With more than thousands of items available in the market, choosing a sake can be a puzzling experience. In response to those in need of help, from this month onwards, Saketora is inviting Mr. Naoya Namisato, a rising star in the sake world, to make recommendations for us. Young yet professional, Mr. Namisato's portfolio is stunning - not only was he ranked No.4 in the 5th World Kikisakeshi Competition, he has also won the 3rd Mr. Sake Contest, hosted by Sake Samurai Mr. Sugihara, and is a Super-Kikisakeshi, a qualification only 300 people have successfully obtained in the world. This month, Mr. Namisato is selecting three sakes for all of us. In the eyes of a professional sommelier, how would exactly a fine sake be like?
Judging Criteria of Mr. Namisato
- Hourai Ginjo Dento Karakuchi
- Primary aromas are simple and fresh while the first attack is dry as its name suggests, though you may feel a hint of sweetness if you savour. The finish shows enough acidity and bitterness that help cleanse the palate. With its clean mouthfeel, it pairs well with a wide variety of food and is one of the best choices of drinks for dinner. Rather than heavy meals, simple dishes such as Tofu with bonito flakes may go better with this sake.
- Yamatan Masamune Junmai Daiginjo
- It shows crisp and fresh aromas with a hint of unpeeled apples. Following the gentle sweetness is the high acidity that helps reset your palate. Despite showing high fragrance, it is topped off with a clean finish. Imagine this is exactly like how its name suggests - Masamune, a famous Japanese sword, that is sharp and light. No wonders, you will never get enough of it. It is better served slightly chilled in wine glass together with mild Japanese food such as pickled plum pasta.
- Kuromatsu Senjo "On a night like this…" Junmaiginjo
- It shows rich aromas such as ripe banana and yogurt. The first attack is acid, followed by a hint of bitterness and umami. Speaking of "a night like this", I doubt probably it is not a sweet night. This fresh sake will complement the dishes that have rich flavors such as tomato stew.