The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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50  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2016 EVENT WRAP-UP T his past August, TEXSOM was taken by storm by the most unlikely of libations—saké. Attendees were awed at the quality of the 13 award-winning sakés presented by importer Mutual Trading Company. "We're reaching out to the so-called gatekeepers of the wine industry. There is an increasing community of sommeliers expanding their knowledge of brewed alcohol beyond wines to explore saké. In addition to the obvious suitability with Japanese dishes, there are a vast number of yet-to-be-discovered combinations encompassing Western cuisines, especially seafood," says Toshio Ueno, Master of Saké and Vice President of Saké School of America, on his decision to showcase saké at such a wine-centric conference. It's a little known fact that saké produc- tion utilizes the same koji microbe to convert starches into sugars as in miso and soy sauce. Koji contributes to an umami punch that's packed into every sip of saké, hence its ability to pair with an incredibly diverse array of cuisines. If not convinced, try a pairing of saké with cheese. Lactic acid and umami components in saké create a luscious blend you'll love. The East Meets the Lone Star State TEXSOM co-founder James Tidwell, MS, CWE (second from right) and co-founder Drew Hendricks, MS, CWE (far right), present a special commendation to Takeyoshi Honda of brew- ery Honda Shoten (far left), "The Godfather of Saké Rice," for his leading research on saké rice terroir, and Atsuhide Kato (second from left), 11th-generation owner of brewery Katou Kichibee Shouten, a multi-gold TEXSOM awardee including Best of Show for their Born Nihon no Tsubasa. Chairman Takeyoshi Honda of Honda Shoten and President Atsuhide Kato of Katou Kichibee Shouten pouring their Gold medal award-winning saké at the Grand Tasting hall in the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas. PHOTO COURTESY OF MUTUAL TRADING PHOTO COURTESY OF MUTUAL TRADING THE HIGHLIGHTS OF SAKÉ AT TEXSOM by Izzy Watson

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