Now this was a delightful change for a “wine” tasting – Sake! A very educational session that was enjoyed by all who attended. Paul Colwel from BRJ Distributors did a great job in presenting the sake and explaining some of the history of sake and how it is produced. He has a direct connection with sake production.
The photo to the right shows some of the sake that we tasted tonight. And for a little history,
The origin of sake has been traced back to 4800 BC along the Yangtze River Basin of China, but its substantive history and development is Japanese. Sake is the national beverage of Japan and its people have devoted centuries of painstaking effort refining this enchanting beverage. In the 3rd Century BC, wet rice cultivation was developed in Japan and soon thereafter farmers began fermenting their rice into a thick, low alcohol, porridge like substance that was eaten rather than drunk. In 689 AD, sake was formally elevated from a common man’s drink when the Imperial Palace established a brewery.
So there is a little history of the drink. It is much older than most people have thought. The history related above is a very simple and basic synopsis. It is interesting to look deeper into the history of sake and its use.
Here Paul sets up for the evening.
Paul is explaining about sake to the crowd.
Kathy Johnson poured the sake dressed in a traditional kimono.
(Left) Ozeki Osakaya Chobei, “First Boss”
16% alc. “Diaginjo” is a term that means First Quality and this sake is brewed with a highly polished rice. It is uniquely elegant and complex with a delicate, fruity fragrance. Wonderfully smooth.
(Right) Ozeki Reishu Junmai
12% alc. This sake is brewed specifically to be served cold. A full bodied flavor and very smooth finish.
Chef James did an outstanding job in preparing our buffet. Here he has California Rolls.
Peas and Carrots with Water Chestnuts.
The plated dinner.
There were some other sakes that Robin and I enjoyed. Since the FDA “outlawed” the drinking of sake in the traditional cedar boxes (see photo above), some sake is produced using cedar chips. Ozeki Taru Cedar Aged Sake, 14.8% alc, is a different sake. This sake should be warmed up to release the fragrance of the cedar. The other sake that we enjoyed was Hana Waka, 7% alc. This is a sweet sake and should be cold when consumed. Raspberries, strawberries and orange slices. So there you have a brief explanation of the Sake Evening. Try some of these when at a Japanese restaurant. Cheers!