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The Fukui Keizai site reports on the winners of the 2018 Sake That’s Delicious in a Wine Glass Award – at least the seven winners from Fukui Prefecture.

The Wine Glass de Oishii Nihonshu Award 2018 contest was held in central Tokyo, and judges announced the results on 20 February 2018. In case you’re wondering about the name of the award, Japanese is perfectly happy with long phrases instead of short, snappy titles. (And I say that as a translator…)

This is the eighth round of the contest, and its committee is based in the office of the Sake Bunka Kenkyūjo (Sake Culture Research Institute) in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward.

There are four categories, including the “main” one for sake costing JPY 2,600 or less for a 1.8 litre bottle, and the record number of entries to date is 901 products. The judging took place in the Nippon Building in Chiyoda, where eight team leaders and 32 ordinary judges blind tasted and graded the entered sake on a seven-point sensory evaluation scale.

The winners from Fukui were:

  • Main category, gold medal – Hanagaki junmai nigori
  • Main category, gold medal – Ippongi junmai
  • Daiginjō category, special gold medal – Born Nihon no Tsubasa (Wing of Japan)
  • Daiginjō category, special gold medal – Ippongi fukurotsuri junmai daiginjō
  • Daiginjō category, gold medal – Born Yume wa Masayume (Dreams Come True)
  • Premium junmai category, special gold medal – Born Tokishirazu 
  • Premium junmai category, gold medal – Ippongi Amauruoshikei junmai ginjō

Tanaka Nami, of the Namba brewery that makes Hanagaki, described their junmai nigori as slightly sweet, with rice umami, and gentle acidity, perfect as an aperitif or dessert wine. It first goes on sale in December as a newly-brewed shinzake, but when allowed to mature it becomes rounded and creamy. 

The awards will be presented on 27 April in the Toranomon Hills building in Minato Ward, Tokyo.