Sake Talk Anyone?


These are great morsels of advice guys!

I’ve been a little overwhelmed by all this knowledge coming at me. So, I’ve come up with a strategy: tick them off one-by-one, choosing a recommended Sake from this thread and pair it with the recommended foods, savor the experience, then make a few notes.



Leslie san!

Very kind. Thank you for your message. The evening will be as follows:

Sashimi - Modori Katsuo (wild bonito)
with Shusen “Three Dots”-JUNMAI

Steamed Shiromi, Broth
with Nigori Ginjo “Summer Snow”-SPECIALTY

Grilled Pork Jowl, Rice, Pickles
with Red Maple “Two-Year Aged Namazake”-SPECIALTY

Matsutake (pine mushroom)
with Sachi “18-Year Aged Koshu”-SPECIALTY

with Umeshu “Umelicious”-SPECIALTY

15% for your friends. They can reserve through me. Please feel free to share my email/mobile.

Looking forward to seeing you Friday, Leslie san!


Kerry Tamura
Southern California Sales Representative
World Sake Imports

I just :heart: this guy!


not sure but the menu you posted above really looks like a menu from Shibumi.


Hah! I was just about to correct. Sorry, I’m multi-tasking today and didn’t read it close enough.
Aaaand for animal…

with Kome Kome “Happy Bride”

with Junmai Daiginjo “Autumn Elixir”

Family Style

  1. Chicken Liver Toast
  2. Spicy Beef Tendon Chip
  3. Sirloin Carpaccio
  4. Rabbit Larb
    with Nigori Ginjo “Summer Snow”

Individually Plated
Grilled Quail with Umeshu “Umelicious”

Family Style

  1. Foie Gras Loco Moco
  2. Flat Iron with Red Maple “Two-Year Aged Namagenshu”

Family Style

  1. Cheesecake Pudding
  2. Tres Leches with Shusen “Three Dots”

For clarification, the discount is for Shibumi.

Thank you Leslie san!


i’d pick that menu over shibumi everyday including holidays.


Wondering if it was a typo…

He’s pairing the grill friendly sake Junmai Ginjo Shusen with dessert, and umeshu with grilled quail (instead of the reverse)…maybe there’s something out of the box there?

Though the Red Maple with foie and flat iron is going to be a solid pairing.

Thanks for sharing!

Surprised the Shibumi menu is skipping the signature chinmi but maybe that’s only for the hardcore purist otsumami lovers amongst us. Or one could add on I suppose.


That settles it. Why? I’ll say it again. He always eats what I would eat… except for head, eyes and slimy stuff.


I guess everyone is multitasking. We’ll find out…

I looked up chinmi when y’all posted about it earlier. Tasty!


Shibumi is on my to-do list! Going to Japan in Jan/Feb and stopping in LA on the way back.


Schlosser-san is gendai that way.


Hey, btw, my small circle of sake lovers and my homie @PorkyBelly. We had a marvelous time at Animal’s Sake Party. As soon as I can focus on more then food chit-chatting I’ll elaborate. :slight_smile:

Here’s a little taste: the Umelicious with the Quail was not a typo… and the best bite and sip of the night!

Bad lighting, but do you see the plum, orange, white peach (?), cucumber and the something creamy underneath? :kissing_closed_eyes: It was like Alice in Wonderland going down the rabbit hole.

…and for our finale… drum roll, please?

Are there enough adjectives, or is it pronouns, for this? “Italian cookies?” Yes. “Ocean seaweed (kombu)?” Big time. “Iodine?” Okay. “Taste it again and pay attention to the first sip.” Milk chocolate! :blush:


Welcome to the world of aged sake/koshu! I find types like these far more enjoyable than a Sauternes which can be cloyingly sweet, overpowering and strong (especially with the signature wine rot aroma which is ok at times but too much afterwards).

I was mistaken…Sachi is brewed in 1997, so if this bottle was released 2018, then you actually had a 21 year aged sake…somehow I thought it was 10 years old, perhaps I got that confused with Takenotsuyu Yuzuki…

More info:

This koshu was brewed with two different rice varietals, and is a Junmai Ginjo (60% rice polish)

Too few good koshu are exported, so much more in Japan.

This one is my top favorite right now (Tatsuriki, I didn’t even know they made koshu but it’s Japan only…then again breweries like them make so much sideline product that’s niche to see what they can do and it will take purists and geeks to buy try and discover them), and for a 22 year aged Omachi Tokubetsu Junmai it’s damn elegant and beautiful.

