Berry Bros. & Rudd, Britain’s original wine and spirit merchant and supplier to the British Royal Family, has released a list of its favourite sakes on the Hong Kong market.
With over 4,000 bottles of wines and spirits available to Hong Kong and Japanese buyers through its stores, warehouses, outlets and website, Berry Bros. & Rudd are firmly cemented in the Asian market.
With the increasing popularity of Japanese food in Hong Kong, sake is set to become a real trend this winter. Berry Bros. & Rudd’s master of sake as certified by the Sake Service Institute, Jacky Cheung, says this is due to the range of styles on offer and its appeal as an option for mindful drinkers.
“We’re seeing a new style of sake emerge from a new generation of sake producers looking to wine production to keep fruity flavours and freshness intact, with some adding bubbles for a sparkling sake. But the appeal doesn’t end there; sake is also high in amino acids and low on acidity which is perfect for the conscious drinkers of today too.”
Below are Berry Bros. & Rudd recommendations of sakes to show in your venue. On the list are sakes to be served hot, cold or room temperature, ensuring there’s something for every palate.
As a general rule, Cheung says, “Sakes with good floral and fruit notes, normally found in Daiginjo or Ginjo level bottles, are best enjoyed cold. The chilled temperature can open up the aromatics, which will disappear when heated. Drinking sake in wine glasses will also release more subtle flavours and aromas too. Sakes with higher alcohol content and a stronger taste of rice are best enjoyed warm. The heat can help soften the alcohol blow, making it smoother whilst enhancing the taste of umami.”
Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Top Five:
A sake with a gentle and clean fragrance like the Ken, Junmai Ginjo Sake, Katsuyama (HK$328 / 72cl) should be enjoyed chilled. An exceptional Junmai Ginjo that holds an elegant yet supple fullness, “Ken” is a well-balanced, slightly dry but smooth sake and should be paired with fish or lightly flavoured appetisers to begin the meal.
“Den” meaning tradition, refers to the traditional way this sake is brewed. The Den, Junmai Daiginjo Sake, Katsuyama (HK$438 / 72 cl) is a well-rounded sake, featuring a fruity, citrus aroma with a crisp and rich umami that lingers, making this an ideal sake for dishes such as sweet teriyaki or intensely flavoured meat and fish dishes such as salmon.
En Tokubetsu Junmai Sake (HK$258 / 72cl) has a hint of sweetness and a short crisp finish of Japanese nashi pear. Made with optimum terroir expression in mind, this sake uses local rice with an indigenous Miyagi yeast strain and soft water flowing in from the popular ski-resort mountain, Izumigatake. An excellent accompaniment with steak or cheese.
This Sensho Masamune is a true representation of Sendai (the city in Japan’s Tohoku Region) and its superior sake brewing tradition. The Sensho Masamune Junmai Daiginjo Sake (HK$338 / 72cl) is a wine lovers’ sake, with hints of dried fruit and sumptuous chocolate, maintaining a rich umami that complements grilled meats and seafood.
The only brewery in Japan to adopt the most luxurious and meticulous brewing method of producing only one tank per week of the highest class of sake, The Katsuyama Sake Brewery have produced the Diamond Akatsuki Sake (HK$2980 / 72 cl). A bright, rich and full bodied sake that is perfect for gifting over the festive season, with an extravagant bottle to indulge in.
For more information, head to Berry Bros. & Rudd’s website.