Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas Giveaway 2013

* This giveaway is closed. We will inform the winners at this blog on 18th December. 

Sakenet Australia has put together 2 giveaway specials to show our appreciation for your support of Sakenet Australia.

Giveaway One: For Our Customers
All online orders between 15th Nov to 15th Dec 2013 go into the draw to win 1 of 3 prizes.
Order now at ""

   1st prize - Taketsuru Junmai Daiginjo 11BY 720ml
   2nd prize - Chikusen Junmai Umeshu 500ml
   3rd prize - Tokkuri & two Sake cups

Giveaway Two: For Our Facebook Page Followers
If you have been one of out Facebook followers, you are already registered to this campaign. If not, please "like" our facebook page until 15th December 2013.
Follow us on ""

   1st prize - Okuharima Junmai Ginjo Shimomura 16BY 720ml
   2nd prize - Hiokizakura Junmai Tamasakae 720ml
   3rd prize - Two Sake cups

*These campaigns will close at midnight 15th December 2013.
The winners' name will be announced on out website and/or facebook page.
The prize will be despatched around 18th December 2013.
We will send an email or a facebook message to the winners for arranging the shipment.
The shipping cost of the prizes will be free.
The shipping address must be in Australia.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The first week at Sake brewery

There are some pictures from Rey in Tottori, Japan. (More pictures are on our Facebook page, Rey posts everyday. )

Another beautiful day at Hiokizakura Top-notch Sake brewery!

Hiokizakura Master Brewer Mr.Maeda preparing the rice cooling machine for the upcoming Sake season.

Moving a 4800L Sake tank.

 Everyday the magic Bento Fairy brings me my dinner.

Most of the brewers are still busy with the rice harvest, so it's pretty lonely in the big brewery at the moment, in the mean time my amphibious friends at Hiokizakura keep me company!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Six months with brewers

From the next week, Sakenet staff Rey will work and learn about Sake brewing at Hiokizakura (Yamane brewery in Tottori) for 6 months. He will be reporting his experiences here and our facebook page.

Rey is holding a magnum Sake bottle
at a famous Sake store 'Yamamasu' in Tottori

We have planed it since a few years ago. Finally we run this project. We would like to understand more about Sake (including culture) and share the information to Australian people.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hira-hai (shallow Sake cup)

This is a document that Mr. Masasuke Umetsu (president of Umetsu brewery) made for explaining about "Hira-hai". We used this document at the Good Food & Wine Show 2013.

Traditional sake cup "Hira-hai"
The ergonomically designed Sake cup.

The shallow, round shape of this cup is designed to allow your mouth and lips to form the best shape for enjoying sake, especially warm sake, and maximises the sensual experience.

The cup is round and made from fine porcelain.
The flat shape of the cup keeps your lips flat and creates a vertically narrow but wide space.

When you tilt the cup, sake flows into your mouth in a flat shape. It spreads over your tongue in a thin, wide film—you can taste the sake over the whole range of your tongue. Each part of your tongue is sensitive to a different taste.
You should keep the sake on your tongue for as long as possible to savour the taste—don’t send it down your throat in a hurry! With this cup, you can enjoy your sake to the full, every time you tilt your cup!

This cup only holds a small amount of sake, which is the best volume for drinking warm sake. Every mouthful can be tasted slowly at the best temperature.

The message written inside this sake cup is: ‘Sake wa junmai kan nara nao yoshi’. Junmai sake is good. Furthermore, warm junmai sake is the best.
By Hiroshi Uehara

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sake is like Sake !

 The Good Food and Wine Show 2013 in Sydney and Melbourne is now over. We met lots of people at the Show who had a huge interest in Sake and Japanese culture.

 One of the most common questions we received was “ What is Sake?” Rice wine, Japanese wine, Japanese liquor was the standard answer; but when one more astute gentleman followed that question up with “how is it made?” I casually replied, “It’s brewed in a brewery.” To which he responded with, “so then it’s more like a beer…” well, no…

 This got me thinking about 2 big problems, how to explain what Sake is and describing its taste by comparing it to something else.

 My personal belief, after having learnt and taught languages for many years, is that terms like Sake should not be translated and “You can’t get wet from the word water.” (Alan Watts)

 When I hear the word wine, I automatically imagine a dark red liquid gently swirling around a delicate glass with a long stem and round bowl. I imagine grapes and vineyards and large oak barrels… Maybe some of us think of white wine, but in general, I think it’s safe to say, that, Australians, when hearing the word, wine, will think of the traditional alcoholic beverage made from grapes. So when we hear the term rice wine for the first time, I think it’s inevitable, and perfectly understandable, that we, as Australians, will consciously or subconsciously use our images of wine as a point of reference, to try and figure out rice wine, which will, no doubt lead to comparisons with our preconceived notions of wine, and judging Sake by the standards of wine.

 Sake, as many of us know, and many of those who tried Sake for the first time at the show found out, is nothing like wine. It’s not like anything! Sake is like Sake. It tastes like Sake and it looks like Sake. Therefore sake should not and cannot be judged against the standard of wine, because the properties of what makes good Sake are completely different from wine. Just like you wouldn’t judge a white wine against a red or even less a wine against a beer!