Room temperature is happening, but it’s built to withstand heat up to about 50 degrees C which they say is optimal for enjoying.

Next time Kerry pours the Sachi, ask him to warm it up a little to get that pseudo Japan sake bar geek experience :wink:


Hi @beefnoguy -

The color of that Omachi Tokubetsu Junmai is beautiful. That’s the one thing I’m sorry about is the lighting at Animal in the evenings is not conducive to photo taking, plus things were being served a tad fast. But this is minor. It was a great evening.


One of the serving recs for Sachi on World Sake’s product description “An excellent after-dinner treat.” That’s exactly how it was served to us.

That’s funny. We did have the Shusen “Three Dots” (Kazu-san’s favorite) served warmed. And after hearing from you and Kerry-san we’ve been taking first sips then letting the sake come to room temperature.

It’s funny, I’m learning more about wine by getting into sake.



Most Junmai and Junmai Ginjo (koshu or not) can withstand a little heat and some are actually better warmer than room temperature (some far more than others), including unpasteurized sake to a certain extent (especially all Tamagawa sake).

Some stronger, darker, richer koshu work better with food. The Sachi supposedly works nicely with Chinese cuisine in Japan, and perhaps the thought is that it’s a touch closer to Chinese Shaoxing / huadiao liquor (the substitute used for fine dining restaurants would be Madeira)…but give me a good koshu anytime!

The lighter koshu’s are really smooth, aromatic, yet linger and are addictive. The Tatsuriki Tokubetsu Omachi BY 1999 is similar to the exported Takenotsuyu Yuzuki (aged ten years) but is way better.

I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on a Sachi and try it out someday.


At Avery, I had a Hanahato Kijoushu as dessert wine pairing with a buckwheat tart and pineapple upside down cake with caramel and macerated cherries. The kijoushu drank like Madeira, with a distinct mushroomy savoriness. Quite potent.

I wonder if koshu can work with Benu’s faux shark’s fin soup w/ truffle custard. It was served with old Blandy’s madeira last time, and those mushroom notes from koshu might work well. Also, the temperature (jou-on, nuru-kan?) might work nicely with the warm custard. A cold drink might clash a bit.

You might like some vintage Tokaji instead! I’m thinking one like the 2008 Royal Tokaji Betsek - good round nuttiness, some mild rancio and spiciness. Reminds me of cozy Fall flavors - would be great with a pumpkin dessert or something, and incidentally, I could maybe see a koshu working with that, too?

Alternatively, you might like Barsac, a little lighter than Sauternes.

Sounds potent but glad to know it’s elegant and beautiful!


I find that ume (and yes, with shiso) with red meat poultry’s jus works great as a “steak sauce” of sorts. I’ve had a few variations of ume-shiso “steak sauce” at Saison with duck. The sake pairing is an interesting idea.


Is this because they don’t have the distilled alcohol added?


I actually have a bottle of Hanahato Kijoushu at home, but didn’t know how potent it was going to be, so thanks for that heads up! I do remember a nice cheese tart at RTB right before they remodeled to become Avery and it’s a good thing the Kakurei umeshu wasn’t paired with it since it’s a bit too sweet and sharp. I’m guessing the mushroomy savoriness you picked up is attributed to the earthiness from the rice and aging, and perhaps you’re picking up umami as well.

Your idea sounds good (the koshu pairing with faux fin truffle custard)! Someone just has the pitch the right profile/type/brewery/bottle to Master Somm Yoon Ha so he can work that into the pairing. I’d probably nominate this one for versatility and ease of access (Vine Connections I believe).

I vaguely recall having tried some Tokaji before and enjoyed it. Also I had a glass of Erasmo Late Harvest Torontel 2009 with a dessert at Aina and found it very enjoyable too.

It was absolutely amazing how a 22 year old aged Omachi Junmai could taste so smooth and elegant, I wish I tried it warmed to 50 degrees C!



That is impressive.

Yes that was their apertif after some Champagne. It was a little sweet.


You can warm up quite a few Honjozo which have distilled alcohol added and arguably some Ginjo as well.

I think it’s a combination of brewing technique, less polishing of sake rice, and perhaps additional factors (e.g. storage/aging if any) resulting in more structure (thus not as delicate like a Junmai Daiginjo) and thus the ability to adapt to temperature change and give the sake different profiles at varying ranges. There is one sake brewery where someone told me the sweet spot for one of their Junmai was actually 80 degrees C…