Friday, September 27, 2013

Sake Joins our Liquor Collection

When one brings up the topic of 'sake,' you may automatically think sushi or Asian cuisine. You probably imagine yourself only trying this Japanese rice wine when out for sushi. But that is simply not the case! Sake is actually quite compatible with many Western dishes, and you will now be able to experience it yourself on your next visit to the Uptown. We have brought in a few different styles of sake for you to choose from.
Let's first talk about sake and what to expect upon your first taste. Sake is a Japanese rice wine that can be served slightly chilled or even hot. It is generally light bodied, crisp and smooth, with a very clean finish. In terms of flavor, you have to separate it and not compare it to other wines you may be used to. Sake can be fragrant, but pure sake is never infused with any type of fruit, tannins or other additive... therefore resulting in that clean flavor.  Sake can also be paired with meals and flavors exactly the same way a cabernet or sauvignon blanc can.

We will be offering a few different styles of sake for you to choose from, each being premium quality sake served chilled or warmed in traditional porcelain sake cups:

  • Junmai -- pronounced "ju-mye" -- is translated into pure rice sake. It has a fuller, richer body with higher acidity than other styles. We are featuring Murai Family Junmai that is dry and crisp with floral and fruity notes.
  • Diaginjo -- pronounced "die-ee-gin-jo" -- is made from special yeast at lower fermentation temperatures and involves labor intensive techniques to make for fragrant, intricate sake. We are featuring Hakutsuru Diaginjo, which has a full body with a very smooth, fruity finish.
  • Nigori -- pronounced "nee-go-ree" -- means "cloudy" and is unfiltered sake. It has a smooth creamy texture with bold, sweet flavors. We are featuring Muria Family NIgori that has a smooth, creamy texture with hints of vanilla and coconut.

Most of my personal experience with sake has been accompanied by sushi. I love nothing more than some fresh yellow fin sashimi or piece of unagi while sipping on some hot sake with friends. But I have also had the chance to enjoy some draft, chilled sake with a typical western meal and found it to be quite enjoyable.

I am the diner who waits until I know what I'm eating before I order my glass of wine or drink. And oftentimes, it can be challenging to decide on a beverage for me. Beer can be too heavy, or a mixed drink or fruity martini can deter from the flavor of the entrée. Usually, I end up with wine. But once I ventured out and discovered sake, I was like, "Wow! What a simple, light beverage to accompany my meal. And alcoholic!" (If you enjoy that sort of thing).
Basically you can pair sake with anything. It will complement a nice piece of salmon with vegetable, a pasta with lemongrass and clams, or even a pork dish. We offer many options on our menu that will pair nicely with a glass.

So go ahead and forgo the sushi.  Allow yourself to think outside of the box, and stop in for a taste!


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