Spring is a significant time of the year in Japanese culture; the blooming cherry blossoms (sakura) symbolise a time of renewal and the fleeting nature of life. So what better way to mark our brief time on planet earth than by drinking sake? This October, the country's first dedicated sake expo will take place at ASB Showgrounds.
The celebration of this age-old style of rice wine will be held courtesy of Kei Shimatani who runs the country's largest sake and Japanese food importer, JFC NZ. Shimatani has rallied over 40 sake vendors and advocates for the event. While the lineup is still under wraps, we hope that New Zealand's first and only sake brewery, Zenkuro, will make an appearance with their junmai style of sake.
Entry will include free tastings from all suppliers as well as talks on the history of the beverage and lessons in how to match sake with food — which you may be interested to know works particularly well with cheese and dark chocolate.
For those who don't know much about the drink, sake is a traditional Japanese alcohol brewed from grown rice, water, yeast and koji-kin. Though considered rice wine, the fact that it's brewed from a grain (not from fruit) makes sake closer to beer than wine. The booze content also puts both to shame, with most sakes clocking in just under the 20 percent mark. Though, the dilemma remains: should you drink it hot or cold?
Learn more at The Food and Sake Expo at ASB Showgrounds on Sunday 15 October from 10am-5pm.