We’re happy to have Brand Representative of the French Sake Brewery, Wakaze this week to share about the brand with our clients!
Nozomi Oppata (Oppy) conducted a masterclass for our team and our F&B clients to introduce Wakaze’s idea of “Sake for Everyone”. We learned about the brand’s philosophy, methodology and tasted 4 sake from the brewery.
Wakaze means “young brewers” in their native Yamagata dialect, alluding to their belief in upholding tradition yet their willingness to experiment and break the rules.
Their approach is one part tradition, one part science, and one part invention; they use centuries-old Japanese knowledge, coupled with local ingredients and innovative techniques to deal with different climates, available equipment, and modern palate.
They chose France as it is a centre of food culture, and the popularity & versatility of French wine is something they hope to establish for sake. Inspired by the French wine-making philosophy, they use only local and natural products (e.g. the French Carmague rice) thus creating an eco-friendly production process and higher quality sake.
In this way, their sake is mastered in Japan and made in France with a view on versatility and sustainability.
Oppy-san brought with him 4 sakes: The Classic (Paris), The Classic (Yamagata), Red Wine Barrel Sake and Yuzu Sake.
Some notable differences that set Wakaze’s sake apart:
- They use table rice; Camargue rice in France and Tsuyahime rice in Japan, at a low polishing ratio (92% for French sake and 90% in Japan - this also leads to a more complex rice flavour in their sake).
- Choosing white koji (instead of the usual yellow koji), which naturally produces citric acid, results in a sake with higher acidity
- They utilise locally sourced equipment and ingredients; for example their red wine barrel sake are aged in pinot noir barrels from Burgundy, they use 750ml wine bottles for their French sake & traditional 720ml sake bottles for the Japanese bottlin
- Their French sake uses French Camargue rice, mineral-rich natural water & white wine yeast which lends fruity, floral & mineral notes. Additionally, for their yuzu sake, they use French yuzus, together with locally grown mint, lemons and verbena
Overall, the 4 sakes we tried had a general theme of sweet, acidic and umami notes.
After the masterclass, 20 guests join Oppy-san and The Art of Sake’s staff for a 4-course tasting dinner at Omu Nomu Craft Sake & Raw Bar, Singapore's hottest spot for craft sake.
Curated by Chef Alex, the pairing of each dish and sake was meant to complement the other’s flavours. The subtle acidity and herbaceous-ness of the Yuzu Sake fused with the maritime salinity of oyster and ikura to create an umami-forward yet palate-opening flavour; sweetness and floral notes of The Classic resets your tastebuds between mouthfuls of the pasta and wagyu steak; and the Wine Barrel Sake, matched perfectly with the chocolate cake, saving the best for last.
We have been waiting (im)patiently to bring Wakaze to the Singapore consumers ever since we tried them at our office last year, and we’re glad the wait is almost over - the 4 Wakaze sake will reach our warehouse in mid-October 2023. And of course, we’ll have an open-to-public tasting session then. Hope you’re as excited as we are!