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Sparkling sake? I am not talking about the cheap stuff you may have seen in the market. I am talking about sparkling sake made like Champagne, with secondary fermentation in the bottle. I was surprised and quite impressed when I tried it and wrote about it in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here. When you think about sparkling wines that are not Champagne, you might think about sparkling wine from California, Oregon, France, Italy, Spain or another wine- producing region. But what about Japan? When you think about what grapes sparkling wines are made from, you might think about Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinto Meunier, Glera, Vermentino, Shiraz, Lambrusco or many other wine grapes. But what about sake?
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Sake is Japan’s best known libation. But outside of Japan, this mysterious beverage is not as well understood. For me, sake is a subject for which I have only basic knowledge.
I, like most people, was introduced to warm sake at Japanese restaurants and have even been known to do a “sake bomb” (a shot of sake dropped into a pint of beer) from time to time, long ago. But when I worked for an importer selling wine over a decade ago, I was introduced to the beauty and nuance of sake. Kampai - Sake
An age-old staple of Japanese culture and cuisine, sake is made from rice. There are more than 70 different sake brewing rice types, and sake is categorized by how much each grain of sake brewing rice is polished or milled. KAMPAI_Harper_koji-making
But sake continues to be a subject about which we know very little. While I was “bitten by the wine bug” and spend my time as a student of wine, there are others who have been “bitten by the sake bug.” Three of these people are profiled in a new documentary titled “Kampai! For the Love of Sake,” which has opened in theaters and is available on-demand.