Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

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Mel Knox
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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#51 Post by Mel Knox » May 15th, 2019, 9:14 am

Barry,
I tasted a wine made from apples and blackberries that you could have talked me into saying it was made from grapes.
ITB

Charlie Carnes
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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#52 Post by Charlie Carnes » May 15th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm
... but said that the way sake is consumed is far more akin to wine consumption than drinking beer.
Very cool Bruce. This is how I feel about Sake.
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#53 Post by Bruce G. » May 15th, 2019, 4:21 pm

paul hanna wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 3:55 am
Had a great Sake tasting flight in Tokyo years ago at a very molecular restaurant where almost nothing else would have paired with the food (it was really diverse and totally out there, but very good) - was an absolute revelation!

Maybe 7 or 8 Sake's, all different styles from a slightly sweet, light chilled sparkling Sake right through to complex, bigger styles at different temperatures - was a lot of fun.
Paul,

What was it about the cuisine that made you feel almost nothing else could have paired with it?
Bruce Gutlove

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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#54 Post by paul hanna » May 15th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Really diverse range of food, very molecular - lots of spherification, foams, powders, gels etc, and some pretty out there flavor combinations....even some palate destroying Miracle Fruit.

The others tried Champagne as a match, and we agreed the Sake (which was what they recommended as a pairing) worked best.

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Thor Iverson
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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#55 Post by Thor Iverson » May 15th, 2019, 10:46 pm

I really encourage people who haven't to engage with the craft cider community. If you don't think it looks (and sometimes tastes) like wine after a serious encounter with what's going on, I'd question what you think wine is about.

This doesn't mean it's the most like wine. Sake might be. Even beer might be, if you subdivide it correctly. But I think, in terms of intentionality vs. results, it is. It wasn't ten years ago. But it sure is now.

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lleichtman
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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#56 Post by lleichtman » May 15th, 2019, 11:36 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 7:12 pm
Interesting discussion.

Apropos of something....
The resemblance of sake to wine is in large part intentional.
In Japan, sake consumption has been dropping steadily for several decades. The current trend to very fruity sakes is in many ways an attempt to attract new Japanese consumers and foreign consumers who prefer wine.

Re: Is it beer or wine?
I just put the question to 7 Japanese winemakers as we were sitting around drinking wine.
They all said "It's neither beer nor wine... it's sake". After I insisted that they choose one or the other they all said "wine". This surprised me, and I pointed out that the production is far more akin to brewing than winemaking. They all agreed that this was so, but said that the way sake is consumed is far more akin to wine consumption than drinking beer.
Current figures show a rise in consumption of sake (it is さけ 酒) and not saki (さき 先 that means before not a rice alcoholic beverage. There has been an international push to increase sake consumption throughout the world. I am currently working a diploma in Sake production and sales sponsored by WSET. It is as grueling as wine WSET level 4 exam along with basically being done in a different language. My job if I elect to take it, is selling younger drinkers on Sake. iI can be done and a dedicated trained group should help a lot. The amount of Sake being produced has not dropped significantly. What isn't sold is made into shochu with a taste more like moonshine. Our group has even gone to Japan to boost sales. And pretty much everyone loves some free booze. In Tokyo near the Asakusa shrine, e even got Yakuza to help in the trade show set up. One of the women in our group has great tattoos and the tattoos caught the attention of some younger Yakuza. the woman is good looking and personal so it doesn't hurt. On our trips we have seen Sake made in many regions though best in colder regions and every one of them has a different tastes, aroma, and structure. It is every bit as worthwhile as studying wine.
Lawrence G. Leichtman

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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#57 Post by Bruce G. » May 16th, 2019, 12:30 am

lleichtman wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 11:36 pm
Current figures show a rise in consumption of sake (it is さけ 酒) and not saki (さき 先 that means before not a rice alcoholic beverage. There has been an international push to increase sake consumption throughout the world.....
The amount of Sake being produced has not dropped significantly. What isn't sold is made into shochu with a taste more like moonshine.

Lawrence,

Thanks for the input.
A quick Google search turns up a pdf from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry that apears to be a powerpoint presentation given last year. You can access it here: http://www.maff.go.jp/j/seisaku_tokatu/ ... %88%A5%27 , though it's all in Japanese.

The graph on the left side of Slide Three (marked Page #2) shows volumes of sake produced and shipped in Japan over the last 15 years or so. The curve shows a pretty precipitous decline.
On the top of that page I note the following comment:
日本酒の国内出荷量は、ピーク時(昭和48年)には170万㎘を超えていたが、他のアルコール飲料との競合などにより、近年は50万㎘台前半の水準まで減少。
Loosely translated, this says something on the order of "At it's peak (in the 48th year of the Showa Era, or 1973), annual domestic Nihonshu (sake) volumes shipped topped 1,700,000 kL. Due to many things, including the increased consumption of other types of alcohol, recent annual production volumes are about 500,000 kL."

Here's another link, this one to a graph from another source (the National Tax Office, again in Japanese): https://www.nta.go.jp/taxes/sake/shiori ... pdf/01.pdf
It shows the number of sake producers over the last 15 years or so. The important column is the second one from the right. 17 years ago there were 1,929 sake producers here in Japan. 3 years ago that number had dropped to about 1,421.

I love sake, and have participated in its making (仕込み) twice.
I agree that it's a fascinating field of study, and I wish you well.

Regards,
Bruce Gutlove

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David Glasser
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Re: Is Sake the closest thing to wine that doesn't have grapes in it?

#58 Post by David Glasser » May 18th, 2019, 5:07 am

Jason T wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 4:54 am
Why does it have to be “like” something else? Why cannot it not just be sake?
Because it’s there.

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