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2016 EXCLUSIVE NAMAZAKE TASTING DINNERS

SHOWCASING —
AMANOTO (EST 1917 – Aichi)
DEWAZAKURA (EST 1892 – Yamagata)
HOURAISEN (EST 1864 – Aichi)
TENGUMAI (EST 1823 – Ishikawa)
YOSHINOGAWA (EST 1548 – Niigata)

 

Déjà vu Sake Co, one of Australia’s leading importers of Japan’s finest Sake, Whisky and Shochu, is bringing four of Japan’s most celebrated and award-winning Sake brewers to Sydney to showcase their latest Namazake (unpasteurized Sake) releases at a series of events.

These sake producers are all family-owned and operated breweries, and have perfected their craft for hundreds of years.

The producers will take part in a series of dinners and tastings in Sydney and Melbourne, showcasing their Sake, including their latest Namazake releases (Namazake tastings are limited to Sydney only) and educational dinners on the production process of sake, as well as the different flavour profiles.


MONDAY 4 JULY 2016

SOKYO — PRIVATE DINING ROOM
THE DARLING THE STAR
80 PYRMONT STREET, PYRMONT @ 6.30PM
FIVE COURSES MATCHED WITH TEN SAKES $230
Bookings via www.star.com.au
1800 700 700

TUESDAY 5 JULY 2016
SAKE RESTAURANT — PRIVATE DINING ROOM
12 ARGYLE STREET, THE ROCKS @ 6.30PM
FIVE COURSES MATCHED WITH TEN SAKES $180
SPECIAL JAPANESE DRUM PERFORMANCE BY YUNION
Bookings via sakerestaurant.com.au
02 9259 5656

WEDNESDAY 6 JULY 2016
TETSUYA’S
529 KENT ST, SYDNEY 6PM FOR 6.30PM
TEN COURSES WITH MATCHED SAKES $300
Bookings via info@tetsuyas.com
02 9267 2900

THURSDAY 7 JULY 2016
SAKE RESTAURANT
100 ST KILDA ROAD, MELBOURNE @ 6.30PM
FIVE COURSES MATCHED WITH SIX SAKES $130
Bookings via sakerestaurant.com.au
1300 670 910

DEWAZAKURA EST. 1892—YAMAGATA

125 Years of History and Commitment

Japanese sake is produced throughout all regions of Japan, and the Dewazakura Sake Brewery is situated in the Yamagata Prefecture, which is 300km North of Tokyo.

Established in 1892, and one of the larger sake breweries in Yamagata, Dewazakura still maintains traditional methods to produce high quality sake. Dewazakura Sake is very popular within the Japanese consumer market, and their contribution to the sake industry is highly regarded.

Dewazakura’s house style is known for its aromatic qualities. Factors such as rice variety, choice of yeast, water, and fermentation techniques greatly influence the production of aromatic qualities during the sake making process. To maintain a beautiful, fruity aroma in sake, the final processes are key, and falls on the pasteurisation – 火入れ ‘Hiire’ – of the sake, which also means it is preservative free. The main purpose of pasteurisation is to stabilise the microbiological activity of the yeast, bacteria –‘Hiochikin’ – and enzymes. If sake is not pasteurised, the sake can be spoiled by bacteria which causes it to become cloudy and oxidised, and develop an unpleasant odour.

SO HOW DO THEY PASTEURISE SAKE?
They warm sake to 65 degrees to deactivate yeast and bacteria. There are two methods here: the modern way is to use a heat exchanger, or preferably, start the process after the sake has been bottled. The latter is the best way to do pasteurisation – quick and gentle, it means the sake doesn’t lose any desirable components, especially the aroma. This way is labour-intensive and time-consuming, and as a result many sake breweries only use bottle pasteurisation – 瓶火入れ ‘Bin Hiire’ – for precious sake, especially competition-use bottles. Dewazakura is committed to quality, therefore use the Bin Hiire method of pasteurisation for all Daiginjo and Ginjo levels (the top two grades of Sake) regardless of whether the sake is intended for competition or not. Nearly 125 years of history and commitment of Dewazakura is shown in their bottles.

