Episode 109 Show Notes
Episode 109. It’s not every day that a new sake book hits the market, so we knew we had to sit down and talk with authors Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay about their fantastic new tome “Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake: Rice, Water, Earth.” Nancy and Michael co-authored this book that focuses on the ingredients in sake and well as the microbes and people that magically transform those ingredients into the beverage we all love. The stories that come out of their research trips across Japan to dozens of craft breweries illustrate the skill, nuance and fun that goes into crafting Japanese sake. You’ll come away with a new appreciation for the history of this ancient beverage and the book also helps beginners and experienced sake drinkers alike gain new perspective on appreciating whats new in the world of sake as well. This sit down interview is part 1 of our discussion and sake tasting with Nancy and Michael – and join us next week for part 2! Be sure to pick up your copy of “Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake” wherever fine books are sold! #SakeRevolution
Skip to: 00:19
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy
Skip to: 01:33
Nancy Matsumoto is based in Toronto, and New York. She’s a published author as well as a freelance writer and editor who specializes in the areas of regenerative agriculture, arts and culture, as well as food and sake. She’s been a contributor to many publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek People, Food and Wine, and the Los Angeles Times, just to name a few. Nancy has earned three sake certifications and also maintains an outstanding sake blog on her website.
Michael Tremblay is also based in Toronto, Canada. He is a Sake Samurai, Sake Judge, french wine scholar and holder of the WSET diploma and level three award in wine and sake. He currently runs the largest sake program in Canada as the Sake Sommelier at Toronto’s Ki Modern Japanese restaurant. Last but not least, Michael is also well-known as the creator of the Sake Scholar Course, which is an educational program that he created to spotlight and teach about the unique qualities of Japan’s diverse sake brewing regions.
Sake Scholar Website: https://www.sakescholar.com/about
This stunning guide invites you into the story of sake—an ancient beverage finding its way in a modern world.Whether you’re a sake novice or an experienced connoisseur, Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake offers fascinating insights, practical tips, and rich stories about this popular beverage.
Authors and experts Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay personally undertook the challenge of visiting 35 artisanal sake breweries in Japan, the US, and Canada to interview makers and document every stage of the sake brewing process. Nancy’s celebrated journalistic background combined with Michael’s sake sommelier experience have led to an engaging and informative look at the world of sake. This book also includes personal recipes from several top Japanese sake-brewing families along with food-pairing tips and a chapter on the authors’ own Japanese sake-bar-going adventures.
Kaze no Mori “Alpha Type 3” Junmai Daiginjo Muroka Genshu
Classification: Genshu, Junmai Daiginjo, Muroka
Rice Type: Akitsuho
Brand: Kaze no Mori (風の森)
Brewery: Yucho Shuzo
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Episode 109 Transcript
John Puma: 0:21
Hello everybody. And welcome to Sake Revolution. This is America’s first sake podcast, and I am your host, John Puma from the Sake Notes. Also the administrator to everybody’s favorite internet Sake Discord, the internet sake discord, and my pronouns are he and him.
Timothy Sullivan: 0:41
And I am your host, Timothy Sullivan. I’m a Sake Samurai. I’m a sake educator, as well as the founder of the Urban Sake website. And every week, John and I will be here tasting and chatting about all things sake. And doing our best to make it fun and easy to understand. Now, John, I’ve got a news flash for you. This is big news
John Puma: 1:02
I’m ready. Whadda we got?
Timothy Sullivan: 1:04
I’m not sure if you heard, but something really big has happened in the sake industry this month. Something you don’t see every day. Do you know what it is?
John Puma: 1:11
What do you have?
Timothy Sullivan: 1:12
There is a brand new and outstanding sake book on the market. That is something you do not see every day. It is called Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake, Rice, Water Earth. And today we will be interviewing the authors and our friends, Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay.
John Puma: 1:29
Oh, that’s why there’s two other people in the zoom this week.
Timothy Sullivan: 1:33
Let me introduce them to you and to our listeners. First of all, Nancy Nancy Matsumoto is based in Toronto, and New York. She’s a published author as well as a freelance writer and editor who specializes in the areas of regenerative agriculture, arts and culture, as well as food and sake. She’s been a contributor to many publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek People, Food and Wine, and the Los Angeles Times, just to name a few. Nancy has earned three sake certifications and also maintains an outstanding sake blog on her website. NancyMatsumoto.com and introducing Michael Tremblay. He’s also based in Toronto, Canada, and Michael is a Sake Samurai, Sake Judge, french wine scholar and holder of the WSET diploma and level three award in wine and sake. He currently runs the largest sake program in Canada as the Sake Sommelier at Toronto’s Ki Modern Japanese restaurant. Last but not least, Michael is also well-known as the creator of the Sake Scholar Course. An educational program that he created to spotlight and teach about the unique qualities of Japan’s diverse sake brewing regions. I’d like to welcome both Nancy and Michael to the show. Welcome guys.
Nancy Matsumoto: 2:50
Thank you. Great to be here.
Michael Tremblay: 2:52
Great introduction. Nice to be on the show. Thanks for having us.
