SAKETIMES NEWS – Jan 22, 2019
Jan. 22. 2019 writer
In the news this week: For those who love sake so much they want to bathe in it, Hoshinoya Tokyo has your number. Then, Shiokawa Sake Brewery and partners are finding out how possible it is to make sake in the vastly different environment of Vietnam. Finally, Finland’s premier sake spot, Zen Sushi, will be holding a special intimate tasting full of fall flavors.
Hoshinoya Tokyo, a modern Tokyo luxury hotel utilizing the aesthetic of a traditional Japanese inn, is offering a special sake-themed one-night stay called Tokyo Sake Taizai.
Guests who select this themed stay will be treated to a wide range of sake-related activities, including a sake bath, food made with sake and sake lees, and, of course, lots of sake to drink. The goal of Tokyo Sake Taizai is to help those who aren’t experienced in sake to rediscover its greatness by enjoying it the way folks did years ago before other varieties of booze came to Japan.
Hoshinoya is sparing no expense to bring this experience to guests, working with other traditional Tokyo craftspeople like potter Ryota Aoki, who specially designed all the tableware to best suit Hoshinoya chef Tomoyuki Hamada’s sake-based creations. Those creations include salmon pickled in sake and hot pots with sake-based broth..
The sake itself will be provided by Toshimaya Honten, a Tokyo-based brewery with roots tracing back to 1596. Toshimaya is also said to have invented the izakaya by selling both sake and snacks in a section of their brewery. Their sake and sake lees will be found in all the drinks, foods, and baths during a Tokyo Sake Taizai stay.
Tasting courses will be held by a sake expert to discern some of Toshimaya’s many varieties, and show new drinkers how temperature and cup shape can alter flavors.
Tokyo Sake Taizai is available for stays between December 1 and February 29.
LINK: ＠Press | 2019/09/24 | 星のや東京 江戸東京の日本酒の幅広い魅力を味わい尽くす1泊2日の滞在プログラム 「東京・SAKE滞在」登場 期間：2019年12月1日〜2020年2月29日
Niigata-based Shiokawa Sake Brewery and World Suiko, which designs and manufactures water purification systems, have entered into a partnership with Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage (Habeco) to begin brewing sake in Vietnam.
Trial cultivation of Niigata’s famous sake rice Gohyakumangai is underway in farmland near Hanoi, and between 500 and 600 kilograms are expected to be harvested this month. This rice is expected to be used, along with different varieties of Vietnamese rice, to make batches of sake by next spring. Special temperature-controlled equipment will be used to recreate the mildly cold Japanese winter temperatures ideal for brewing in the humid climate of Vietnam.
Meanwhile, the companies will be doing market research such as tasting parties to help understand Vietnamese consumers’ preferences better. From there, cosmetic touches such as brand names and labels will be developed for the 1,500 to 1,600 720mL (24oz) bottles expected to go into production next year. If successful, the companies will look further into full-scale production.
Habeco is hoping to take advantage of the rising popularity of sake among Vietnamese drinkers. Sales there soared 64.8% in 2018, making Vietnam an increasingly attractive market for Shiokawa. World Suiko’s water systems would be in high demand should a sake industry take off there too, making this a win-win for all involved, especially sake fans looking for new and exotic offerings.
LINK: 日本経済新聞 電子版 | 2019/10/04 | 新潟のワールドスイコー、ベトナムで日本酒づくり
Zen Sushi, Finland’s first restaurant run by a Japanese sake sommelier, will be holding an autumn tasting event on November 9 in Helsinki.
At this event, guests can learn about the fundamentals of sake while tasting five different types carefully selected by owner Yumi Sugano to complement items from Zen Sushi’s menu which uses seasonal ingredients that include certified organic produce and seafood.
Sake’s sweet, non-alcoholic cousin, Amazake, and some event-specific dishes will also be on the menu.
The tasting will be mainly held in Finnish, but it is also an English-friendly environment so visitors from other countries are welcome. Still, the event is limited to just eight people, so interested parties should act fast to book a spot.
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