Top Ten List – The Top Ten Flavors of Thanksgiving Paired With Sake!
Okay! So Thanksgiving is all about the bird. We get it! But what about the amazing supporting cast? What about all the other players on the stage? They aren’t chopped liver you know! The cast of Thanksgiving flavors is almost bigger than the star!
Why not celebrate the little people? Why not pick a sake that would pair so well with all of the understudy players. Well look no further than our first Top Ten Flavors of Thanksgiving paired with sakes list. And get ready to see an entirely new production this Thanksgiving! Sake is so flavorful let these pairings show you the entire ensemble.
- 10) Sweet Potatoes – Ohyma “Big Mountain” Tomizu Junmai
This extremely flavorful Junmai is fruit forward and semi-sweet to balance out the sweetness of the sweet potatoes! Sweet starch – how sweet is that?
- 9) Stuffing – Kiminoi “Emperor’s Well” Yamahai Junmai Ginjo
Ah! Stuffing! If you are craving stuffing and imagining it on the plate nestled with the mashed potatoes and drenched in gravy then imagine a sake that is savory, rich and complex! Kiminoi is a perfect elegant brew to knock the stuffing out of that stuffing!
- 8) Peas – Dassai “Otter Festival” 50 Junmai Daiginjo
Yes! Sadly there must be something green at the Thanksgiving Day table, and we aren’t talking salad people! Peas! Those awesome fun and sweet little dudes really make you feel good knowing that they are “green.” So why not pair those sweet and buttery little guys with a sake that also drinks green, bright, slightly fruity, but superbly balanced? Dassai will make those peas pop!
- 7) Salt – Tedorigawa “Silver Mountain” Yamahai Junmai
Shin says this is his favorite “salt friendly” sake because it cleans the palate and compliments the dish at the same time, and he says it’s so darn drinkable. He also recommends heating this sake up for your turkey dinner! Hot turkey and warm sake how cool!
- 6) Gravy – Mizunoshirabe “Sound of Water” Ginjo
This deceptively light ginjo is a food pairing monster! No kidding! Do not let the calmness of the bottle fool you! And did somebody say gravy? Probably the best fluid at any Thanksgiving Day dinner table! This Ginjo goes right at the salty and fatty elements of the gravy and melds them all together in a gentle flow that is like the sound of gravy! Everything else is gravy!
- 5) Mashed Potatoes – Tenryo “The Pride of Hida” Junmai Ginjo
9 out 10 Doctors recommend mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving! And why the heck not? It’s probably the most hoarded dish served on this day of giving thanks! So why not give thanks to a sake that is packaged so well for Turkey Day! A basket of sake for a horn of plenty! This brew is creamy and rich, and as it warms a hint of cocoa comes forth and who doesn't want chocolate mashed potatoes?
- 4) Pumpkin – Gokyo “5 Bridges” NeNe Sparkling Junmai
So pumpkin can visit the dinner table in many forms. If one of those forms is pumkin pie then it’s time to turn Thanksgiving on its head! How about pie with sparkling sake that is fat, gooey, and sweet? Talk about waking that pie up! Get some pump in your pumpkin pie with a sparkling sake that says gobble gobble in the glass!
- 3) Butter – Kenbishi “Black Pine” Honjozo
Did somebody say butter? Talk about liquid gold! If there is one day other than Xmas to let go of your butter intake system Thanksgiving is that day! And if you go butter loco then you will need a velvety, creamy, round and salt-friendly sake to melt in your mouth! Kenbishi is that melt worthy brew and guess what? It gets more melty when you warm it – just like butter!
- 2) Cranberry – Inemankai “Ine’s Full Bloom” Red Rice Junmai Genshu
Well Thanksgiving would not be complete with out those wonderful little red cranberries in either form! I prefer the jelly-form and it takes a special sake to pull that sweet and sour and distinct flavor. Shin-san said the new red rice sake would be perfect as it is complex and very flavorful and it’s red! What a perfect pairing – ancient red rice and modern cranberries!
- 1) Turkey - Wakatakeya “A Zen Ai” “Love” Junmai Koshu (5 Years Aged)
So the whole point of this meal is the bird! Albeit real or tofutti! And my ultimate pairing for the bird is an aged sake that is simply perfection in the glass. Round, creamy, rich, savory, complex, layered, and superb this sake is the perfect companion to each part of the Turkey. If you had to say a word other than bird it should be “Love” and you will love this aged sake!