Monday, April 30, 2007

Australian Sake

Australian sake?

Our sake friend Trevor from Australia, who we met in Tokyo while there for John Gauntner's Professional Sake Course, came to NYC for the Asian Art Fair recently. He works for Japanese art dealer, Kehoe Art Gallery, and he introduced us to Australian sake, which he was serving at his booth.

The sake is Goshu 40 Ultra Premium Genshu Junmai Daiginjo made by Sun Masamune in Australia. Sun Masamune was founded by the Japanese company Konishi Brewing in 1996. Currently the head brewing master is Hirofumi Uchiyama, who used to work in the Nada district (famous for sake brewing) for 30 years. Their sake is made from Australian Japonica rice and their own special yeast.

Trevor offered us a choice of sake cups from their display. All were colorful egg-shapes made by Kiyomizu Studio in Kyoto, and most of what they had brought had sold for $95 apiece.

We tasted the Goshu 40 which is milled to 40% and had a moderate alcohol level (particularly for a genshu brew) of 16%. There was a hint of the yogurt-like flavor of lactic acid combined with a smooth, round finish. While it didn't have the sophistication of the Japanese Junmai Ginjo sake we have tasted, it still possessed some lovely light rice aromatics, filled the mouth with its richness and lengthy finish. As the flavors danced on our tongues, all agreed that it was perfect experience to brighten the early spring afternoon, served up in a whimsically designed, colorful cup!

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