Rei Takahashi

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sydney Good Food and Wine Show 2013

Sydney Good Food and Wine Show will be held from 28th (Fri) to 30th (Sun) June 2013.

picture from Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show 2013
Sakenet Australia will have a Sake Tasting Booth, and three of our Kuramoto (Hiokizakura, Takaisami and Umetsu) will come to Sydney from Tottori Prefecture Japan for this event. Tottori is very important region for Junmai Sake industry/culture of Japan.

We will also be selling Sake at our booth, and we will give you free delivery (for limited area of Sydney/Melbourne) if you order Sake at the venue.

Please visit out booth and try some authentic Junmai Sake from Tottori, if you are coming to Sydney Good Food and Wine Show 2013. We look forward to meeting you.

[Event Information]

[Kuramoto Information]
  • HIOKIZAKURA (Yamane-shuzo)
    • Location: Tottori Pref.
    • Established in: 1887
    • Annual Output: 102,600 litres
    • Number of brewers: 7
  • TAKAISAMI (Ohtani-shuzo)
    • Location: Tottori Pref.
    • Established in: 1872
    • Annual Output: 216,000 litres
    • Number of brewers: 10
  •  UMETSU (Umetsu-shuzo)
    • Location: Tottori Pref.
    • Established in: 1865
    • Annual Output: 14,400 litres
    • Number of brewers: 3

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flat Rate Delivery for Sydney and Melbourne

We just start the $15 Flat Rate Delivery for Melbourne metropolitan area. You can find the next delivery schedule for Melbourne metropolitan area on our website. If the next delivery date does not suit you, please choose "AUS POST" then your order will be dispatched within 3 business days.

Shipping Schedule
  •  Sydney Metropolitan Area (limited area)
    • Flat Rate Delivery : within 3 business days.
    • AUS POST : within 3 business days.
  • Melbourne Metropolitan Area (limited area)
    •  Flat Rate Delivery : please check our website.
    •  AUS POST : within 3 business days.
  • Australia Wide
    •  AUS POST : within 3 business days.

*You can check if the "Flat Rate Delivery" is available for your delivery postcode, by pressing the "Estimate Shippng" button in your shopping cart.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show

Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show is over. Thank you to everyone who visited our booth. Most people may not have expected a Sake booth at the show, but it was great to chat and meet you all.

Sakenet Team

Koikawa-san and Shinkame-san

Koikawa-san and Shinkame-san, Rei and Taka (at front)

We worked so hard.

Lots of people

Shinkame-san is serving Shinkame Sake to a visiter.

"Otsukare-sama deshita!"

Our next event is at Sydney Good Food and Wine Show, 28th - 30th June 2013. Three brewers (Hiokizakura, Takaisami and Umetsu) will come to Sydney for this event.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The show will start tomorrow!

Melbourne Good Food & Wine Show is from this Friday, 6th June.

This year, Sakenet Australia's guest is...

Mr. and Mrs. Ogawahara from Shinkame shuzo

Mr. and Mrs. Sato from Koikawa shuzo

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Food & Wine Show

We will be part of "Good Food & Wine Show" in Melbourne and Sydney this year.

Melbourne: 7th - 10th June 2013
Sydney: 28th - 30th June 2013

For this event, our some of Kuramoto (Sake brewers) will come to Melbourne and Sydney. They will serve Sake to you at our Sakenet's tasting booth. You can try various Sake and also purchase them at the venue.

We will keep updating the information about this event here and our facebook page.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brewers' Profile #06: Suiryu (Kubo Honke shuzo)

Kubo Honke, a small family brewery in the well-preserved village of Uda, nestled into a mountain valley north of Nara, can be traced back to 1702.
Mr Kubo explains the technical aspects of Kimoto, a natural fermentation process that allows molds to form starch and yeasts to form sugar at the same time.
He also shows off the traditional rake-like poles with which his workers gently mash the rice grains for over two days. This slow mashing is a key part of the Kimoto method, which takes nearly 100days to complete, more than twice as long as modern sake fermentation.

Mr. Kubo holding his "Kimoto-no-Dobu"

Visitors during winter months - traditional brewing season, when cold temperature suppress harmful bacteria - may think they have found a strange cult. Mr Kubo’s rigorous methods have attracted a young master and a team of “craftsmen”, as he calls them, and their dedication to proper factory hygiene extends to the top of their heads, shaved bald. Katsunori Kato, master brewer of Kubo Honke, is one of them.
Katsunori learned the Kimoto method from Mr Katsuji Ito of Daishichi Brewery, Fukushima Pref., one of greatest master brewers of 20th Century. He then worked in several breweries before joining Kubo Honke. His sakes especially Kimoto-no-Dobu and Suiryu Kimoto are regarded as being among the best of their kind.
Each night during winter the brewers sample their brew.
“They all toast to the satisfaction of linking with past generations,” is the way he puts it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brewers' Profile #05: Hakuinmasamune (Takashima shuzo)

picture from ""

