Interview with international brewery correspondent: Michiyo Funyu

Q: 1. What developments in the Sake World are you currently finding particularly interesting? 

A: What has changed so far is the production of generally more premium sake rather than simple, cheap sake as well as the increased production of Sparkling Sake which is becoming more and more popular. Exports abroad are also increasing and there are more breweries today that specialize on one product, for example sake made from unpolished rice called “Genmai”.

Q: 2. What is typical of sake from your region?

A: The sake from here has due to its history with the food of the region, which is known for its excellent fish, sushi and sashimi a milder taste but a good balance. I would say this is the sake from here: A perfect pairing partner so you can enjoy it for a long time.

Q: 3. What do you find fascinating about your job and what experience was particularly important for you?

A:  Many international journeys are necessary and since sake is not so well-known abroad, one often has to explain what sake is. To appeal sake to people who only know wine and love to drink it is a skill that is very important for this work.

Q: 4. How important is the international recognition of Sake?

A:  I am hoping that sake, like wine, will find its way into all cuisines in this world as a standard alcoholic drink. sake can be combined very well to all cuisines, not just the Japanese. This awareness becomes stronger and I think that is a very good development through which sake gets more and more recognition. 

Q: 5. What do you drink in your spare time except sake?

A: Besides sake, I usually drink beer and wine.

Q: 6. A recommendation from one of your sake and a matching meal?

A: Urakasumi Zen I really like most. He has the most beautiful balance among all the sake of Urakasumi and, unlike some other Ginjo, one can drink it, especially to food for a very long time without getting tired of it. To be honest, Zen was the first sake I drunk from Urakasumi, and I thought: wow what a delicious sake. As a pairing dish I can recommend creamy shells, for example oysters.

(The Interview has been conducted in Japanese by: Alissa Scherzer. O.T.