 

DAIGINJO YAMADA NISHIKI 48
The palate has a crispness to it with
subtle hints of lemon, corn and cut fennel.

STYLE: Daiginjo
RICE POLISHING RATIO: 48%
ALCOHOL: 15.5%
SERVE: Chilled or Room Temperature

AMANOTO EST. 1917—AKITA

Words from a Sake Master

For Amanoto Brewery’s Toji (sake master), the making of sake is the delicate and harmonious blending of the cold climate of Akita, Japan, and locally sourced ingredients. For Amanoto Brewery, production is poetry, and the product a masterpiece.

‘Akita Prefecture has lots of snow in Winter. We made sake in this coldness; the birth of Amanoto sake. We truly believe beautiful things create flavoursome sake.’

Things that are beautiful to look at, such as rice paddocks in Autumn.

Things you think are clean, like washed rice.

Things that feel nice to touch, like Koji rice for Junmai Daiginjo.

We aim to grow our rice for sake making with minimal use of chemicals, so the rice is healthy. This is good for everyone, like our family and friends. In the rice paddocks where there are very little chemicals and left as natural as possible, there are lots of insects and spiders which try to eat the crop, and that is the reason you see spider webs in our rice paddocks. The journey of making beautiful sake is starting from beautiful things you look at, things you feel nice, things you want to touch…you know in your soul. That is the reason our ingredients such as rice and water, all come from within 5km from Amanoto Brewery. We want to bottle this beauty into sake bottles.”

 

JUNKARA JUNMAI
Junkara means ‘dry’ and this is a very dry sake from Amanoto. Hints of yeast and a nice floral character on the nose, it is smooth and clean with a crisp dry finish.

STYLE: Junkara Junmai
RICE GROWN: Akita
RICE POLISHING RATIO: 60%
ALCOHOL: 16.5%
SERVE: Warm or Room Temp.

 

JUNMAI GINJO
Elegant and fruity but powerful on the palate with a crisp clean finish with zesty citrus.

STYLE: Junmai Ginjo
RICE GROWN: Akita
RICE POLISHING RATIO: 55%
ALCOHOL: 15.5%
SERVE: Chilled or Room Temp.

 

JUNMAI DAIGINJO 35
Has been highly polished so that only 35% of the rice grain remains.

STYLE: Junmai Daiginjo
RICE GROWN: Akita
RICE POLISHING RATIO: 35%
ALCOHOL: 16.5%
SERVE: Chilled or Room Temp.

 

WSET LEVEL 3 AWARD IN SAKE

4 DAY SHORT COURSE NOW AVAILABLE IN MAY.

The first WSET Level 3 Award in Sake in Australia was launched successfully last year with Sydney Wine Academy alongside enthusiastic wine professionals and wine and Sake lovers.  

All students studied and learned the long history and the complexity of the Japanese Sake world.  The tasting part of the course is very popular as you can taste nearly 40 different Sakes to learn various styles, the influence of regions, production methods, occasion etc.

Now in 2016, Sydney Wine Academy is again offering a short course for those who cannot attend the 8 week course. This short course starts in May in Sydney.

The course curriculum is the same as the 8 week course and there will be an exam at the end of the course.  Only 15 places are available. At this stage this course will only be available once or twice a year.

If you are interested in Sake, or are considering in improving your Sake knowledge, please join Yukino Ochiai, the Director of Deja Vu Sake Company and the first and only certified Level 3 Sake Educator in Australia.

Any inquiries, please contact Yukino on 0418 479 594 or yukino@dejavusake.com.au

For enrolment, please visit http://www.nsi.tafensw.edu.au

A MARS WHISKY X-MAS

Wishing you a very whisky Christmas.

The Hombo family, owners of Mars Whisky, first took out a license to distil whisky in 1949, although it was not until 1960 that it started making whisky – and not in Kagoshima, but at a purpose built plant in Yamanashi. Mars Whisky has since relocated to Nagano, where the distillery is located 798m above sea level. Iwai was responsible for the design of their pot stills and is considered a pioneer in the history and development of pot still whisky in Japan.

