Pairings | Sake
The sound of the temple bell reverberates in the distance. It’s midnight in Japan, and the Shinto shrine is full of people celebrating the new year. Some are drinking amazake – a cloudy unfiltered (and non-alcoholic) type of sake drunk warm; others proffer cups to be filled with cold clear sake, served from gold kettles by ceremonially-clad priests. And the gods get their share – offerings of large straw-covered sake barrels called komokaburi are placed in front of the shrine. Only sake is good enough to keep the gods happy – in the hope they'll bestow health and happiness in the coming year.
What type of food is the best match for sake and why? Shirley Booth, founder of the British Sake Association comes up with a few surprises and some useful pointers on serving temperatures.
I was reminded the other night of how the average wine newbie must feel confronted with a wine list in French. The names of the wines and the grape varieties mean nothing. You have no idea what they taste like and what to order. Panic sets in.
Our new contributor, former sommelier Donald Edwards, reports back from a sake and food tasting at Novikov and reveals why the art of sake appreciation has a lot to teach wine-lovers.
A newbie's guide to sake from wine writer Natasha Hughes.
I was always taught the best sakes were served chilled but the other evening at London's Sake no Hana I got to taste a super-premium daiginjo sake at room temperature with a dish of grilled Chilean seabass and it matched perfectly.
This is, without a doubt, the most refreshing cocktail I've tasted so far this summer - an incredibly thirstquenching mix of sake, jasmine tea, cucumber and prosecco - perfect for this hot, steamy weather we've been having.
A terrific pairing which was part of a fascinating tasting I went to last week of sakes from the Tohoku region of Japan, the area most affected by last year's earthquake and tsumani. It was organised jointly by the British Sake Association and events company Tengu Sake (@tengusake on Twitter) and took place at Tombo, a Japanese cafe in South Kensington which laid on some particularly delicious food.
I imagine you all know how well sake works with sashimi but it came as quite a surprise to me - wagyu aside - how well it could handle red meat and spice
I honestly didn't know which dish to pick out of this extraordinary pop-up at The Dead Doll’s House Islington last week, hosted by wine importer Bibendum PLB who now also bring in a wide range of sakes. So I’m going for this one because it was the first and one of the simplest.
I don’t that often order sake in a restaurant but when I do I wonder why I don’t drink it more often.
I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about Koshu this year. No, it’s not some unfamiliar aspect of Japanese cuisine but a white wine made from a grape of the same name. A campaign to promote it in the UK was launched at a lunch in London yesterday by a VIP line-up of Japanese goverment officials from the Yamanashi prefecture where most of the winemakers are based.
A surprise match from the RAW wine fair last week: some extraordinarily good wild rock oysters and a range of unpasteurised, unfiltered sakes from Yoigokochi Sake.
Always on the ball Aldi announced this week that it had added a sake to its drinks range. Not quite the bargain it first appears when you discover the bottle is £3.99 for just 300ml but that’s enough for two and interesting nonetheless.
We get so used to thinking of red wine as the only pairing for beef that it’s good to be reminded there are other options. Especially when it comes to Japan’s fabled Wagyu beef which is all about subtle tastes and textures.
Seabass is one of the most popular fish on restaurant menus these days - usually treated quite simply and rarely sauced. But what wine should you pair with it?
We automatically think of matching wine and cheese or beer and cheese but there are many drinks that work just as well and can give a real ‘wow factor’ to your cheeseboard.
You might think sushi would be tricky to match with wine but surprisingly that’s not the case. And there are other drinks that work too . . .
Turbot is a luxurious fish you might well be serving over the holiday period, most probably roast or seared. But what sort of wine should you pair with it?
Turns out I missed National Kale Day this year (slipping, clearly ;-)) but there's still a lot of kale lurve around.
The idea of doing a post on wine matches with brussels sprouts might strike you as a tad over the top - after all who eats sprouts on their own? (Answer: me. Whenever I get the chance.)
Thanks to my friend Signe Johansen of Scandilicious I finally got to Koya in Frith Street the other day - London’s food bloggers most popular noodle haunt and the winner of last year’s Observer Food Monthly’s Best Cheap Eats award.
If you haven’t heard of poke - the Hawaiian dish of cubed raw fish usually with rice and/or vegetables - you soon will. It’s everywhere (and pronounced, by the way, pokay not poke).