Sake enthusiasts take note: one of Canada’s officially anointed sake samurai Michael Tremblay is hosting a pair of upcoming on-line sake seminars which you cannot afford to miss.
Each webinar (on February 15th and 22nd) will cover four exceptional sakes, the story behind them, and an exploration of the ideal foods with which to pair them. C100B connected by Zoom with Tremblay at Ki (where he is sake sommelier) to ask what participants can expect along with their sake tasting kits.
MT: We’ll start with sake’s general concepts: there are four ingredients, rice, water, koji-kin–this magical mould–and yeast. With these four ingredients you can make wildly different sakes. So, from there we’ll delve in a little deeper.
C100B: Will you talk about pairing sake with western food?
MT: Definitely, since sake is very versatile. One of its key elements is that it has a lot of amino acids that create wonderful umami in sake. When you have something with a lot of amino acid or umami, and pair it with food that also has that, it’s complimentary. It builds. And gets better. Umami is the opposite of bitterness–you can’t have too much of it. A good example of this in the western world is how ragù Bolognese and parmigiana Reggiano pairs so well together. Sake’s umami-rich profile doesn’t just add a lot to Japanese dishes but can also do so to dishes like this.
C100B: What types of sake will you be examining?
MT: Each case for each webinar will have savoury sake (Junmai), and also something fruity and aromatic (Ginjo). Junmai means no added alcohol. Usually, it also has high percentage of rice- usually around 70%, so lots of fat and umami. It tastes great with tempura. And it’s perfect for tasting at different temperatures. On the other side, we’ll have delicate Ginjo and dai-ginjo, with more rice polished away, less umami, more aromatic and floral notes. That pairs perfectly with delicate dishes–like grilled white fish, sea bream, smoked trout, lean pork and mild cheese. [Whatever you try] you can’t have a disaster with sake like you can with wine. As they say in Japanese: “Sake doesn’t pick fights with food.”
Join the Sake Webinars with Michael Tremblay. The first 300 eligible registrants with addresses in downtown Toronto and surrounding area will receive a complimentary sake and food tasting kit. Be sure to secure your spot asap by clicking HERE.
Here’s a look at the sake you’ll be sampling: