The best and most enjoyable way to enjoy Japanese sake is with food and this was the sake journey experience was all about.
3 fabulous nights to take you a sake journey through Northern Japan, guest were excited and ready to go for a ride.
So to start off we are going to visit the Prefecture Hokkaido .Now the fastest way to go Hokkaido is by flight which is Famous for their winter ice sculpture and Sapporo Snow Festival and thats where they make the famous sapporo beer.
Otokoyama's sake is made thanks to the nature of Hokkaido.
Otokoyama which means Man’s Mountain .A Masterpiece of Japan cherished by historical figures through Japan since the Edo era .This sake is made with underground water from the perpetual snows by the mountain Dai-set-su-zan mountain which there the climate is cold.
Otokoyama Tokubestu Junmai is the name of the sake . Junmai meaning pure rice , Tokubestu means special.so any sake that has Junmai means its a
pure rice sake. The Polishing ratio is @ 55% suggest its premium
hence the texture is super smooth . In the aroma is fruity ,in the palate .Light smooth with rich feeling at room temperature Refreshing dry acidity that smooth and clean in cold temperature .So the taste you will feel is semi sweet with quick round finish.
Paired with fresh Tuna, salmon and fresh scallops with cod roe.
Eat on its own the tuna is soft and the scallops are fresh with natural taste ,with the cod roe bubbles which pop juice in the palate with abit of salty and sweet taste. With the sake it all melts in the palate beautifully without any aftertaste.
So the next sake comes the prefecture Iwate ,Nanbu Bijin Brewery, located in Ninohe city. This area of northern Japan is blessed with beautiful natural reserves–pristine ground water, two national parks, and a lake.
Paired with Wagyu and vegetable roll with teriyaki sauce.
Lotus root chip is a healthy nibble that makes you want to eat more. A creative approach to the Wagyu. Made into a roll, outside with lovely teriyaki sauce. Wagyu roll inside mashed carrot with a lovely sweetness and cucumber for freshness. With the sake the elegant sweetness compliments the teriyaki sweetness of the wagyu and dryness forms to cleanse the palate through eat bite.
The Next sake is from Miyagi Prefecture
So the Aroma that you may sense is fruity aroma on the nose with hint of toasted nuts. Palate is very smooth and well-balanced mouth- feel not too sweet nor dry and perfect straight road type of sake.
Paired with Namban Chicken with egg tartare sauce.
This dish actually has an interesting story behind it because of the name Nanban refers to 16th century when the portuguese came to Japan with their ships bringing in different foods and spices which had change japanese cuisines forever. Outside you have delicate crunch and tender juicy chicken inside. You can taste the seasoning in the chicken.
The egg salad is Mon taste take on tartare sauce. Light and creamy Dip with the chicken you have a lovely combination of salty and creamy coats the seasoned chicken and cuts through the oils. With the sake cleanses the palate with the dryness and umami and has smooth taste finish.
The last sake we be having is from Hakkaisan Sake Brewery from Niigata prefecture. Niigata the most famous sake brewing regions.
Hakkaisan Sake Brewery is located in Minami- Uonuma, an area known for producing the finest quality Koshihikari rice. Hakkaisan uses “Spring water from Raiden” which is usually use for all brands of Hakkaisan. The spring water is brought to Kura which is the (Sake factory) from the foot of Mt. Hakkai through pipe line.
Hakkaisan beliefs were, Sake that has full body but clear and smooth which does not interfere or disturbs the taste of food.
Using the sake specificrice Gohyakumangoku, Miyamanishiki, Yamadanishiki the flavours create the clean and clear character and crisp depth. It’s a touch dry with tremendous balance and a crisp refreshing finish. The last dish really highlights the origin of this prefecture.
Believe or not if you go to Niigata the best foods to eat are the vegetables. You never will taste fresh vegetables like in Niigata. Now you may notice the green powder next to you please sprinkle some ,on the tempura and you will get another flavour sensation . Paired with sake it compliments the tempura and cleanses the palate inviting you to enjoy the fresh vegetables inside the tempura.
Highlighted sakes of the night were Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai from Hokkaido prefecture & Urakasumi Junmai from Miyagi Prefecture.