The Gohan Society

Wine of Japan

Holiday Spirits Purchasing Tips by Masahiro Takeda of Wine of Japan/Sanwa Trading

masa san

Culinary Advisory Board Member Masahiro Takeda

Q: What tips would you offer the Gift-Buyer this Holiday Season when it comes to Sake?

A: It’s really easy to default into the Junmai Dai-Ginjo category when buying sake as a gift. I think this is still the way to go when buying for non-sake-thusiasts; it’s a gift, so it’s logical to go with the highest grade segment and price point. However, for the occasional sake drinker or the die-hard sake-thusiast, I would tend to lean towards the Junmai Ginjo segment as it’s arguably more food-friendly. Especially this year, many of the sake importers have debuted some really tasty Junmai Ginjos.

Q: What tips would you offer the Gift-Buyer this Holiday Season for Shochu?

A: We’re currently experiencing a global brown-spirit renaissance; until recently, it was single malt scotch, right now bourbon is seeing a tremendous uptick. In the same vein, I would recommend bourbon or whiskey barrel-aged shochu. They provide the aromatics of bourbon and whiskey while being lighter-bodied and packing less in the calorie department. They’re also great for making unique old fashioneds.

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