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You're Invited: Saké & Other Pairings for Asian Foods + A Throwback to a Saké Tasting #WinePW

 

As we are wrapping our final #WinePW event for 2020, I'm posting the theme for the January 2021 assignment: Saké & Other Pairings for Asian Foods. I wanted to kick off the 2021 #WinePW line-up with something a little bit different, but really flexible, too.

Not Only Saké 
I've long been interested in learning about saké (a fermented rice wine). So, if you would like to taste and pair saké with foods, great. Or if you want to share your favorite (grape) wine that you pair with Asian cuisine, that's wonderful, too. And you have just over a month to prepare, so breathe easy.

Details for participation
Are you ready to jump in and participate in the Saké & Other Pairings for Asian Foods #WinePW event? Here are the details…

Send an email (or post in our Facebook event) to tell me you're in: Include your blog url, Twitter handle, link to your Pinterest profile, and any other social media detail. If you know your blog post title now, include that...but you can send me that a bit closer to the event, I'd like to get a sense of who's participating and give some shoutouts and links as we go. The email is constantmotioncamilla[at]gmail[dot]com.

Send your post title to me by Sunday, January 3rd, to be included in the preview post. I will do a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. When your post goes live, the published title should include "#WinePW" but it doesn't need to be included for the title list. 

Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-7:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 9th. You can always schedule your post in advance if you will be tied up around then.

Include a link to the other #WinePW participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I'll provide the html code you can easily put in your initial post--which will link to people's general blog url--then updated code for the permanent links to everyone's #WinePW posts.

Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts' to comment and share.

Sponsored posts OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.

Live #WinePW Twitter Chat January 9, 11 a.m. ET: Participating bloggers and others interested in the subject will connect via a live Twitter chat. It's a nice bring way to bring in others interested in the subject who didn't get a chance to share a blog post. You can definitely still join the blog event if you're not available for the live chat.

A Throwback to a Saké Tasting

Years ago, one of my best friends won a saké tasting and pairing at a fundraising auction. She and I had been bidding competitively and, when the bids closed, she was the victor. But, she surprised me by including me and Jake in the tasting.  

So, as I prepare to kick off the 2021 Wine Pairing Weekend events with a Saké & Other Pairings for Asian Food theme, I decided to go back and look for those photos and tasting notes to get me started.

This is Shiho Fukushima, a friend and a local restaurant owner. She prepared an array of Japanese 'tapas' and brought a line-up of pairings for us. Remember, this was years ago, so we were not violating any shelter-in-place orders for this. To prepare for January, I sent Shiho a message and got lots more tips.

But here's what I learned at that first exploration...simply, saké is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made with fermented rice. But saké can be divided into categories by how it was brewed.

 

The first one we tried was Rei by Sho Chiku Bai, Takara Sake's main brand. Rei is a Junmai Ginjo Nama /Ginjo Draft. Junmai means "pure rice" and is a saké composed of only rice, water, koji and saké yeast. No other ingredients or additives, such as alcohol or sugar, are added. I think this was my personal favorite.

The second pour was Honjozo Namachozo by Asabiraki. Honjozo-style means that additional alcohol is added to the saké to highlight certain aromas though added alcohol cannnot exceed 25% of the total alcohol in the finished product. In the U.S. it is not legal to make Honjozo or to add alcohol to saké. Imported Honjozo is categorized as a distilled spirit. 

Third on the list was Kurosawa Nigori (photographed at the top) by Nishimoto Sake. Nigori -"cloudy"- saké is unfiltered and has a milky white appearance. It was markedly sweeter than the others...a little too sweet for my taste.  

The final tasting was not a true saké , but Jenn and I loved it. Shiho's final selection for us was Hana Fuga, a sparkling sake, by Ozeki Sake. It was fruity and playful. 

Not only did Shiho bring us a tantalizing array of sakés for the Saké tasting, she also prepared some amazing eats as well. I didn't get a chance to photograph everything; I was too busy stuffing my face, so this was only part of our menu...

Yellowfin tuna and avocado salad with mandolined sweet onion topped with hand-cut nori tossed in a poke-style vinaigrette...

 

Ingen Goma-ae: traditionally prepared with green beans and toasted sesame seeds. This version had some ground flaxseed which lent the dish a natto mouthfeel.

Nasu No Nimono: a traditional way of preparing eggplant - prepared in dashi with a hint of freshly grated ginger topped with scallions

 Ume Shisho: skewered chicken serve with oba (shisho leaf) served with ume (pickled plum) paste...

On the sushi side of things, Shiho made: a spicy shiro maguro (albacore) with Japanese cucumbers, avocado, radish sprouts with a light drizzle of chili-mayo wrapped in togarashi soy paper; jumbo hamachi rolls with scallions, roasted sesame seeds, avocado, and Japanese cucumber; ume (pickled plum), takuwan (picked daikon radish), Japanese cucumber; and a Teriyaki Ribeye Roll (photographed below).

 And we finished off the feast with Amai Mono (something sweet): banana and shiro momo (white peach) tempura fritters topped with a drizzle of condensed milk...

Well, I hope this inspires you to join the Wine Pairing Weekend crew in our January exploration of Saké & Other Pairings for Asian Foods. Kampai!

Comments

  1. Looking forward to this! Using it to experiment with a wine pairing for the Taiwanese beef noodle soup I've been wanting to make.

    ReplyDelete

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