Educating Sommeliers Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
Eduardo Dingler is an independent journalist and sake ambassador based in Napa, California. He formerly worked as the beverage director of Morimoto Restaurants before founding sake education and consultancy company, SakeDrinker.com, in 2017. In 2018 he joined retailer Wine Access as vice president of wine. Here’s an interview with him on how restaurants can grow sake sales.
Simply start with a couple of distinct examples that showcase dramatic differences and most importantly pair with the menu. Ideally cold sake and served out of an AP or White Wine glass.
There’s a number of publications and resources, Urban Sake does a great job also John Gauntner and True Sake.
Sake is Japan’s most ancient and traditional alcoholic beverage. It has been produced for over 1000 years and it is made of rice, water, yeast and Koji (also used for soy sauce and miso). While production is pure and honest it is also quite diverse highlighting regionality and production methods.
Eduardo Dingler on the left taking a session
Sake has been experiencing gradual growth in the last couple decades with consumers' interest peaking and crossing boundaries.
Difficult question and nearly impossible to answer, it is like asking where the best Sauvignon Blanc produced, Loire, Bordeaux, New Zealand. However, looking at the facts, the prefecture with the highest number of producers is Niigata. Located in the western central part of Honshu, Niigata is gifted with the Echigo mountains that provide clean snowmelt water which produces ideal sake.
Picture source: Niigata Sake
While there’s a number of traditional and recognized names like Dassai and Born I also applaud the efforts of avant-garde and exciting producers like Imayo Tsukasa, Takachiyo and Tsuchida Shuzo
There’s a number of favorite pairings for me, a rich Junmai like Hirai from Niigata with a Bacon-Cheeseburger is heavenly. Also a pizza Margherita with Fukucho, Hiroshima is magical.
Cold to clear Temperature out of a wine glass is always preferred.
Encourage diners to go out of the box and try sake with unexpected dishes like curry, bbq and pasta. Include it in a pairing like The French Laundry in Yountville does. And offer a couple by the glass options to invite experimentation.