Which Saké should you pair with Italian food? That can be a difficult decision as Italian cuisine can often overpower the subtle flavors of Saké. One Japanese brewery may offer a solution to this dilemma.
The Nikkei Weekly posted an article, "Saké for Italian Cuisine Debuts," about a new Saké that has been specifically designed to pair with Italian food. Matsumoto Sake Brewing Co. and Il Ghiottone, an Italian restaurant in Kyoto, formed an alliance to create a Saké with a subtle sour flavor like white wine which would thus pair well with Italian food. It is called Rissimo, as "riso" is the Italian term for "rice." Just think of risotto.
Rissimo is a Junmai Saké and is described as having a delicate taste with umami, sweetness and a subtle vinegar flavor. It is comes in a slender, transparent bottle with a white, rice-shaped label. In the brewing process, they use a natural ferment that produces both malic and succinic acids, paying close attention so that it eventually has the right amount of sourness. Currently, a 360ml bottle sells for close to $17. This Saké is only available in Japan but will eventually become available in Europe in the U.S.
It definitely intrigues me and I will keep an eye out for when it does become available here.