First things first…
So, here’s the thing; I love wine. I also love beer. Quite a bit in fact.
Everything has it’s time and place. A celebratory moment calls for Champagne. A cold beer on a hot summers day is hard to beat. And a glass of red in front of the telly on a cool evening is time well spent. So where does sake fit into all this? For most, the answer would be, when dining at a Japanese restaurant. While that is a good answer it isn’t the only answer.
Sake unfortunately suffers from what I call “dining tourism”. This is the social phenomenon where people subconsciously feel the need to only indulge in certain beverages when they are consuming food from that beverage’s origin. You see it everywhere. Drinking Kingfisher beer in an Indian restaurant, margaritas and Corona in a Mexican, Guinness in an Irish pub, sangria in a tapas bar and of course sake in a Japanese restaurant. Wine on the other hand magically crosses all borders and is drunk anywhere there is food. So why not sake? Answer is probably because no one has tried it.
Make no mistake, I believe all beverages have their limits. If you’ve ever tried sake with hot chilli or spiced food you’ll soon find its Achilles heel. However, beer with sashimi is just wrong and white wine with oysters is something I’ve never quite understood. There are some areas where sake will go just as well if not better than wine. I stand by that 100%. And that’s what it’s all about, finding that perfect food match or a match for the situation, the moment. Have a bottle of sake in the fridge (yes, the fridge) on stand-by and give it a go one day when you might normally have gone for wine or beer. You might be surprised at just how approachable and adaptable sake can be.
Of course, there will be times when beer or wine will be the preference, but it doesn’t hurt to experiment and try something new. If you’re lucky enough you might become just as obsessed as me.