Professionals create new type of sake inspired by champagne
What would happen if champagne and sake professionals got together? Creating a new kind of sake is just around the corner. Read more here.
Piper-Heidsieck‘s former chef de cave and current cellar master at Maison Rare Champagne is developing the Heavensake project in Japan.
Camus’ idea behind Heavensake is to bring together his Champagne blending skills to calibrate an ideal balance between sake lots. The first bottles of the project are Junmai Daiginjo and Junmai Ginjo, which he creates together with Dassai and Urakasumi.
Heavenake 12 is the most recent bottle. Created in collaboration with Konishi. It should be noted that while most sake has an ABV of 15% this version of sake, Heavensake 12, contains 12% ABV. It has a smooth texture and is creamy in the mouth, and reminds one of a buttery Chardonnay.
There are other sake producers who wish to obtain the sparkling effect of Champagne. Hakkaisan’s president, Jiro Nagumo, says, “I find that during a dinner party, a carbonated drink like champagne, sparkling wine, or beer is a good appetizer, because the carbonation stimulates the stomach to eat. I started thinking, ‘Why don’t we create a version of sake from the same drink’ ?”
But how do you create a carbonated sake if the use of sugar is forbidden in the sake?
The sake brewer adds a moromi, (a recipe) a mixture of koji rice, steamed rice, and water, to the ready-made sake. This creates a second fermentation in the bottle. “Unlike wine, saké can control sugars during fermentation,” says Nagumo.
In this way, they create sake called Clear Sparkling AWA which drains like a traditional champagne. The result is a sake with sparkling bubbles.
The evolution of sake is just around the corner, and thanks to the knowledge and education about wine that many Japanese possess, this trend is more likely to increase and develop over time to open the doors of innovation by mixing knowledge of two powerful alcohols such as sake and champagne.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.