If you live in Perth one of the biggest ranges of sake (nihonshu) is at Tsunami in Mosman Park. And not only sake but also Japanese plum wine ( umeshu ) and Japanese whisky. You can even buy the whisky to take away like a bottle shop. If fact all the sake is available for takeaway at a 20% discount to the restaurant menu.
They have their own on site storage for sake in a refrigerator container. This is necessary for the Nama sake ( both Nama Nama and namachozo ). It is stored at 5 degrees Celsius which not only preserves the Nama but also extends indefinitely the age of the normal junmai , junmai ginjo and junmai daiginjo. Normally it needs to be drunk in a year but stored under these conditions it will last a lot longer. It effectively halts to a crawl the aging process and could be argued adds complexity to the taste.
So we hope you all drink well ( and drink responsibly) this 'World Sake Day'.
Sake and Food.
One of the most common questions we get is 'what sake goes with what food' or ' what sake should I have with my sushi?' How does it work?
The matching of sake (nihonshu) typically follows the food type of the region. One must bear in mind that in older days most people didn't travel far from their village of birth. So if you were from the mountainous regions of central Japan the odds were that you wouldn't be eating much fresh fish and would be eating more preserved and fermented foods with a stronger taste profile.
Junmai ginjo and daiginjo are relatively new on the sake scene. Their delicate flavours suit well lighter food such as the tasting plate that is served at Tsunami Ko in their upmarket omakase menu.
Junmai nihonshu is less polished. So more of the outer grain of the rice survives the polishing process. This contains protein and fats and gives it a more robust taste with more umami (all things being equal). So it would suit a sukiyaki dish or oden or even a teriyaki chicken.
Nama sake and namagenshu muroka sake are quite powerful in flavour. They can be had without food. Think of them as an apertif. However we also believe, and this is quite a new concept and hasn't been tried much, that they would suit very well Thai, Vietnamese, Philippine (Pinoy) and some Chinese food. Nama can stand up to very well, and cut through, full flavoured dishes such as Pad Thai, Pork adobo, spicy stir frys with e.g. Coriander, and a Pho with Tito herbs (called Shiso in Japanese language).
Nigori sake suit very well many desserts due to their sweet flavour profile. The SMV value (nihonshudo) of these can be -30 in some cases so it would suit an not overly sweet dessert such as a Pannacotta or brûlée.
We willl have to leave it for now as this is a big subject. But we will revisit it at a later date.
For now, eat well and 'Kampai!'