Aroma and flavor of Sake
"Pure mountain water flows gently through the throat and fills my soul and body, nice fruity aromas leaving behind ..." my poetic ability is not enough to describe the ideals of Sake. No one has been able to determine the exact number of brands and varieties of sake produced in Japan. Suppose each brewery produces an average of 20 varieties, multiplied by about 1500 breweries ... So, life is too short to drink bad Sake!
While industrial manufacturers usually earn mainstream Sake of inferior quality their money, small breweries strive to create unique flavor profiles and high quality. In her sake the regional characteristics, Qualitätsbestrebung and not least the philosophy of the brewery is reflected. Compared with Sake wine has much less acid and tastes full-bodied and mild. The alcohol content is 15%, somewhat higher than in wine. Nevertheless Sake is an excellent food companion. Because of his body and mouthfeel he makes a similar impression as red wine and fits well with meat dishes. Sake has over 400 different aromas and flavors.
The harmony between food and Sake
If you drink the Sake solo or with food? There is no rule for this. Nevertheless the sake shows its true value when it is enjoyed with food. But what Sake to which dish? Japanese consider it at this question rather loosely, "depending on your wishes and budget." Just like wine, there are at Sake different regional characteristics. While in the mountain region of a sweeter and stronger Sake is favored to savory dishes, drinking in the region on the coast a fresh and light Sake to fish and seafood.
However, you do not always have sushi, to drink a good Sake! In speaking of the Sommelier World Champion Markus Del Monego: "For us, it seems self-evident, that fine, light meals fantastic match Sake, Sake but is so diverse that even strong dishes in harmony. Here I think of a combination, such as a leg of lamb that I anbrate, einschlage in a towel and give in a pot in the hay is. I'm Buffering the meat in the water and feel when cutting open the club the fine taste of lamb, combined with a delicate Heuaroma. For this dish is very good one Daiginjo- or Ginjo Sake, which also includes floral notes, but goes in the direction of his spicy added alcohol content a bit more. When fried dishes such as veal or poultry I would go more in the direction of Daiginjo, Ginjo or Honjozo as toasty aromas require a stronger aroma. Also, I can control a lot about the sauce. Ask yourself, for example, risotto with porcini mushrooms before and to mature Sake Junmai highly aromatic Daiginjo ... "
As Sake dealer I take my daily practice session. Namely to test the combination of sake and dining. As a rule, I compare each dish a sake and wine. At Spaghetti Carbonara fits better a full-bodied Junmai Sake as a Riesling Spätlese. But the fried with teriyaki sauce duck harmonizes better yet Baden Pinot Noir as aromatic Ginjo. General rejects Sake no food from, such as the combination between red and blue cheese. He assisted with the good umami flavor of the dish and accompanied gently, without losing its own flavor. It is only to note that the quality of sake and food right. Even a super-premium sake can not save failed dish! Simple and beautiful Junmai Ginjo accompanied one as a mild fruity Spätlese a cheese selection from a fresh goat's cheese, ripened Alpine cheese to blue cheese. Try some of Junmai sake for dinner! Umami of spicy salami and well matured hams are multiplied by Umami of Junmai and taste particularly good.
Serving temperature ... "good sake is served cold"
Sake can be enjoyed at different hydration temperatures. One can slightly chilled (10-15 ° C), at room temperature or hot drink. However, the proper drinking temperature depends on the type of sake. An aroma accented Sake (Ginjo, Daiginjo) enjoyed better cooling, while a robust and full-bodied Sake can be drunk both cooled and warmed. Depending on the temperature opens a good Sake different flavors and taste the world. Try the Sake times cold, sometimes hot, depending on your mood.
General: Premium Sake as Ginjo or Daiginjo tastes best slightly chilled. Even in the cold winter you pour not necessarily the best vintage of Mouton Rothschild in the mulled wine pot, right?
Depending on the shape and material of the glass is a wine other faces. Not for nothing developed as the Riedel glass series, the extensive "Sommelier". For Sake this principle also applies. Fruity aromas of the high quality Sake come with a thin white wine glass to better advantage than with a traditional porcelain mug. Indeed, there is a Daiginjo glass from Riedel and also of other prestigious glassworks in the world. On the other hand, it is also a pleasure to drink the strong Junmai sake of a hand-sized earthy tone mug. Sake in a wooden cup is often served at weddings or other celebrations. Embossed with the names of the wedding couple cups should guests take home as souvenirs. This mug produces an "instant-oak-effect".
Storage & shelf life of Sake
Sake is usually brewed only in the winter months between October and March. After squeezing Sake is bottled in steel tanks or bottles on then aged for 6 to 12 months. Before storage and at bottling sake is pasteurized (a few seconds at 62 ° C.). Instead vintage on the label a date of manufacture or bottling date. The sake is sensitive to light and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, it is important that the top quality Sake is shipped in refrigerated containers or by air from Japan to Europe. It is advisable to buy the Sake of confidence from dealer and store in the refrigerator after purchase, or in the basement. After opening the bottle of sake is a few weeks in the fridge without negative influence of oxidation durable. And do not forget to drink sake at the next opportunity!