Osake Tasting at Restaurant 62

Sunday (April 15) Restaurant 62 offered a tasting of three Osake brand wines from Granville Island’s Artisan Sake Maker Masa Shiroki. This wine, a handmade product, is not to be confused with the harsh and hot stuff that comprises the only sake experience the majority of North Americans know. The artisanal article is so much more.

Sake—or Nihonshu as it’s called in Japan—has graduated from a class of wine associated primarily with Japanese food. In the past decade, top international chefs began to use it and kazu (a highly nutritious by-product of the sake making process) in everything from soup, dressings, marinades and reductions to ice cream.

Globally, sommeliers in the finest establishments pair finest Japanese sake with all manner of dishes from appetizers to desserts: blue cheese, foie gras, pate, vegetable terrine, seafood, poultry, red meats, chocolate, and fruit. With attention to harmony and balance in the characteristics of the food and the wine, it’s quite literally a match for anything.

Now it’s happening in Abbotsford. On Sunday, tasters enjoyed a seafood bouillabaisse with kazu broth complemented by Osake Junmai Nama, a clear wine with melon and citrus notes. That was followed with the cloudy and creamy Osake Junmai Nigori paired with a duck confit and cranberry crostini. Finally, beef tenderloin with root vegetable and blue cheese demi-glace rounded out Osake Junmai Genshu and the evening.

Restaurant 62 says this is just the beginning. Chef Jeff Massey, Eric Ferris and Alicia Bodaly plan more sake-tasting events after this one. Read more about how sake is made, Restaurant 62’s visit to Granville Island and their hints of more sake events coming up in Abbotsford.

Masa Shiroki, owner of Granville Island’s Artisan Sake Maker, is planting his second crop of sake-grade rice in Abbotsford this year. Read more about Shiroki in Monte Cristo Magazine

Read more about growing rice in Abbotsford.

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