Full-bodied, medium and light-bodied sake at Kabuki
At Kabuki the other night, I met sake sommelier Yuji Matsumoto who explained a little bit about sake pairing for us. Matsumoto is one of the few certified Master Sake Sommeliers in the U.S. -- there are only 80 in all of Japan, he told us.
He started us off with a delicate, floral Kikusui Junmai Ginjo sake, which he likes to pair with subtly flavored dishes like white fishes, raw dishes and tempura.
Next, Matsumoto had us try the medium-bodied, fruity Ginjo Mizbasho sake in the middle. This one works with dishes like chicken yakitori.
On the left, the Nanju-Bijin Tokubetsu Jyunmai is the fullest-bodied. The courses of a meal should follow the same order, with heaviest dishes like beef or rich seabass accompanying the heavier sakes.
Here's a good interview from LA.com with Matsumoto, who will be offering sake pairing workshops soon.
Looking for something really different? Ever thought of pairing sake with cheese? It may sound counter-intuitive (even though modern Japanese dishes often use cheese), but Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario, is collaborating on a Sake Tasting & Artisanal Cheese session with sake expert Kinosuke Inoue on Sunday at 3:00 Downtown through Learn about Wine.