The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. – Bertrand Russell
Last Wednesday’s meet-up with a dear friend in Berkeley lead into a full day of touring his neighborhood which included the opportunity for a tasting at Takara Sake.
Once parked we entered the corporate building double doors and proceeded up a set of stairs (There is also an elevator on the right side.) while enjoying the aroma of sake embodied my senses. It was incredible.
We went past the sake tasting room and entered a small museum room that offered samples of the sake-making process and many pieces of sake artifacts. It was nice to be able to see original pieces to get a feel for the size of the operation.
Then seated in an open room next to the museum for a ten minute insightful and educational video on the journey of making sake. I learned that “koji” is the first process of making sake. To learn in depth about this process, check out this informative website: http://www.sakesocial.com/blogs/beau/8089295-what-is-koji-really
Finally, we proceeded to the tasting room and was greeted by our Tasting Room Manager: Mika Tsuchiiwa. There were many options for tasting and since it was my first time we chose (A) Variety Course which included six different types of sake varying from dry to sweet with a final choice that you may decide on your own.
Miss Tsuchiiwa was incredibly knowledgable and made the whole tasting fun while I retained some valuable information. Will need to return soon to recap and discover more tasting options. I encourage everyone to stop by if you can and join in the fun!
New!! Now offering a new refreshing product- Mio Sparkling Sake – Sho Chiku Bai/Shirakabe Gura (imported) Unique sweet aroma, and refreshing fruity flavor Alchol: 5% Sake Meter: -70 Serving: Chilled
More on tasting room: http://www.takarasake.com/tasting-room.php
Notable(s): Takara Sake USA was established in 1982 in Berkeley, California. The main products produced in Berkeley are the “Sho Chiku Bai” brand of Sake, “Takara Mirin” and Plum wine. Takara Sake USA has taken pure snow melt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and superior rice from the fertile Sacramento Valley.
Location: Takara Sake USA Inc.
Head Quarters, Brewery, Tasting Room , Sake Museum
708 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
Sake Tasting Room – Takara’s mission statment: “We proclaim ourselves a “Harmonist” a term coined out of our sincere desire to act proactively in creating a positive rapport between people and nature.”
Tasting sake tips:
Check Out the Color : The sake should also be free of floating sediments, unless it is a nigori (cloudy) sake.
Pay Attention To Aroma: Floral, tropical, and earthy scents are all a good sign, but if you smell burnt and musty notes, that’s bad.
Sake’s Flavor and Texture: look for flavors that confirm your initial impressions of the sake’s aroma
More tips can be found here: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/02/sake-school-how-to-taste-sake-tips-for-beginners.html
Hint for enjoying warm sake.
Warm Junmai type sake 105 degree Fahrenheit by putting a sake carafe into hot water.
Don’t overheat sake!