Sunday Sips: More Sake Pairings

This week’s #WinePW group tried Sake and other wines with Asian cooking. On Saturday I made two dishes to pair with the bottles of Sushi I opened, one a sparkling sushi and the other a Junmai. This term means pure rice and water only are used, nothing is added. It is said to work with many different foods and that it can be served chilled, room temperate or warmed/heated. I chilled both of my bottles and preferred them colder rather than in other styles.

For my first post I made Japanese Octopus Salad and Octopus and Potatoes. Neither pairing hit the mark. I used too much rice vinegar in the first dish and the wines didn’t pair with the olive oil and parsley on top of the potatoes to my surprise. I was so curious about the wines though and looked for a better pairing and found a couple. The wines were lovely with avocado and also with broiled Salmon with dill seed. I am going to see how they work with squid dishes too.

From my post yesterday I wrote:

The first wine was Hakkaisan Sparkling Sake Clear Sparkling “AWA . I bought the smaller 360 ml bottle. It was quite expensive and I wasn’t sure if I would like it. The secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle. It was quite particular with rich, earthy notes, slight citrus flavors and a sweet undertone. The rice they use is mentioned, the polishing ratio, the yeast, the amino acid and the Sake meter value are part of the tech sheets for Sake. All of this is fascinating to me. According to the website, Sake Rice strains include Yamadanishiki, Gohyakumangoku and Miyamanishiki. These are crops grown only for the Sake industry. Together with the rice used, another important ingredient is water. The waters in Japan are said to contain little heavy metal. Another important component is yeast. Yeast we know turns sugar into alcohol and also gives off other components. Some yeasts are bred to create something easy to work with. Another component is Koji rice. “Koji mold spores are propagated on rice grains where they dig in and give off enzymes that break up the starch of the rice grain into sugars,” according to their website.

Junmai Sake Dry

The second wine was Ozeki Sake Dry. This wine is made in the Junmai style. It is dry and elegant. This version was fruity, delicate and had a slight sweetness.

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