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Saturday 24 February 2024

Share a saké with Cate Blanchett

Who knew that Oscar-winning Australian actor Cate Blanchett was a saké aficionado?

So much so that she will be overseeing "creative strategy" at Toku Saké after what she describes as “countless, joy-filled nights” drinking the Japanese rice wine, industry website the drinks business reports.

Blanchett is known for her acting roles in films including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Carol and Red.

Brewed in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan, Toku has produced thigh-end saké for more than 120 years using “highly polished” Yamada Nishiki rice, generally recognised among saké makers as being the best quality rice with which to make the fermented drink.

The exceptionally cold climate in Asahikawa, which is Japan’s coldest city, results in “distinctly delicate, aromatic notes and an exceptionally long, rich finish”, which sets it apart from other Junmai Daiginjo sake, the brand says in its marketing material.

“The thoughtful, reflective craftsmanship that is part and parcel of everyday life in Japan has long been a touchstone for me,” said Melbourne-born Blanchett.

“Saké reflects these traditional values with its intense focus on method, purity and authenticity. Sitting around a table with friends and family, celebrating and breaking bread together is one of life’s great pleasures. I’m excited to help bring the exquisite liquid which is Toku Saké into the world market.”

To mark the launch of the partnership, Toku will work with Treeapp to plant one mangrove for every bottle of Toku Saké sold.

The brand’s figureheads, Anthony Newman and Peter Hudson, said: “We are honoured to welcome Cate to the team. Her critically acclaimed background as an artist and producer, along with her passion for Japanese culture and highly selective involvement in global projects, will open new doors for our brand.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the Toku Saké vision shared and realised with the rest of the world, as sake grows in popularity in western markets.”

China is by far the biggest market for Japanese sake exports, followed by the US, the drinks business says.

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