A DIY Sake-Tasting Tour in Japan

Jay Greene
November 9, 2017
Wall Street Journal

“Ayano Okamoto, an executive at the Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery, poured me a glass of aged sake on a steamy September day in the seaside Japanese city of Kanazawa. It was unlike any sake I’d ever tasted or seen. Translucent gold, it could pass easily enough for iced tea but tasted faintly like caramel, slightly sweet and creamy. It’d pair nicely with a juicy steak, I thought.

The overwhelming variety of sakes available in Japan—on menus, in liquor stores and at sake-tasting rooms—is perhaps the first thing an American realizes when sampling the country’s signature tipple, made from fermented rice. This koshu, or aged sake, brewed in Fukumitsuya’s immaculate facility, with its crisp white walls and rich wooden accents, is a 10-year-old version sold under the brewery’s Momotose label for about $89 a bottle. Good luck finding it outside of Japan.”

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Jay Greene is a 2017 US-Japan Journalism Fellow.