SAKEDELIC!! 〜Pairing Sake with Music〜
Part 1: Sake from Akita Pref.

Music makes sake taste so much better!
TKC, who is working for a sake store in Akita, suggests the perfect music pairing for sake.
For the first session, he’s bringing you three sets of the recently talked-about “Akita Sake” pairings!

Written by TKC
Translated by Saki Kimura

Ⅰ. Beautiful View ─ Chiyomidori Junmai Daiginjo × Casa Sunset by Takase Tsukamoto

Okuda Shuzo, a brewery in Daisen, known for its Chiyomidori, uses mostly rice grown in the prefecture, their ambient yeast MS3 and Akita’s yeast NO.12 to thoroughly pursue Akita-made sake.
Among the yeast series based on the concept of “making the most of the flavor of the ingredients,” SP uses Komachi Yeast Special, which is characterized by its gorgeous aroma. It has umami that is typical of sake, yet its light mouthfeel, which can be recommended to beginners, gently transports you to the world of sake.
There’s also an unpressurized jarred version, which is filled with sake that drips naturally without pressure, so you can enjoy the difference!

The artist I’d like to pair with this sake is Takase Tsukamoto, a golden-voiced soul singer from Akita.
He first discovered gospel music as part of his study of black music history at Akita International University, where he found the joy of singing and soul music.
He trained himself in New York City alone to hone his singing skill – no doubt about its quality!
After returning to Japan and moving to Tokyo, he has further pursued roots music (a genre of music closely associated with the local area, people, and culture), expressing his original songs in a band style and as a soloist.

Casa Sunset is a song from the album ‘Gold’, which features Ovall‘s guitarist Shingo Sekiguchi and other great artists. This tune brings to mind a wistful scene of beauty.

This pairing gives you a nice, rustic, straightforward soul behind the refined beauty. The slow scene of Akita in the music video and the smooth and chill taste of the sake will wash away all of your daily concerns – Beautiful view indeed!

Ⅱ. The Big Bang Impact ─ Hideyoshi Ryuban (Coiled Dragon) Junmai Nama Genshu Yamadanishiki × Over and Over and Over by Jack White

Suzuki Shuzo, a brewery in Daisen City, known for its “Hideyoshi” brand of sake, has a long history and continues to take on new challenges in new fields, such as “LA CHANTE” sparkling sake with a super-cute label.
Ryuban (Coiled Dragon) series has a post-modern taste that is suitable for today’s taste buds with a massive feeling like traditional sake. This sake, with its austere purple label, is made from Yamadanishiki, which is difficult to grow in Akita as a luxury ingredient. It retains the power of Yamadanishiki, but the crispness of the Akita Sake creates a perfect balance. He’s cool, doesn’t talk much, but is firm in his principles, and his back makes him look attractive – this sake makes you imagine such a nice guy. Drink it cold in a glass!
It’s one of my personal favorites and one of the drinks I always have in my fridge.

The artist to pair with this is The Rock Musician Jack White. Best known as the vocalist-guitarist of The White Stripes, and winner of a total of 12 Grammy Awards, he continues to enthrall rock fans with his edgy and distinctive sound.

Over and Over and Over appears on his third album under his solo name, Boarding House Reach. The sound is a rock jumble of fuzzed-out guitars and catchy riffs refrained throughout. It will make your brain boil!

This song and Ryuban are paired like a match between two yokozuna (champion sumo wrestler) in a clash of unshakable strength. The impact is a big bang. The powerful, sharp taste of the drink chills and fuels your body from the heat of the modern rock sound. It’s the best to play this music loud and drink this sake while sweating in the middle of summer. It’s a dangerous combination that lets you drink Over and Over and Over without an end point.

Ⅲ. On a Sunny Sunday Morning ─ Akitabare A (Ace) Red × Tiny Dancer by Chara

Akita Shuzo in Akita City has a wide range of products such as Suirakuten and Akitabare. A (Ace) is their new brand based on the theme of “Akitabare Another Advance”. Among them, Red is themed around “sweet and sour desserts.” Rather than the sweetness and sourness of first love, it also has a bitter impression, like it was fun at first after living together, but lately it’s been difficult to find the right balance between fun and obligation.

Chara rose to fame with the theme song “Swallowtail Butterfly ~Ai no Uta~” for the movie “Swallowtail” (1996), in which she played the lead role. Even now, she continues to stick to her own free and intense “KAWAII” taste, regardless of genre.

Tiny Dancer is a track from the album Sympathy which features a stellar lineup of artists. Shigeru Kishida of the rock band “Kururi”, famous for the Japanese rock anthem Tokyo, provided music for this song. This is a hymn to life that goes beyond love with a mature bittersweetness.

Akitabare A Red and this song are like a mixture of a lot of adults’ feelings that can’t be simply distinguished in a coffee filter. You wake up a little later than usual in the morning, go out for a walk to the liquor store with a feeling of adventure, “Let’s buy sake that I don’t usually drink!” You stop at the grocery store to buy some fast food. You arrive home, put on music at about background volume, and with great enthusiasm, spread your purchases on the table. Sip your drink in a chill mood, fly away to another world. You notice that it’s already evening, which makes you look forward to tomorrow and say, “I’ll do my best”.
I want you to enjoy that kind of pairing, gravity to gentle feelings.