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Monday 4 September 2023

Sake royalty reveal their secrets Down Under

Sake has a history and range of styles as interesting and expansive as that of wine.

The revered Japanese beverage is made made by fermenting rice that has been polished and is produced by a brewing process where starch is converted into sugars that ferment into alcohol.

It is the national beverage in Japan, often served with great ceremony, sometimes chilled, occasionally heated.

Sake is believed to date back over two millennia and the polishing ratio is of utmost importance before the brewing process with rice, rice koji/yeast mould and water.

Several members of sake royalty are currently visiting Australia for a series of trade tastings organised by Yukino Ochiai, director of importers Deja Vu Sake, which opened in Hobart last week and will continue this week in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Invitees can learn about the intricate brewing process, taste different sake types, and gain a deeper understanding of the food friendly beverage.
There is the chance to taste and chat with representatives from the likes of Tsukikokatsura, established in 1675 in Fushimi, which is the most famous sake region in Kyoto prefecture, and YoshiNoGawa, established in 1584 in Niigata prefecture, the capital of premium sake.

Kensuke Shichida, the president of Tenzan Sake Brewery, patiently described the differences across his range.

Today there are over 1500 sake breweries across Japan, making a wide diversity of styles and the Deja Vu portfolio features producers ranging from Amanoto at Akita, in the north, to Tenzan at Saga in the south.

Kenbishi from Nada in the Hyogo prefecture has a history dating back to 1505 and makes dry, minerally styles. It is the fourth oldest sake producer in the country.

The roadshow also offers the opportunity to taste other Japanese beverages, like sparkling yuzu liqueur and umeshu (plum) liqueurs.

For more details see and please enjoy these images. And try to beg or steal an invite to the tastings. 

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