Sake Thanksgiving – Top Brews To Pair and Cook with Turkey
Bird IS the word.
This Thanksgiving let the magic of rice and water rain down over your dinner table in as many ways as possible. Of course you can use our “Search” feature on the website to find awesome articles like truesake.com/blogs/2017/sake-season-the-sake-turkey-hunt that lets you know how to find Turkey Tags at True Sake. Or you can find a Top Ten Turkey and Sake List from 2014 to see that many of the brews listed truesake.com/blogs/2014/top-ten-list-ten-sakes-that-are-word-with-the-bird are still on our shelves.
But, let’s freshen up the Top Ten Turkey Sake List for a new decade:
10) Yuki no Bosha Yamahai Junmai
This is a good feeling pairing as the creaminess of this brew goes well with the mashed potatoes and savoriness of the turkey. A velvety and fluffy body dances with the juices of the bird to make an umami movement from start to finish.
09) Choryo Omachi Yamahai Junmai Taru
Why wouldn’t you want to try a very nuanced and subtle cedar sake to go with all of the savoriness of a big bird? This brew is not only Yamahai, but it is made with Omachi brewing rice, which gives the sake a gentle smokey and roasted flavor field that would rock your bird.
08) Izumibashi Red Label Junmai Genshu
Dry sake drinkers are people too, and this big and full-bodied sake is your perfect bird brew in that it is ricey and dry and would do wonders with all of the saltiness and a turkey that has been seasoned. At 18% ABV it’s also a great sake to clean up all of the flavors from cranberry sauce to gravy.
07) Emishiki World Peace Junmai Ginjo
On Thanksgiving who wouldn’t want a little World Peace of the sake kind? Made with a flower yeast this red wine lover’s brew has an enveloping semi-sweetness and acidity play that would prop up a bird. It is a complex sake, and to be honest Turkey is a complex fowl, so the complexity match is a great part of this pairing.
06) Tamagawa Red Label Yamahai Junmai Muroka Nama Genshu
In a word sake is not as powerful as wine when it comes to food pairings as sake typically has 1/3 the acidity of wine, but this beast of a sake was born to dance with your bird. It’s a massive sake that has great unpasteurized smokiness that would throw a great flavor blanket over all of the flavors on your Thanksgiving plate.
05) Atago no Matsu Tokubetsu Honjozo
This is by far the best value turkey pairing on this list at $21, and you’d never know it! A tremendously balanced flavored sake made by a 26 year-old female Toji that is subtle and nuanced and you’d swear it would get overpowered by a big bird flavor, but you’d be wrong. When you write on your label that you want to create “the ultimate food sake” then your turkey better take note!
04) Kenbishi Zuishou Junmai Koshu
Look at the color of that fluid! If you’re a fan of aged sake then you HAVE to have a koshu sake paired with your Thanksgiving feast. This is a round, rich, and savory brew with lots of umami and it would work so very well with a savory bird. And that color, how great would that look on your table? This aged sake has the dexterity and complexity to work wonders with a basted turkey and all the fixings. (giblets and all)
Sometimes you must let go of the handlebars and let nature take its course, and Miroku is just that sake moment. Made by a Francophile who loves wine this very wine looking bottle contains liquid magic of the ethereal and complex kind. A very subtle sake that produces incredible food pairing magic, and would be the most “no way” pairing of your bird and our rice and water.
There is sake drinker’s sake and there is real sake drinkers sake, and this is even more than that. Aged two years this Junmai is incredibly complex, but drinks incredibly smooth and velvety, which would kick butt with a savory turkey with smooth gravy and potatoes. Liquid dry starch to pair with your bird and starch, this Turtle God is as close to heaven this Thanksgiving will take you!
Winner Winner Turkey Dinner! This sake is exclusive to True Sake and it’s one of our favorite pairing brews, because it’s made by a killer brewery that knows how to craft a sake that goes with cuisine. We joke and call it a food pairing monster, but there is nothing scary about this brew that is made with three different types of rice (Yamadanishiki, Gohyakumangoku, and mochi rice). It is the ultimate “mop up the flavors” sake that can take every flavor in the world and round it off in one velvety sip. Your mouth will thank you for this pairing, and you will thank us!