Feb 1, 2012

Get Inspired - Akita’s Quintessential Sake in the Best Season!

Akita’s local Sake and food has just been held on Sunday, January 29th, 2012. This popular event has been much waited-for, so that it easily reached the maximum occupancy of 25 people.

The 17th heir to Suzuki Shuzoten
was present at the party!
This year, the event was titled as “Fuyu no Shoku Asobi,” which means “playing with winter food.” Guests enjoyed a dinner with various types of Akita’s sake and fresh ingredients that best reflected the seasonal availability!

As usual, two sake breweries brought in their freshest wines: Hideyoshi’s Suzuki Shuzoten and Ranman’s Akita Meijo – both are well-known breweries of Akita Prefecture.
The food was designed and prepared by Kyukamura’s head chef. This year, A Hokkaido-born chef, Mr. Abe took up this challenge in this newly-accustomed land and impressed us with his innovative dishes! (Read more about the food.)

A Toast with Daiginjo shu, the Bestest Bottle by Akita’s Best Breweries:

Daiginjo bottles of Ranman and Hideyoshi (Left to right)

The dinner started with a toast with a cup of Daiginjo shu, which is considered as the most premium-quality sake with its polishing rate is up to 50% and feature characteristic fragrances and high clarity - it is a perfect one to start the rally on this meal.
Ranman presented their Daiginjo bottle, Bishu Ranman Daiginjo. The bottle surely deserves the company’s own name. The top quality, Yamadanishiki rice, is polished to a 40% rate by the traditional brewing method of Yamauchitoji. This year the bottle has won an award at the prestigious Tohoku competition!

Hideyoshi's 19-daime Matsuemon

Hideyoshi presented Matsuemon (松右衛門), whose name derives from the very title given to each brewery-master at the succession to the predecessor’s position. Needless to say, such name was given to the bottle, for it is worth the brewer’s pride in the 322 years-old tradition!

The current heir, Mr. Naoko Suzuki (picture up above) is the 19th heir to the traditional brewy. The label suggests that "19-daime Matsuemon" is made to deliver the brewer's passion that has been passed through the generations: "Hear nothing; Say nothing; Have nothing in your mind to enjoy this sake."

“Excellent Quality” – Very Akita-Like Sake Brewed This Year!

The brewers presented the freshest sake that has been just bottled during this high season. Each presenter delivered the bottles to each table as the meals were being delivered one after another.

A presenter from Hideyoshi, has exuded his joy in introducing this year’s sake. “This season we have been complimented as an excellent quality,” he continued, “the low temperature of this year has been enhancing the characteristic Akita Method, known for its low temperature and long period. So, this year’s overwhelming coldness is actually good for sake brewing in Akita.”

That is the very reason why the sake of this year has been undeniably excellent. The sweetness and aroma is present even after the alcohol starts to numb our palette.

Still reluctant in trying Sake? If unfamiliarity keeps you away …

“Try Sake cocktails,” suggested the presenter from Ranman. “Some sake beginners find sake surprisingly delicious when they try it in a mixed drink. At first, mixing sake with other flavors seemed to me like a taboo – like as if it would ruin the taste we have crafted with such a loving care.”

“But actually,” he exclaimed matter-of-factly, “I gave in when I was suggested by an internationally-awarded bartender from our city, Yuzawa. Now I think it could be a good starting point for some inexperienced drinkers. We would love many people to know how delicious Akita’s sake is!”

We couldn't agree more!

Kyukamura Nyuto Onsenkyo has been holding this event since 2010 with the current manager, Mr. Ninomiya. Initially, he aimed to inspire young people, who are often reluctant and unfamiliar despite their interest in such tradition. Now this event has grown and become very popular with guests in all ages.

With this event, you will open a new door to the profound world of Akita’s sake!

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