Saturday, June 30, 2012


This is an important word for talking about the taste of sake. We use this word many times in our tasting notes. So we should explain about "Umami" today.

Kikunae Ikeda,
who uncovered the chemical root
behind a taste he named umami.

Umami (旨味 or 旨み) is one of the five basic tastes (bitterness, saltiness, sourness, sweetness and umami).

"Umami: freed at last from having to explain that this is untranslatable, as it gains currency as an English loan word. Umami has been recognized as a basic flavor (like sweet, sour, bitter, etc.). Originally pinned down as the key flavor element in Japanese 'dashi' fish stock, tomatoes and parmesan cheese have also been found to be rich in 'umami' flavor. For sake drinkers, it is the rich, full, statisfying flavor (almost texture) deriving from rice, and deepening with time."
refer from THE BOOK OF SAKE, A Connoisseur's Guide: Phillip Harper.

So "Umami" is an element of deliciousness. Sake (especially Junmai) has four of the five tastes (I believe the saltiness is not in sake) and the balance of them makes its character. Umami is a very key word of Junmaishu and this is one of the differences from Honjozo and Regular Sake.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Samples from my collection of Kottou (Antiques)

From a young age I have always been interested in Japanese antiques. 40 years ago in Kyoto, before moving to Australia to get married, I bought an old Guinomi (sort of sake cup), said to be 400 years old. After that, from when I was 30 until I was about 50, raising a family of 4 children, I had no spare cash and could not to add my collection.  More recently, however, on trips to Japan, visiting small country towns where the sake breweries are situated, I again started buying some antique pieces.

I would like to show my collection to you sake lovers.  I hope you will be interested too.

From time to time, I will put up some photos and if you are interested in buying anything, just let me know, so I can give you the best price.

Here is the first one.  The collection of small chests of drawers or Kakesuzuri (Suzuri-bako, inkstone case).
They are made of Keyaki (zelkova—elm family), Sugi (Japanese cedar), Kiri (paulownia) etc. Some have keys.

All of them are quite old, late 1800 or even older.  The price is $180 ~ $650.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our Melbourne Branch is open

Sakenet Australia - Melbourne is available now !

Our Melbourne branch has limited stock at a moment. However if your shipping address is in Victoria, the delivery fee will be cheaper than when you order them through our Sydney website.