December 2017

Sake Expressions – Sparkling Sake For New Year’s Eve

Posted by Beau Timken in 2017, Christmas, December, Newsletter, Sake Expressions

It’s not like you need to have a reason to drink sparkling sake! But New Year’s Eve makes a great excuse to get your sparkling sake on! Why Not? So here are Ten Reasons why you need to get sparkling soon ….. very soon!

Sake Expressions – Sparkling Sake For New Year’s Eve A

1) Sparkling sake is not a novelty! It is not kid’s stuff or silly juice, but it is a great expression of rice and water. My friend who is a 55th owner operator of a sake brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture once told me that his grandfather used to make sparkling sake for family celebrations, so if it was good enough for them that is good enough for me.


2) Sparkling sake comes in small portions! Typically most sparkling sake come in 300ml bottles, which makes them perfect for a small occasion or no occasion at all. That said we also have several versions that also come in the 720ml bottles for the bigger party.


3) Sparkling sake works best in your champagne flutes! No kidding! The flute brings out the goodness in sparkling wine and so too does it for sake. Look at the glorious bubbles in a new light, and give yourself a chance to dust off your favorite flutes.

Sake Expressions – Sparkling Sake For New Year’s Eve B

4) Sparkling sake bubbles come in big and small sizes! Yes, just like their grape equivalents sparkling sake has bigger fatter bubbles, and smaller tighter bubbles like a dry brut.


5) Sparkling sake is hot! Well, not in the heated capacity, but rather as a segment. When we opened the store we only had one sparkling sake that sold for $120. Today we have over 10 in the store and can easily get others. They are popular because they are good!


6) Most sparkling sake is fermented in the bottle! Yup! Just like that other stuff, several sparkling sake that we carry are second fermented in the bottle, which makes for a far more rich and flavorful drinking experience.


7) Sparkling sakes don’t give you a Champagne headache! You can call and thank us on January 2nd and tell us that you did not get a terrible Champagne headache, because of your sparkling sake. No sulfites! No problems!


8) Sparkling sakes are has a more gentle sweetness than Champagne! If you dig on your sweets then sparkling sakes would very much appeal to you. Some are even gooey sweet if you go that way! (And some are pretty dry and crisp too) They are great for starting the evening and for the dessert course as well.


9) Sparkling sake likes fruit! By all means drop a strawberry or add some raspberries to you sparkling brew. And if you like peach, we have a sparkling sake with peach flavor!


10) Sparkling sake is an aphrodisiac! Need I say anything else?

Sake Expressions – Sparkling Sake For New Year’s Eve C

And here are two long overdue reviews for two of the best sparkling sake in the store:


Ichinokura "Wabi"
From Miyagi Prefecture. Sparkling. SMV: -75 Acidity: N/A
The nose on this sparkling sake that gets its bubbles from a 2nd fermentation in the bottle as opposed to being carbonated is a bright collection of steamed rice, white grapes, and dried fruit aromas. This is an extremely elegant sake that has everything that you would want in a sparkling brew from a round and soft richness to a creamy explosion of blueberry, pear, and mango flavors. Use your sparkling wine flute to accentuate the bubbles that bring forth hints of cherry and “Smarties” the candy. Very round and very flavorful, and very drinkable. Wabi won the trophy for sparkling sake at the 2016 International Wine Challenge. WORD: Elegant WINE: Champagne BEER: Creamy alesFOODS: Champagne fare. $26/375ML


Ninki Ichi “Natural”
From Fukushima. Junmai Ginjo Sparkling. SMV: -70 Acidity: 6.5
This sparkling sake is the bubbly result of a second bottle fermentation and not carbonation, which makes it lively and super tasty. The nose on “Natural” is a fun collection of steamed rice, yogurt, and lemon aromas. If you like your bubbles on the Brut side this sake is for you. Crisp, tight, bright, and dry the bubbles are small and lively. Look for compact flavors of grape, cherry, and dried pear with a tingle of citrus. Your Champagne glass is perfect for this sparkling sake that is really elegant and lovely. This is not a gooey and sweet sparkling rather it is tight and crisp and brings a smile to your lips. Super tasty.WORD: Crisp WINE: Champagne BEER: Tight ales FOODS: Champagne food. $15/300ml


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