I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know enough about sake. I’m a sake noob, with so much to learn. But it’s something that I really enjoy drinking, and high on my ‘must get better at’ list (a list that also includes ‘learn Italian’ and ‘run a sub 40 min. 10km’).
Still, while I’m a rookie when it comes to understanding the complexities of sake, I feel less at sea when it comes to the actual tasting, with the sensory discussions of style, sweetness and body somewhat analogous with wine.
My quest for sake education last night took me right to the top of the local sake tree – to the Japanese Consul-General’s Sydney residence…
There, local Japanese food identity Hideo Dekura gave a lecture on sake after recently releasing his own book on the subject.
While the lecture itself was interesting, what was more useful was the comprehensive tasting after. Featuring a lineup of sake from local distributors and complemented by a range of rare sake from the Consul-General’s cellar (matched to specially designed canapes), it was a watershed tasting for me.
Never before have I tasted so many different super-premium sake at one time, the lineup spanning the whole spectrum from delicately fragrant and light right through to meaty, rich and wildly complex. It was like straying into a whole other world – one full of delicious drinks that sit quite a distance away from what I know, yet still strangely familiar in its flavour.
Based on what I tasted last night I’m calling it right now – sake is going to be the next hot drink, just waiting to take off. It’s going to take some time, largely due to the inherent complexity, but the potential for some of the more fresher, wine-like styles to have a real place in our drinking diet is massive.
Sake is going to happen.