Somm's Choice ft. Vincent Zheng - Sake On-nomi #41

In our 41st Sake On-nomi, we have a very special guest speaker, Sommelier Vincent Zheng from Inter Rice Asia! 

Specially curated and chosen for this event, Vincent picked out 5 of his favourite sakes from 5 different regions of Japan. Come find out how they differ and taste the best selection of sakes from Inter Rice Asia!

Some of you have may have already met him at our previous few warehouse sales or met him in Sake On-nomi #28, where he ran a beginner's guide on sake.

Let's explore the 5 sakes that Sommelier Vincent has picked out for the night from 5 different prefectures in Japan!

1)  Niigata -  Imayotsukasa Junmai Daiginjo

Imayotsukasa started as a sake shop/inn and is now one of the representatives of Niigata-style sake. In the past, Niigata sakes had a bad rep and was duped as the "Goldfish Sake" as it was known to be so diluted that even goldfishes can survive in the sake. 

But not Imayotsukasa Brewery! 

Drawing the sake concept from their name, Imayotsukasa, or "Master of time",  they were able to retain the old fashion way of making sake while committing themselves to brewing better sakes with new innovations. 

The Imayotsukasa Junmai Daiginjo is a classic style of sake that retains notes of grains, bread and plenty of umami.

Nose = Sourdough, slight peach/apricot skin, hint of rose.
Taste = grains, cereal, bread. Very crisp and umami, detailed and layered structure, round finish. 
Suggested food pairing = Cheese platter, sashimi, har gao (dim sum)

2) Kyoto - Eikun Junmai Daiginjo Ichigin 

The folks at Eikun used to make kimono and now they make sake. One of our regulars, M.M, mentioned that it was his "All-star" sake! Vincent and the rest of IRA team agree! 

The Eikun Junmai Daiginjo Ichigin is a force to be reckoned as it has already won 14 consecutive gold awards till date!

Nose = sweet elegant aroma of melon, very distinguished pear. 
Taste = silky smooth, textured. Very good aftertaste.
Suggested Food pairing = Shellfish, Xiao Long Bao, San Lou Hor Fun.

3) Okayama - Gozenshu Junmai 1859 Nama 

Gozenshu is no stranger to our on-nomi participants! The brewery is run by a young team and led by a sister-brother duo, the Toji being the elder sister. 

Okayama is the home of Omachi rice, a single breed heirloom rice. Gozenshu focuses on a specific brewing style called "Bodaimoto" that can be dated back to the Japanese monks era. 

Nose = yoghurt-y (Lactic), a lot of grains, slightly earthy.
Taste = Typical characteristic of omachi, earthy, rustic, honeymalt, creamy, a bit of orange zest, slight spices at the end.
Suggested Pairing = Kimchi Nabe, Korean Pork Belly (samgyeopsal), Salami, Oyster Omelette (orh jian).

4) Yamagata - Dewazakura Junmai Daiginjo Aiyama   

Dewazakura's sake brewing work are known to be very delicate as many handcraft and manual processes. The sakes are usually made in a much smaller tank so that it's easier to handle and control for temperature. This allows them to brew high-end quality sake despite its smaller quantity. 

Dewazakura's sakes are also duped as the "Wine drinker sake" as the nosing very fruity, similar to wine.

The Dewazakura Junmai Daiginjo Aiyama is brewed using the Aiyama sake rice. This is the reason why this sake is arranged to be the 4th sake in the tasting list. 

Aiyama is a rice variety is cross-bred from Omachi and Yamadanishiki, which are the sake rice used to brew sake no.2 and no.3.  Aiyama is very difficult to produce as the rice grows taller yet the grains are heavier. This makes them very susceptible to be damaged by wind and break off before full maturation of the rice grains. Thus, only a small batch of Aiyama rice is grown by the farmers.

Nose = nosing of of a typical Yamadanishiki, sweet fruity aroma. 
Taste = body of an Omachi, full body & long finishing, notes of peach and white flowers.
Suggested food pairing= Kung Pao chicken, Yakitori, Tempura, Cream Cheese, Seafood Carbonara.

