Music makes sake taste so much better!
TKC, a former musician and a sake lover, suggests the perfect music pairing for sake.
For the second session, he’s bringing you four sets of daily sake pairings you can buy at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan!
Kenbishi Sake Brewing in Hyogo Prefecture is a brewery that pursues unchanging deliciousness with the company motto, “Be a still clock.” At the recent “Sake Future Summit” online event, when the president Mr. Masataka Shirakashi was asked, “If the taste of sake changes in the future, will you change the taste of your sake?”, he answered immediately, “We will never change the taste.”
He’s cool! The logo is also cool! Everything is cool!
The most reasonably priced “Kenbishi” is a multifaceted sake that embodies Kenbishi’s brewing philosophy “We don’t aim to make sake that scores 100 points with a certain dish, but to make sake that scores 70 points or more with any dish” through the maturing and blending process.
The artist I’d like to pair this with is Oasis, the legendary British rock band that has been in constant demand for a reunion since their breakup in 2009.
“Champagne Supernova” gives you a pleasant floating feeling with the sound of waves and beautiful guitars in the introduction. This is the last song on their biggest selling second album, “Morning Glory.”
The lyrics that begin with “How many special people change?” can be interpreted in different ways depending on the listener: rebellion against adulthood, sadness for people who are changing, or even a love song. In fact, Noel himself, the composer of the song, has said that it is “a song that takes on a different meaning in different moods.”
This combination, which has different tastes and sounds depending on the conditions of the day, is like a compass that lets you check where you stand.
Even if the time indicated by the hands of the “still clock” held by Kenbishi remains unchanged forever, the meaning of that time will be different for each person.
Unchanging sake, unchanging music. But people keep changing.
After returning home, you put on your usual music and prepared your usual sake. You always listen to this song, but tonight it sounds a little sad. You’re sure it’s your favorite sake that you always drink, but it’s just not going anywhere today. Maybe you’re a little tired. Let’s go to bed early today. This is a pairing full of tenderness that will make you realize yourself.
Akita Shurui Seizoh, known for “Takashimizu,” is the largest producer of sake in Akita Prefecture. In addition to the standard products with an orthodox taste, the company continues to create innovative new flavors, such as the “heated matured sake,” which is stored at a high temperature to create a long-term matured taste.
Josen is the soul sake of Akita. Many sake fans may associate Akita sake with the fruity flavors of “Aramasa” or “Yamamoto,” but this sake is a connoisseur’s favorite, with its robustness and sharpness. Of course, it’s the best match for Akita’s cuisine! It is recommended to enjoy it with dishes that have strong aroma and flavor like kiritanpo, iburigakko, hatahata etc.
The artist I would like to pair this with is Coldplay, a global pop rock band. They are characterized by bright and vivid tunes. However, “Ghost Stories,” on which “Magic” is included, was written against the backdrop of the end of frontman Chris’s decade-long marriage, and the songs are overall heavy and dark. It’s a unique work that has divided evaluations. “I call it magic, I call it true” is a line that, despite the calm tone of the song, conveys a positive attitude of affirming both magical times and reality. If this song gets under your skin, you should definitely listen to the album. It is a piece that will make you feel as if you are sinking into the bottom of a deep sea.
This is a pairing that makes the stillness of the night even deeper. On a sleepless night, you take a cup of hot sake and go outside to a snowy world. You take out your earphones and play this song while taking a sip of sake. Does the snow look whiter than usual because it is magic, or is it just true?
“Maru”, from Hyogo Prefecture’s Hakutsuru Sake Brewing, is a blend of as many as six different sake, including those made with white koji. White koji sake may seem like a recent development, but to your surprise, “Maru” was born in 1984! It’s easy to drink, you won’t get tired of it, and it goes well with all kinds of food.
Men I Trust is a Canadian dream pop band with a melancholic, floating sound. The band is based in Quebec, a province so rich in nature that vocalist Emma says, “I have nothing to do but take walks and think about music,” creating a free sound that shows no roots. The song “Numb” is from their third album “Oncle Jazz”. It’s a strange song that makes you feel relaxed before you know it.
It’s a chill pairing that makes you want to laze around without a care in the world. At lunchtime, you put on this song, and while making lunch, you drink Maru and try to warm it up a bit or match it with some glasses. By the time the food is ready, you’re already tipsy. But you can’t help but pour it out again. You don’t even know how much you drank or how much time passed – it was a combination that made you fall into a slumber.
Gekkeikan, located in Fushimi, Kyoto, has created a number of technologies that are essential to the production of today’s sake and continues to produce innovative products that meet the needs of the times, such as non-alcoholic sake and no-carbs products. The “THE SHOT” series, with its cute and colorful appearance, is based on the concept of “the beginning of enjoying what you like”, and “Black” is a fruity daiginjo sake with a clean aftertaste. The 180ml size is great for when you just want to drink a little, and the perfect size of the tap enhances the aroma.
The artist I would like to pair this with is the Canadian band RUSH. The band is a progressive rock band that is known for its superb technique and epicism, with songs that exceed 10 minutes in length, and surprisingly “2112” is over 20 minutes long. In the 70’s and 80’s, when many hit songs came from the radio, “Spirit of Radio” was created at the insistence of the company that they needed to create shorter songs to be played on the radio. It’s a commercialization, but it’s one of those songs that boils down the taste of RUSH and pop into a 5-minute song, which is finally a good song from all sides. On the other hand, the lyrics are an ironic take on commercial music that mass-produces palatable pop songs.
This is a combination that gives a sense of maturity behind the ease of accessibility. You thought he was kind of flirtatious, but after talking with him a lot, you realize that he is a very solid guy. Trendy music, trendy sake. Music you like, sake you like. There are many times when trends and your preference coincide, and many times when they do not. It’s a pairing that will make you want to find “The Spirit of Sake” for yourself.