis, sweet corn and tomato. To see the full matrix and other flavor combinations including Dominican Republic white chocolate and caviar that work well with sake, go to: http://www.foodpairing.be/FoodPairable.aspx?f=Sake+aged
Here are some vlogs and how-to clips:
- Tips to help you heat and serve sake by howcast: http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=3U6srDBHA24
Also you can download the Sake Dictionary application (released June 24, €5.49) via iTunes for your Apple mobile devices to keep your sake knowledge at hand while on-the-go.
And, finally "Kampai!" (Cheers! in Japanese)
About the ninth annual Joy of Sake: the world's finest sakes go on tour with Hawaii as its first stop. Over 300 sakes will be showcased and paired with appetizers from local restaurants including a blind tasting with 10 Japanese sake judges. After Hawaii the tour heads to San Francisco on September 9, New York City on September 23 and ends in Tokyo, Japan on November 2. Tickets are $70-80 (€54-62) depending on location. http://www.joyofsake.com/
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