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Sake News from Japan

Botanical sake and mizumoto

Classy Online covered a PR Times release about another successful round of crowdfunding for the Yamagata company WAKAZE, this time for two types of sake incorporating botanicals during the brewing process. This is WAKAZE’s fourth crowdfunding product, all of which… Continue Reading →

Return of the master brewer

The Mainichi Shinbun Food column reports on news from the crowdfunding site Makuake that the “god of brewing” is making a comeback. The man in question is 84 year old Naohiko Noguchi, who is rumoured to be coming out of… Continue Reading →

Tasting sake from Mexico, New Zealand and Australia

Sake Times carried out a review of some sake brewed outside of Japan: they note that its increased popularity has led to breweries popping up in the USA and Asia, Norway and Brazil. Some are operations run by big Japanese breweries… Continue Reading →

Analysing Korean rice wine

The Chuo Nichijou site reports on the first chemical analysis carried out in Japan of the Korean rice wine makgeolli, and in particular what makes it different from Japanese sake (known as nihonshu in Japanese). While checking out the alcohol… Continue Reading →

Sake affogato

Excite News reports that Kurand Sake Market started offering a new “sophisticated” dessert from 14 November 2017, drowning vanilla ice cream in warm sake – nihonshu affogato, a variation on the familiar coffee-based dessert. The dessert will be available at all… Continue Reading →

Sake from a library

Sake Times reports on a library that does more than lend books – it also has its own sake. Itami is a city in Hyogo Prefecture, a Japanese region famous for sake and credited with the development of modern techniques… Continue Reading →

Sake + tomato cocktail

The Mainichi Shinbun newpaper reports on a collaboration between the Hakushika range from the Tatsuuma-Honke brewery and food giant Kikkoman to produce a “Red Hakushika” cocktail that uses tomato juice to complement the umami in sake. (Hakushika means “white deer”.)… Continue Reading →

Sake from a new rice varietal

The Kobe Shinbun reports on a junmai ginjo sake made from a new varietal of sakamai (酒米) or sake-specific rice, Hyogo Nishiki. The Shinomura brewery in Himeji city, Hyogo prefecture, are known for their Okuharima range of sake. They have… Continue Reading →

Does good rice make good sake?

Sake Times reports on an Okayama brewer who is challenging the preconception that “superior grade rice is good rice” when it comes to brewing sake.  The rice used for making sake, special varietals known as sakamai or sake-specific rice (酒米), is… Continue Reading →

The sound of sake

Hot on the heels of meeting Andrew of Origin Sake at his brewery just outside Kurashiki and hearing about a master brewer who plays Mozart to his tanks, I came across another story about music and sake.  Biglobe News reports… Continue Reading →

Plum drinks and young brewery owners

Work/Food/Life/Culture site Campanella, run by Nikkei Business, reports on a brewery that changed its approach to sake production based on its success with the plum “wine” ume-shu. Wakayama brewery Heiwa produces the daiginjo sake Kiddo, winner of a regional trophy… Continue Reading →

EU to abolish sake tariffs

This time, the news is in English! Although I first read about the dropping of tariffs in Japanese, it has also been widely reported outside of Japan. Japan and the World and Asia News Network report that exports of green… Continue Reading →

Building a better sake yeast

Another story that appeals to several of my interests, this time genetics! Saga University reports on a paper by a group of professors researching sake yeast, where they elucidate the secrets behind hundreds of years of selection of sake yeast, which… Continue Reading →

Sake brewed for Western food

PR Times reports on the sake Orbia from Wakaze, which has reportedly been created to match Western food such as French or Italian dishes. Wakaze has been exporting Orbia to Hong Kong, France (Paris), Singapore and Thailand since March 2017,… Continue Reading →

Sake at the Salon du Chocolat

A story relevant to more than one of my interests! PR Wire reports that the Japanese chocolate company Mary’s made a grand entrance at the 2017 Salon du Chocolat in Paris with their premium brand Tokyo Chocolate.  Their chef chocolatier… Continue Reading →

Sub-zero sparkling sake

Net Lab reports on the wildly successful crowdfunding of a sparkling sake drunk below freezing point – it reached its funding goal in just one day. Online and physical retailer Kurand, Sharp Corporation internal venture Tekion Lab, and Saitama’s venerable… Continue Reading →

Sake’s ups and downs

Thanks to Sake Jōhō (Sake Information) for today’s story! The article is from the Mainichi Shinbun Food section, titled “In the shadow of the sake boom increasing numbers of breweries are closing down – they can be saved in a positive… Continue Reading →

Sake + Western food pairings

Hisao Kodachi reports in Nikkei Style on pairing (or, as the Japanese put it, marriage) between Japanese sake and Western food, saying that even those who love wine will be amazed.  The eye-catching photo leading the article shows deep-fried ham filled… Continue Reading →

Dassai aims to conquer France

Writing for Sake Times, Paris-based sake journalist Tsuyoshi Kaneko reports that the brand Dassai has set itself the grand aim of becoming the name the world thinks of when it comes to Japanese sake, with France as its first target. Dassai… Continue Reading →

Aged awamori

 Awamori is an Okinawan traditional alcoholic drink made from long-grain rice and then distilled, putting them in a similar category to the mainland distilled spirit shōchū. The Okinawa Times reports on the release of two awamori that, despite the differences in… Continue Reading →

Just add sake – readymade sake cocktail kit

Sankei Biz reports on the launch of a new set of easy-to-use sake cocktail kits. Specifically, photogenic ones. (This is what the world seems to be coming to.) The range of pretty cocktail kits is called Ponshu Gria, and producer FARM8… Continue Reading →

Mie rumoured to host new sake category for Belgian competition

The Mainichi Shinbun reports that the Belgian wine competition Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is considering creating a new sake category from autumn 2018, alongside rumours that Mie Prefecture could host the contest. The event takes place in a different city each… Continue Reading →

Gunma Gunma Gunma

Netlab and Dream News report on a project to create a sake make from start to finish in Gunma Precture, appropriately named Gunma. The sake will be released on 28 October, Gunma Prefecture Day. Netlab reports that the water comes… Continue Reading →

Mail order sake

Tsuhan News (mail-order news) reports that Belluna has become the largest company selling sake by mail order in Japan.  Belluna runs the Umai Sake ga Nomitai (I want to drink delicious drinks) mail-order catalogue, which offers 800 varieties of sake… Continue Reading →

Drinking your way along the Tokaido Line

Traffic News reports that the Kodama Sakeba Kikō column in the Tōkaidō/Yamagata Shinkansen first class (Green Car) on-board magazine Hitotoki is being published as a collected edition in its own right. The Kodama is the all-stopping service on the Tōkaidō bullet train… Continue Reading →

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