5) Fukui - Echizen Misaki Junmai Daiginjo Sakahomare 

In Eiheiji town of Fukui Prefecture, the streams have very clear water. And sure enough, the people of this town are extremely proud of their high quality water. 
Because of this, many sake breweries have sprouted up near the water source in Fukui. 

However, currently there are only 2 sake breweries left today, a sheer reduction of the 17 breweries that used to exist. One of the breweries is none other than Echizen Misaki and the Toji is very cherished and well-respected by the people.

The Echizen Misaki Junmai Daiginjo Sakahomare is a very new rice, approved in 2018, specifically grown to make high-end sakes. 

Nose = Minerals, melon
Taste = slight silky mouthfeel, very layered.
Suggested food pairing = Grilled Seafood, Prawn Paste Chicken Wing (har cheong gai) & Hokkien mee

It's time to announce the votes for the favourite sake of Sake On-nomi #41! 
*Drum rolls* 

Enjoy 10% off the top 3 sakes from Sake On-Nomi #41 voted by our participants here!

That's all for now! See you at the next guest-somm event in 2 weeks time!

Sayuri Lim 

Your Sake On-nomi set will include:

1) Sake tasting kit of 5 x 70ml bottles
2) Placemat containing sake tasting notes and Zoom details 
3) Exclusive access to a 1 hour live Sake Appreciation session on zoom, hosted by Vincent Zheng

Sake Selection: 
1)  [Niigata] -  Imayotsukasa Junmai Daiginjo
2) [Kyoto] - Eikun Junmai Daiginjo Ichigin 
3) [Okayama] - Gozenshu Junmai 1859 Nama 
4) [Yamagata] - Dewazakura Junmai Daiginjo Aiyama   
5) [Fukui] - Echizen Misaki Junmai Daiginjo Sakahomare 

Sake On-nomi #41 - Somm's Choice ft. Vincent Zheng

Event Date: 9th Mar 2022, 8pm.

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Our Previous Sake On-nomi

Sake On-nomi #40 - Fresh Flavours of Winter
Sake On-nomi #39 - Trivia Night 

Sake On-nomi #38 - Manotsuru Blind Tasting Set

Sake On-nomi #37 - Uncompromising Sake Excellence

Sake On-nomi #36 - End Your Year with a W
Sake On-nomi #35 - Oyster & Sake Pairing 
Sake On-nomi #34 - Experience Kozaemon

Sake On-nomi #33 - Fall for the flavours of Autumn
Sake On-nomi #32 - Sake All-Star! World Sake Day
Sake On-nomi #31 - Mid-Autumn Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #30 - Sake of the Mountain Peak
Sake On-nomi #29 - SG Childhood Snacks and Sake Pairing

Sake On-nomi #28 - Beginner's Guide to Japanese Sake
Sake On-nomi #27 - World Chocolate Day with Sake 
Sake On-nomi #26 - Royals of the Sake World 

Sake On-nomi #25 - Sake and Snacks Party with DDDK!
Sake On-nomi #24 - Dreams of Hourai-zon 
Sake On-nomi #23 - "Sake Warming!"
Sake On-nomi #22 - Rebloom of Sakari 
Sake On-nomi #21 - The Art of Sake x Lion City Meadery 

Sake On-nomi #20 - Celebrate CNY with Sake!
Sake On-nomi #19 - Gozenshu: Brewery of Ancient Style

Sake On-nomi #18- Taste Of Manotsuru

Sake On-nomi #17 - Juyondai Vertical Tasting
Sake On-nomi #16 Cheese & Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #15 Toko Virtual Tour
Sake on-nomi #14 Seasonal Sake
Sake On-nomi #13 Daiginjo Kanpai for World Sake Day
Sake On-nomi #12 Chocolate Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #11 Guess the Daiginjo
Sake On-nomi #10 Sake Rice Selection
Sake On-nomi #9 - Aged Ham with Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #8 - Japanese Sake GI

Sake On-nomi #7 - Cheese with Sake Pairing
Sake On-nomi #6 - Namazake Selection
Sake On-nomi #5 - Sake Blind Tasting

Sake On-nomi #4 - Premium Daiginjo Selection
Sake On-nomi #3 - Unique Style Selection
Sake On-nomi #2 - Niigata Sake Selection
Sake On-nomi #1 - Dewazakura from Yamagata

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