We are a few weeks away from Christmas… Have you already finished your shopping or are you still working on your menu? If you want to have original last minute ideas, this article is for you!

By Chloé Cazaux Grandpierre

I have here, in my pocket, products available near you that might surprise your guests ! Are you ready to try some saké for Christmas ?

A cocktail to start with !

Who says Christmas, says bubbles… The party is crazier (always drink in moderation), when it sparkles ! So, here I am submitting an idea for a cocktail with Mio Sparkling saké. It is a bubbly, fruity saké with 5% alcohol. With Atelier du Saké, this summer we offered a cocktail with Mio: a delight. I suggest here a little seasonal twist :

Mio Sparkling Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura– Mio 300ml

– Orange zest (untreated)

– Cranberry juice

– Cinnamon sticks

Put your cranberry juice in a glass and let the orange zest infused for a few minutes. Serve chilled with Mio ! Add a cinnamon stick for decoration !

 if you want a slightly less sweet sparkling saké, here is Hakutsuru Awayuki Sparkling.

Let’s sit down 

Usually in the Southwest of France, we start the Christmas meal with oysters. Also, I wanted to share with you a great saké for your seafoods, smoked salmon or smoked trout and oysters of course.

Sayori Nakadori JunmaiSayori Nakadori Junmai

It is Sayori which means Garfish in Japanese (a species of saltwater fish known as « aiguillette » or « bellonna »). It is therefore perfect to enhance iodine. It’s a Junmai (70% polishing ratio) with minerality and gourmet aromas of anise and fruits. The finish has a slight bitterness which is ideal to refresh the palate. Finally, if you are adventurers, you can enjoy this saké cool, at room temperature warm ! Your taste buds will travel !! (28,50$)

Let’s talk about serious things

Do you have a turkey or a capon ? A juicy sauce ? Chestnuts, vegetables ? So this saké is a match !

Yamanashi Meijo Shichiken Junmai Valley BreezeYamanashi Meiji Shichiken Junmai

This is Shichiken Junmai (70% polishing ratio) from Maison Yamanashi Meijo. This saké will give you a nice bouquet: grains, fruits, flowers, spices. Beautiful complexity with a pure finish perfect You will tell me about it ! (15,95$)

A meal without cheese is like a kiss without a mustache…

My grandmother often said this… It must be said that in her time, mustaches were really trendy ! She also said that a meal without cheese was like a beauty missing an eye… In short, you understand, cheese is important and at Christmas, a beautiful cheese board is the meal centerpiece. So I have for you the perfect haute couture saké for this occasion.

Kuheiji Eau du Desir 2013Kuheiji Eau du Desir

This is Kuheiji – Eau du Désir ! A Junmai Daiginjo (50% polishing ratio) made with the famous Yamadanishiki rice (the king of saké rice). Banjo Jozo, the Maison has been around for several centuries and is known and recognized for its very high quality sakés. Eau du Désir is at its best chilled: its umami will echo the one of cheeses. Do not hesitate to let the saké breathe : it will open little by little. You will then discover a nose of citrus fruits and anise, then an wide, long, smooth palate with tangy touches of anise and honey without forgetting a chocolate finish with always a lot of fruits and texture. A big bottle. (57,25$)

Let’s finish with a sweet touch

This is often the moment that many foodies are waiting for ! Dessert ! Christmas custom often says that it might be an iced Yule log or not… Some even go far as to offer the thirteen desserts. We then drink a sweet wine to accompany these delicacies. I suggest a dessert in the bottle : Umeshu.

GekkeikanGekkeikan – plum beverage

This is a saké in which ume (Japanese plums) have been macerated. The result is something quite delicious: little Jesus in velvet panties ! The famous Maison Gekkeikan produces here a very sweet product (170g of sugar / L) with 13% alcohol. Aromas of prune, almond, vanilla, apricot, peach. It goes with frozen desserts but also dark chocolate desserts and the whole range of Christmas cookies that you can lovingly dip in the Umeshu ! (18,05$)

Sake for the Holidays

I hope that these little advices will please you ! Don’t hesitate to tell us if you tried and what you thought about it. Then, don’t forget that you have to choose between drinking and driving. Be careful, have fun and enjoy this wonderful holiday season full of gourmandises !

Holder of the WSET Diploma, Chloé Cazaux Grandpierre is a professional in wines and spirits « made in Bordeaux » : for 9 years she has worked in her company Chloe & Wines. Chloé also has a specialty: having fallen into Japanese sake several years ago, she created Otsukimi – Buveurs de Lune in 2017 to distribute a sharp selection of Japanese sakes and spirits in metropolitan France. Chloé holds the title of Saké Sommelière, Shochu Advisor and is the only female SSA Saké Educator in France. It provides training and conferences for professionals and individuals. Otsukimi is recognized by the Japanese government as a Japanese Food Supporter (JETRO). contact@chloeandwines.fr