Wine Wednesday: Bernardaud hosts Sake Masters

Many of you may have seen Bernardaud, while looking for your fine china for your wedding registry.  Each Bernardaud collection offers proof that they redefine style and the way we look at fine china.  From contemporary to bold pieces they bring simple luxury to everyday life.  Recently they hosted a Sake Tasting reception with Sake Masters from several historic Japanese breweries and created a unique Sake cup to introduce their guests to this sometimes-mysterious brew.

The four sake breweries represented were: Urakasumi (represented by Mr. Koichi Saura); Sudohonke (represented by Mr. Gen-uemon Sudo); Masumi Sake Co. (represented by Mr. Katsuhiko Miyasaka) and Masuizumi Sake Co. (represented by Mr. Ryuichiro Masuda). They paired it with French cuisine and delicious chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat.

Today we celebrate Sake.

Urakasumi – Founded in 1724, it is responsible for producing the sake for the Shiogama Shrine, which goes back in history more than 1000 years.  The house offered two sakes:

Junmai Ginjoshu Urakasumizen – This sake has a balanced flavor with creamy texture and length. Flavors like (Ginjo) apple and banana balance well and would compliment seafood and a light meal.

Yamadanishinki Junmai Daiginjo Urakasumi – This fragrant sake has an intense note of mixed fruits like apple and fresh pineapple.  It’s really sweet and has a clean finish.  This extremely unique is it’s produced in limited quantities.

Sudohonke – This 850 year old sake brewery is the oldest in Japan and is one-hour away from Tokyo.  Originally part of the warrior class, it began after the Japanese economy started to be based on rice.  The brewery is surrounded by lush and fragrant Keyaki trees that protect it from the sun’s rays in summer and absorb water, one of the most important ingredients in sake.  Actually the sake is made from the water in the family’s own wells. This is the first brewery to sell unpasteurized sake.

Satononohomare – Sweet Junmai-Ginjo-she with good acidity.  IT pairs well with foie gras and desserts like dark chocolate.

“Kakunko” Junmai Daiginjohshu – A medium bodied and very fragrant sake with great lengths and elegance. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, it goes well with meat.

Masumi Sake Co – Established by the Miyasaka family in Nagano in 1662 has been praised by Shoguns and warriors alike.  The name “Masumi” means transparency or truth.

Nanago – Using their own yeast and local Miyama Nishiki rich, Nanago has a mild fragrance and a full-bodied flavor with balanced acidity and a clean finish.  It goes with smoked seafood, meat and aged cheese.  It actually pairs well with the dark chocolate w/ Almond and hazelnut praline.

Junmai Arabashiri – This is brewed in the depths of winter and bottled fresh off the press.  The aroma suggests melons and pears creating a truly elegant flavor.  This is a summer (in my humble opinion) Sake because it’s so light and refreshing. It also goes well with a broad food spectrum, from fresh salads to meat.

Masuizumi Sake Co – This brewery is located in Toyama, which is a town rich in history and is made every year on the Tai-an, an auspicious day in the Buddhist calendar in October. While this company has a young history relative to other established houses, they are passionate about its commitment to producing the highest quality sake.

Masuizumi Kijyoshu – Kijyoshu is sake made using already completed sake in place of some of the water. Very little is made.  It has a rich flavor and goes well with soft fermented cheese like Brie and Camembert, and also jellied consommé.

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjohshu SP – This sake has the right touch of dryness and sweetness.  Each sip helps you discover something new. It’s truly a party in your mouth. Aged in oak barrels this is perfect with a good smoked wild duck, smoked salmon or the dark chocolate Grenache with Gran Marnier.

It was truly a special night and I hope that you all have the opportunity to try these sakes.  Do you have a favorite Sake?  Did you know that La Maison du Chocolat will help you pair your favorites with their chocolates?  This would be a wonderful surprising and elegant finish to your wedding event.  Consider it, sip it, enjoy it.


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