Both the Iwai Tradition Blended Whisky & Iwai Blended Whisky are available gift-boxed. A perfect Christmas gift.

 

WHERE YOU CAN BUY OR ENJOY MARS WHISKY:

NSW / ACT
Ainslie Cellars
Australian Wine Centre
Bayfield Group
Beach Hotel
Best Cellars
Boathouse at Blackwattle
Camperdown Cellars
Capital Liquor and Bev
Castlecrag Cellars
China Doll Restaurant
China Lane Restaurant
Cho Cho San
Clock Hotel
Curtin Cellars
Dan Murphy’s – selected store
Dan Murphy’s Online
Firedoor
Golden Sheaf Hotel
Goro’s
Hackett Supermarket
Jim Murphy Airport Cellars
Kemenys Food & Liquor Store
Kuki Tanuki
Lilotang
Merewether Surfhouse
Merivale Ivy
My Bottleshop
Ormeggio at the Spit
Opera Bar
Parry St Garage
Prince of Wales Hotel
Porters Liquor Balgowlah
Sokyo Bar
Sokyo Japanese Restaurant
Tallwood Eatery
The Blind Monk
The Bridge Room
The Oak Barrel
The Sydney Cove Oyster Bar
Unity Hall Hotel
Wine Culture
Woollahra Hotel

QLD
Ballina Discount Liquor
Bird’s Nest Restaurant
Capri Wine & Beer
Cru Bar & Cellar
Emmanuels Wine Shop
Etsu Izakaya
Ferry Road Wine & Beer
Jubilee Hotel
Kirra Beach Hotel
Kiyomi Japanese Restaurant (Coming Soon)
Malt Traders
Mamasan Kitchen & Bar
Pacific Fair Wine & Beer
Pineapple Hotel (Craft Wine Store)
Stewarts Wine Co
The Embassy Hotel
The Wine Emporium
Watermark Hotel
Watermark Hotel
Ze Pickle Fortitude Valley

VIC
Barrique Wine Store
Bottega Tasca
Cumulus
Gold Digger Arms Hotel
McCoppins
Nicks Wine Merchant
Prince Wine Store
Rathdowne Cellars
Supernormal
University House

TAS
Crown Cellars (Launceston) 
Club Hotel (Burnie)
Destination Cellars (Hobart)
The Duke (Hobart)
Glasshouse (Hobart)
Rain Check Lounge (North Hobart)
Shoreline Hotel (Howrah)
Society (Salamanca)

DAIGINJO-SHU. VERY SPECIAL BREW

DAIGINJO MAKING IS A LABOUR OF LOVE AND DEDICATION.

High quality, elegant and fragrant sake you now enjoy has only been available in the Japanese market since the 1970s.  My beloved Grandma missed out unfortunately! She loved her sake very much.

Daiginjo making is a labour of love; Sake breweries dedicate each year to achieving higher results. Sake breweries are so proud of their Daiginjo craftsmanship. It is a flagship and showcasing of their skill, knowledge and history. Daiginjo is the highest grade in ‘Tokutei Meisho’ which means ‘Special Designated Sake’.  This category of Sake only makes up a total of 35% of total Sake production within Japan with Daiginjo representing a very small percentage, making it very special.

A lot of effort and expertise is required in making high quality Sake, especially Daiginjo. All premium Sake requires its Sake special rice to be polished at least 30%, which means at least 30% of the rice must be milled away. With Daiginjo, the rice must to be polished at least 50%, which can take longer than 80 continuous hours. Daiginjo is brewed slowly at very low temperatures; it is very labour intensive. Daiginjo is aromatic, delicate, textured, pure, fragrant, fruity and floral. It has similar characters to delicate white wine.

Enjoy your Daiginjo in either a Sake cup, or we suggest a good white wine glass. We recommend having it at the start of your dinner with light umami flavoured dishes. Kampai!

