tonari gumi 2013

About a month ago, New York Times covered about economic potential of sake. It is exciting to hear that Japanese Government started recognizing the importance of sake culture and providing some financial incentives. We found that the article not only indicates that we, sake distributors/importers abroad will play an important role to save sake breweries and its culture in addition to boost Japanese economy, but it also tells us that sake education is much needed.

The writers explain their experience at a tasting booth at Narita Airport like this:

On a recent morning, an attendant at a booth at Narita Airport near Tokyo explained that most high-quality sake is intended to be drunk slightly chilled — not heated, as lower-grade sake is sometimes offered at restaurants outside Japan.

As we embrace and promote high-quality, premium pure sake which are brewed specifically for warm sake, this interaction was very disappointing to hear. We hope that Japanese government will also support sake education so international travellers will not be told inaccurate information.

This has an impact on our side as well. For example, when we attend sake tasting events, we receive a lot of questions like “is sake has to be served warm? is that because it is bad sake?” Mr. Ogawahara, brewmaster of Shinkame Brewery always explains:

Sake used to be served warm. That was the tradition. Because of WWII and production of “bad sake” (sake with distilled alcohol), warm sake started to be considered as bad. However, when you warm up pure sake (or what we call premium or high-quality sake), hidden aroma and flavours are brought up and it enhances flavour of food you are pairing with as well.

We are committed to support small sake breweries who are only brewing Junmai/PureSake©. Almost all of our sake are suggested to be served warm and perfect to pair with different kind of cuisines. We hope to educate people by distributing premium Junmai/PureSake© to change misconceptions about warm sake.