Sake Tasting in Japan

I was in Japan last week on business.  (ViciVino.com is fun, but there is a real job.)  Business went well, and at the end of the week, we met up with a friend to go to a new sake tasting bar in Tokyo.  I’ve had sake on previous trips to Japan, but never really thought about it, or done any side by side tastings.  Well, this was fun.  This tasting bar lines up 3 glasses for you, and you (in my case, my Japanese friend) picks out 3 different bottles of sake to try from the 500 or so they had.  With 5 of us tasting, we lined up a few bottles on the bar:




Sake is fermented rice, not exactly rice wine.  But there are similar characteristics:  there are specific strains of rice that are better for sake, and specific areas in Japan that give different taste to the different rices.  There are different degrees of care that go into the fermenation process.  Probably even more similarities if/when I dig into it.  One other similarity is the time, energy and love that goes into the labels:



Also, just as with wine, different people have different tastes.  I didn’t like the most expensive one the best, but it was quite smooth.  I thought it lacked a bit of flavor.  A less expensive sake had better balance between flavors, to my untrained, outsider palate.  But as with wine, if you like it, then it’s good.  

I’m back in the Bay Area now, and enjoying the nice Summer weather.  Business was great in Japan, but I can’t really recommend traveling there during Summer, as you get both heat and humidity.  

Back to wine with the next post; heading down to Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo soon.  

L’Chaim,

Larry


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