 

OUR SELECTION

01. Amanoto ` Junmai Daiginjo 35
02. Dewazakura ` Ichiro Junmai Daiginjo
03. Houraisen ` Bi Junmai Daiginjo
04. Tengumai ` Yamahai Junmai Daiginjo
05. Yoshinogawa ` Daiginjo

WATER FIRST OR SHOCHU?

Shōchū is a Japanese distilled beverage. Its flavour is often described as nutty or earthy.

It is distilled from rice (kome), barley (mugi), sweet potatoes (imo), buckwheat (soba) or brown sugar (kokutō). Typically Shōchū contains an alcohol by volume of approximately 25%, which is weaker than whisky or standard-strength vodka but stronger than wine and sake. Shōchū originated in Kyūshū.

The local people of Kagoshima in Kyūshū normally drink Shochu with hot water. Food in Kyūshū is much sweeter than Tokyo making Shochu a wonderful accompaniment to the cuisine in Kagoshima. As Shōchū is commonly mixed with cold water or hot water, normally the ratio is 5 : 5 = hot water : Shōchū, the discussion is always “water first or Shochu first!?.”

When diluted with water, the alcohol by volume is approximately 15%, taking on a similar body to sake and wine. Shōchū is delicate and sweet on the nose with a light texture, making it a delightful accompaniment to a variety of foods other than the cuisine of Kagoshima, such as sashimi, noodles and pork.

GREEN TEA IS COMING SOON!

Japanese green tea is made from the Yabukita cultivar of the camellia sinensis plant.

Green tea is ubiquitous in Japan and is commonly known simply as “tea”. Tea was brought to Japan by Myōan Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist priest who also introduced the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism.

Japanese green tea is made from the Yabukita cultivar of the camellia sinensis plant. Japanese green teas are steamed giving them a “leafy” taste. The exception is hōjicha, a Japanese roasted tea. Japanese green teas are categorized by the age of the leaves: young leaves are called sencha and the more mature, larger leaves are called bancha. Types of tea are commonly graded depending on the quality and the parts of the plant used as well as how they are processed.

There are large variations in both price and quality within these broad categories, and there are many green teas that fall outside this spectrum. The best Japanese green tea is said to be from the Yame region of Fukuoka Prefecture and from the Uji region of Kyoto. Uji has been producing Ujicha (Uji tea) for four hundred years, pre-dating the prefecture system. It is now a combination of the border regions of Shiga, Nara, Kyoto, and Mie prefectures. Shizuoka Prefecture produces 40 percent of raw tea leaf.

THE HISTORY OF MARS WHISKY

The Hombo family, owners of Mars Whisky, first took out a license to distil whisky in 1949.

This was run by Kiichiro Iwai, who had been Masataka Taketsuru’s immediate superior at the turn of the century and who was responsible for sending Taketsuru to Scotland in 1919 to learn how whisky was produced. Both men had worked for a firm, Settsu Shozu, which had intended to build Japan’s first whisky distillery. Sadly when  Takaetsuru returned from Scotland, the firm was in administration. He went to join Yamazaki and founded Nikka.

Iwai was a whisky man too and when the plant in Yamanashi started , Iwai used Taketsuru’s original report to make his whisky. It was unsurprisingly, heavy and smoky. Iwai was also responsible for the design of their pot stills and is considered a pioneer in the history and development of pot still whisky in Japan. He is one of only 4 Japanese, listed in the Top 100 most influential people in the history of whisky in the world.

In 1984, production was switched to the current Mars site in Nagano high in the Japanese Alps, which had been chosen because of its altitude (to encourage slow maturation) and the availability of soft granite filtered water.

A style change was also brought in. This whisky was to be light. The few casks from this period show it to be Japan’s sweetest whisky, filled with soft honeyed fruits. Unfortunately timing was bad, and this was the start of Japans great whisky crash, and Mars closed in 1992.

With the market opening up again, Mars opened again in 2011 and currently there are two whisky’s available – Iwai Blended Whisky, which is aged in bourbon casks, and the Iwai ‘Tradition’ Blended Whisky which is aged in bourbon, sherry and American white oak casks.