Tips on enjoying Japanese sake with lacquerware•
Posted on February 10 2022
Kazuhiro Shiokawa, President of Shiokawa Sake Brewery (whose products are also carried by Seek the Story of Sake), is someone who recommends drinking sake with lacquerware. We have spoken to him to learn more about the appeal of lacquerware and why he recommends this practice.
After taking over the brewery, Shiokawa began to cast his eyes overseas for places where his delicious sake would be appreciated. Starting with its first exports to Hong Kong in 2008, the brewery has now exported to 14 countries worldwide. He felt that simply supplying sake to Japanese restaurants will result in the brewery fighting over its slice of the pie in a small market like Japan, which prompted him to adopt the strategy of establishing a new distribution system for sake by targeting the massive wine market and changing the competition. In addition to exporting sake, he is also actively engaged in guiding local production and developing sake that will be appreciated by not only wealthy clients around the world but also a wider range of consumers.
Enjoying sake with lacquerware
The remarkable charm of lacquerware
“Drinking Japanese sake with certain kinds of lacquerware makes it taste mellower and smoother. In fact, when 20 people (including sake sommeliers) were asked to compare the taste of sake served in lacquerware with sake served in other cups, all 20 participants agreed that lacquerware improved the taste of sake. Based on my own experience, the easiest way to appreciate the impact of lacquerware on the taste of sake is to use sake that is light, crisp, and dry, for instance, Koshinoseki Futsushu from Shiokawa Sake Brewery. Of course, I’d encourage everyone to try drinking other kinds of sake with lacquerware as well.”
Researchers are taking a closer look at how lacquerware alters the taste of sake
Asst. Prof. Ryoji Ito of Niigata University’s Faculty of Agriculture is another person who is obsessed with drinking sake with lacquerware. He is currently conducting research on Japanese rice and sake from a variety of perspectives in his lab.
“Niigata University is the first university in the world to conduct research in the discipline of sake studies, and I would love to continue studying sake from an academic perspective.”
Indeed, the mechanism by which humans perceive taste is more complex than we thought, and we look forward to how our understanding of this phenomenon evolves.
Two kinds of lacquerware recommended by President Shiokawa
The “Shuai” and “Issen” series feature simple sake cups that allow you to enjoy the impact of lacquerware on the taste of sake in a hassle-free way. These items are perfect for tasting sessions as you can easily appreciate how the taste of sake is improved by the use of lacquerware.
Indulge in the luxury of selecting the perfect sake cup for each sake and occasion…
Now that you understand the appeal of lacquerware, why don’t you take this chance to get some new sake cups that you can switch to depending on the type of sake you are drinking or the occasion? There is no doubt that paying close attention to these small details is part of the fun of drinking sake.
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