I was invited to try some of the sake produced and imported by Sake One in Oregon.
Some may be familiar with the blue bottle of Momokawa which I’ve actually picked up before from my local Sprouts. Now they have an organic version. Upon tasting, I was instantly reminded of melon. We were enjoying a Latin food lunch and it was interesting to see how the sakes worked with non-Japanese food. Naturally one tends to think of sake with Japanese food, perhaps with sushi. But the brewed sakes works well with any food. I can see this Momokawa bringing down the heat of really spicy food.
Next we moved on to the SakeMoto. Being a junmai sake, this was the next level up and this is where I typically start looking for a sake to try. I prefer drier sakes and this went well with the saffron infused mussels we were having at the time.
Next we had the G, which came in a sleek black bottle adorned with a bright letter G which stands for genshu, another level of refined sake. This retails a bit more than Momokawa and SakeMoto and I would say this would go well with entrees. I really liked this with the blue cheese quesadilla we had. Instead of a wine tasting with cheese, it would be fun to try to match up cheeses to sakes. For those who think wait, but cheese with sake, I have to remind you of some of the cheesy Japanese foods that I’ve seen. Cheese corn ramen? Maybe the perfect thing is to have a sake with that.
Also, sake cocktails have been more refined these days. Since it’s brewed and therefore lower proof, many bars and restaurants with beer and wine use sakes to make cocktails but it’s been a recent trend to use sake in higher end cocktails. No longer is it just a source of booze content. It’s actually being used for its flavor profile as seen in a recent sake competition I covered.
I’d like to experiment with using the G to replace a dry vermouth. Perhaps in a Chrysanthemum cocktail (absinthe, Benedictine, dry vermouth).
The last sake I tried was the Moonstone. We had the Asian pear sake which as expected is a bit sweeter. This would be your dessert sake. I’d try this with a fruity dessert, sure, but also with chocolate desserts.
The next time I’m in Portland, Oregon, I’d love to visit the Sake One brewery to check out how sake is made. The brewery or kura (Japanese for sake brewery), is just outside of Portland.
© The Minty // LA Cocktails 2013