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We included a futsu-shu saké in our wine advent calendar this year as our intentions are always to feature wines from around the world that offer a diverse and inclusive tasting experience. Saké, particularly futsu-shu, represents a rich part of Japanese beverage culture with its own unique production methods and flavor profiles. By showcasing futsu-shu saké alongside wines, we aim to broaden the advent calendar's appeal and introduce enthusiasts to the world of Japanese saké, highlighting its versatility and ability to pair well with a variety of cuisines. This addition allows participants to explore different cultural traditions through their beverage choices, enriching their tasting journey and providing a well-rounded appreciation for global alcoholic beverages.

Ryokō is crisp and dry with notes of berries, watermelon, and a spicy finish.



Futsu-shu saké, known as "ordinary saké" in Japan, represents a traditional and widely consumed style of this iconic Japanese beverage. It is characterized by its straightforward production methods and accessible pricing, making it a popular choice both domestically and internationally. Futsu-shu saké is typically brewed using a blend of rice, water, koji mold, and yeast, with minimal polishing of the rice grains compared to premium saké varieties. This results in a saké that is robust, full-bodied, and often slightly sweet, with a balanced profile that pairs well with a variety of Japanese and international cuisines. Futsu-shu saké is enjoyed in everyday settings, from casual meals to izakaya (Japanese pubs), where its versatility and affordability make it a staple choice for saké enthusiasts and newcomers alike seeking a taste of authentic Japanese brewing tradition.



Here are five excellent food pairings for saké:

  1. Tempura: The crisp texture and delicate flavors of tempura, whether it's shrimp, vegetables, or seafood, are complemented by the clean and slightly sweet characteristics of futsu-shu saké. The saké's refreshing qualities cleanse the palate between bites, enhancing the overall enjoyment of this classic Japanese dish.

  2. Yakitori: Grilled skewers of chicken, pork, or vegetables glazed with teriyaki sauce or salt pair beautifully with futsu-shu saké. The saké's mild sweetness and umami notes complement the smoky flavors of the grilled meat, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

  3. Sushi and Sashimi: Futsu-shu saké is an excellent match for sushi and sashimi due to its clean and slightly sweet taste profile. Whether enjoying nigiri, maki rolls, or fresh slices of sashimi, the saké enhances the delicate flavors of the fish and rice, while its acidity helps cleanse the palate between bites.

  4. Ramen: A bowl of savory ramen, whether it's shoyu (soy sauce), miso, or tonkotsu (pork bone broth), pairs wonderfully with futsu-shu saké. The saké's mild sweetness and smooth texture complement the richness of the broth and noodles, creating a comforting and satisfying dining experience.

  5. Edamame: Steamed edamame seasoned with sea salt is a simple and delicious pairing with futsu-shu saké. The saké's clean and slightly sweet flavors complement the fresh and slightly salty taste of the edamame, making it a refreshing and enjoyable appetizer or snack.

These pairings highlight the versatility of futsu-shu saké from Japan, demonstrating its ability to complement a variety of Japanese dishes with its clean, slightly sweet, and approachable flavor profile.

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