Q: 1. Which developments in the sake world do you find particularly interesting at the moment and which do you dislike?
A: What has changed a lot is the production of more premium sake in general instead of simple, cheap sake and the increased production of sparkling sake, which is becoming more and more popular. In addition, exports abroad are increasing more and more. There are also more breweries that specialize, for example, not polishing the rice as much and producing products like Genmai.
Q: 2. What is typical of sake from your region?
A: The sake from here has a good balance due to its history with the food of the region, which is known for its excellent fish, sushi, sashimi less strong taste. A perfect accompaniment to meals so that you can enjoy it for a long time, that's what makes the sake from here, I would say.
Q: 3. What do you find fascinating about your job and which experience was particularly important for your work?
A: To work internationally you have to travel a lot and since sake is not so well known abroad, you often have to explain what sake actually is first. People who only know wine and like to drink it. Making sake palatable is a skill that is very important for this work.
Q: 4. How important is the international recognition of sake to you?
A: I would like sake, like wine, to find its way into the gourmet world as the standard alcoholic beverage abroad. Sake can be combined very well with all kitchens, not just the Japanese. This awareness is getting stronger and I think this is a very good development that sake is gaining more and more recognition.
Q: 5. What do you drink in your spare time besides sake?
A: Besides sake, I mostly drink beer and wine.
Q: 6. A recommendation for one of your sake and a suitable dish?
A: I actually like Urakasumi Zen best. Of all the sake it has the most beautiful balance and, unlike some other ginjo, you can drink it for a long time and a lot, especially with food, without getting tired of it. To be honest, Zen was the first sake I drank from Urakasumi and at the time I thought: wow what a delicious sake. I can recommend creamy mussels as a dish, for example oysters.
(The interview was conducted in Japanese by: Alissa Scherzer - self translated)