The Tasting Panel magazine

February 2014

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Page 80 of 111

76 / the tasting panel / february 2014 to Chateau Montelena winning the Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976; it's truly extraordinary." Introduced in April 2012, Sho Chiku Bei Rei has bold, loral aromas and a full, rich draft lavor with a bigger body, more texture and a sweeter mid- palate than the Sho Chiku Bai Junmai. Rei is a medium sweet saké and the impression of sweetness works with the draft's weighty texture and body that are comparable to a medium sweet white wine. Like Sho Chiku Bai Junmai Classic, which was introduced 30 years earlier in 1983, Sho Chiku Bai Rei is produced using table rice grown in the Sacramento River Delta and water from Berkeley. And, like the wines produced at urban wineries in nearby Alameda and the pilsner beer that's brewed just blocks away from the Takara Sake USA brewery, Sho Chiku Bai sakés are regional products that beneit from a long tradition of quality production. No Shortcuts When touring the Takara Sake USA brewery with soft-spoken Takeshi Baba, a master saké brewer who is Vice President and Director of Production at Takara Sake USA, to get a irst-hand look at their success, Baba conirms that even large-scale saké production is a craft, "There are no short cuts here," he said. Master saké brewer Takeshi Baba is Vice President and Director of Production at Takara Sake USA. Miso-marinated black cod with mushrooms and spinach from Chef Akira Komine of Kirala restaurant in Berkeley, CA is matched with Sho Chiku Bai Rei from Takara. As Takara Sake USA enters its 31st year, the Berkeley brewery has the nation's top-selling saké— Sho Chiku Bai—and a new industry benchmark to its credit."

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