Takashima brewery is situated in Numazu city, Shizuoka Pref. Their water is pumped up from a 150m deep water channel, bringing water from Mt. Fuji. This channel is estimated to be 300 years old.
When Kazutaka Takashima succeeded to the brewery 6 years ago, he drastically changed the brewing method, now using Box trays for Koji, natural pressing tools, quick cool down after pasteurization etc.
He uses locally grown Yamadanishiki, Fujihomare and Shizuoka yeast No.5, aiming to produce sake that embodies the flavours and spirit of Shizuoka.

picture from ""

Numazu is renowned for its dried fish. Kazutaka wants to produce sake that is a delight to drink with this delicacy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brewers' Profile #04: Shinkame shuzo

picture from ""

  Shinkame is a small brewery in Hasuda city, Saitama Pref. less than 1 hour from Tokyo. Established in1848, in 1987 they became the first brewery to change to producing only Junmaishu. This was an epoch-making event. At that time the word Junmaishu was not even in the dictionary. In order to sell Shinkame Junmaishu, Yoshimasa Ogawahara travelled across Japan giving out samples for people to try. People think that Junmaishu means just that there is no added alcohol but it is not that simple. To produce Junmaishu, the brewing process is different from the very beginning. This is why many breweries are still unable to change to producing Junmaishu only.

  During World War II, Kura-san, Yoshimasa’s grandmother worked very hard to protect the brewery’s status against pressure from local government and the army, to merge with larger breweries. After the war pressure from the authorities continued and there was also harassment from the sake industry.

Mr and Mrs Ogawahara,
at "Sake wa Junmai 2012"

  Today Shinkame not only produces 100% Junmaishu but also uses 100% Sake brewers rice and uses small Koji trays for all sake. Use of small Koji trays is more labour intensive but it also ensures more control of and uniformity in the sake-brewing process. Shinkame’s emphasis is on aging the sake before putting it on the market. Shinkame Sake is at its best with food which means that it brings out the flavour of the food without sacrificing any of its own characteristic qualities. I think that Shinkame is the essence of the sake.

There is a good restaurant near Hasuda station. Mr Ogawahara recommends their "zenzai" (sweet and thick red bean soup) with Shinkame's daiginjo.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Brewers' Profile #03: Gunmaizumi (Shimaoka shuzo)

picture from ""

  Ohta city, Gunma Pref. where Gunmaizumi is situated dates back to 14th century. These days Ohta city is the home town of Subaru. This town also has one of the largest populations of Brazilian people in Japan. Most of them are working in the Subaru factory.
Around Ohta city, people like to drink hot Sake to counteract the very cold, windy winters. The result is that at Gunmaizumi they aim produce Sake that has more Umami at warm temperatures. The water is hard, which tends to produce a dry Sake.

  At this brewery, 80% of the rice that is used is the brewers’ rice Wakamizu, which is locally grown. They import some Yamadanishiki for their daiginjo.

  Most of the Gunmaizumi Sake is made using Yamahai method. This brewery’s skill in its use of this method sets it apart from the others. Yamahai offers a complex, dense and earthy set of aromas, some of which are carried on to the finished Sake, which also has higher levels of organic and amino acids.

  Toshinobu Shimaoka, the owner of Gunmaizumi, says that keeping up tradition is important. He likes the traditional Gunmaizumi, however he also tries to experiment with new ideas, in order to match today’s taste. Even then, he only makes Sake that he likes to drink.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brewers' Profile #02: Uzenshiraume (Haneda shuzo)

picture from ""
  In the past there were more than 40 breweries in the Oyama area, Yamagata Pref., but now only four remain. The oldest of these, Uzenshiraume, established in 1592, is located in Tsuruoka city. Using traditional tools the brewers take great care making their Sake bottle by bottle, and consequently they only produce 54kl a year.

  They make a powerful Koji and use no carbon filtration but their Sake is still clean and fresh.

  At first sip you may feel no great impact however you never get tired of drinking Uzenshiraume.

  I also enjoy eating Tsuruoka ramen and browsing in the antique shops every time I visit Uzenshiraume.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Brewers' Profile #01: Koikawa shuzo

  Established mid 18th century, Koikawa produces approx. 140kl using Dewa sansan, Miyamanishiki and Gohyakumangoku rice strains, among others and has worked energetically to brew from locally produced brewers’ rice except for Yamadanishiki which comes from Tokushima Pref.
  Since 1981 Koikawa has also used the rice Kame-no-o -- a very old brewers’ rice that can only be grown using organic methods. Koikawa's Daiginjo Abekameji using Kame-no-o won a gold prize at 2008 Tohoku Sake contest -- an unprecendented achievement for this particular rice. Today Kame-no-o rice is grown by 8 selected farms in Shonaicho, where Koikawa is situated.

  If you visit Koikawa you can enjoy another delicious experience. Not far from Koikawa is Al-che-cciano, one of the best Italian restaurants in the Tohoku region. Here you can enjoy the very best of Italian cuisine with Koikawa sake. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy New Year !

We wish you all the best to 2013.

I enjoyed my new year Sake, the last bottle of "Taketsuru Ozasaya Daiwa-omachi 16BY (2004)". It was amazingly smooth and tasty.
* Our current stock of this Sake is 17BY (2005) or later.