Sunday, March 2, 2008

Saké Sunday: Yamahai & Canada

Two news items today to present...

1) This is my week to learn something new about Saké.

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle explained about the Yamahai style of Saké production, a new style to me. Yamahai is a "natural, labor-intensive, somewhat risky style of saké production." They can be richer and more acidic than many other Sakés, some comparing it more to red wine than white. Such Sakés are are also more likely to be food-friendly. The Yamahai style relies on native yeasts, those floating in the air of the brewery, though that has its dangers as you never know what type you might get. Because it is so risky, very little Saké, less than 1%, is made by this style.

The article also has some reviews of Yamahai Sakés. I will have to actively look for this style of Saké to try it and see what I think about it.

2) WestEnder had an interesting article about Canada’s first premium domestic Saké brewery. In 2007, Masa Shiroki opened a brewery on Granville Island in Vancouver called Artisan Sakemaker. Shiroki's Saké is hand-pressed in small batches year round, about 10,000 bottles a year. Under the Osake label, he makes a Junmai Nama, Junmai Nama Genshu and a Junmai Nama Nigori. Hiroki feels his Saké may seem more wine-like than other Sakés because of Vancouver’s soft water, with just the right amount of minerals.

I definitely would like to try this Saké as well, though not sure it is readily available on the east coast/

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