John Puma: 2:56
Oh, right. Wow. That’s quite, uh, quite a, uh, Canadian invasion this week. Jumping right to it. So you guys wrote a book together and writing a book by itself is, is difficult writing book with somebody, sounds like it would be even in some ways, even more difficult. and during a pandemic, no less, I want to hear from each of you, like what motivated you to write this particular book and how did you guys connect and decide to start doing this project together?
Nancy Matsumoto: 3:28
well, I can take that. We, um, first in late 2016, I actually had been living in New York city and I moved to Toronto for the second time in my life, late 2016, uh, my husband was working here full time. So I came up, uh, and it just so happened that the day I got here, John Gauntner was having an alumni meetup for his sake professional course. Uh, so as an alumni, I got wind of it. Happened to me on the patio of Ki where Michael heads, the largest sake program in the country. And, I had known Michael before we met there. Michael became a good source for sake stories and we became friends. Uh, and then one night we’re at a sake bar, of course. It’s a great place in Toronto. If you ever come, it’s called Omai and they’ve got a great hand rolls and, actually, are they still doing it, Michael? I know they have a new venture anyway. we discovered that we both really were interested in doing a book. It’s kind of like oh, you’re thinking of that too. And. Because we kind of seem to have complementary talents. Michael is a wonderful educator and communicator, and he does these incredible infographics, something I could never do. And I like to tell people’s stories. So we were kind of like, Hmm, maybe we have complimentary skills and let’s team up. So, that was the easy part. Four years later, we have a book, but, that’s how it happened. And it did turn out to me really nice team partnership.
Timothy Sullivan: 5:01
Michael Tremblay: 5:02
There’s not a lot to add to that, but, what Nancy’s leaving out is that in the summer of, I think 2018, she went to a fellowship called the Stone Barns Fellowship. and, uh, and so you should be telling this story
Nancy Matsumoto: 5:15
No, you tell it.
Michael Tremblay: 5:18
But, but anyway, uh, you know, at the end of this fellowship, all these amazingly successful women are talking about a project that, um, they’re trying to get off the ground. And Nancy mentioned our book idea, which was a casual thing. And afterwards she got a lot of interest from, a couple of book agents that were, taking the fellowship as well. And,, so I remember getting the email from Nancy. Michael people are really interested in our idea. We need to do something and so it really lit the fire. And if it wasn’t for that, I think I’m not sure if things would have been delayed, you know, beyond the pandemic and getting it going. I don’t know, it’s it, I, I, sometimes I play it in my mind and wonder what, what if, what, what would have happened, but yeah, anyway,
Timothy Sullivan: 6:05
Wow. That’s great. So I’m curious to know what your writing process was like. Did that happen during the pandemic? How did it go and how did the two of you end up working together to get this book written, edited, and eventually published? How did that all play out?
Michael Tremblay: 6:24
That’s a great question. And I mean, I think that starts even before the writing and it was the research trips. Um, we, we had a really strong proposal, and, uh, we wanted to hit the ground. in the research component and getting as much of that underway. And, I’m really thankful that we did, since we, we got it all done right before everything shut down with, truly 2020. and so we identified a lot of breweries, that we wanted to visit. We did a lot of research in advance of going so we had some questions in mind what we wanted to tell, but even then we didn’t know exactly what story. We were going to tell from each one. Uh, and then, when we started writing in, I guess March, 2020 is when we officially got our publishing. we signed, on the line a week and it was kind of a bittersweet time because it was, I had just shut down Ki and we had just laid off a hundred, 200 people. Uh, it was really sad time and it was. Congratulations to your, you know, we, we were able to finally sign this, deal that had been for three months in the making. So a and at one point we weren’t sure when this was going to happen. So we were very excited. It also meant with everything shut down and, uh, things slowing down. We had the time to write and to talk through things, uh, and, and properly sketch. And as Nancy alluded to, she’s the storyteller. So, you can’t have two writers on this book and I, I, have to commend Nancy in many ways because she. writes so fast, like her computer must be on fire when she’s writing, because we were flying through chapters and I was having a lot of trouble keeping up, just reading through editing, flagging things that we needed to kind of research and whatnot. Uh, and meanwhile, working on infographics and these visuals also all the images. I think something like two or 3000 images to sift through, to figure out which ones are going to be the images we wanted to, to tell our story in the book. So there was just a lot of work and it was kind of a divide and conquer approach in many ways. Uh, and, and getting it all done.
Timothy Sullivan: 8:32
Did the bulk of that happen during the pandemic? You’re emailing back and forth learning zoom with the rest of us. Was that how it happened?
Michael Tremblay: 8:40
Exactly. That’s exactly how it happened. Uh, we, we set up a Google drive, um, so that we could share documents very easily. Um, and pretty much every day for awhile, it was just fast and furious. And of course we both had projects on the horizons. We were trying to get. You know, things done as much as possible. And at one point we were like, shoot, we wanted to do this, this book in advance. We wanted it to publish for the Tokyo Olympics and, and the Tokyo Olympics got delayed to the next summer, which was horrible for Japan but we were like. Great. We have a chance at getting our book out for the Tokyo Olympics. And then again, it was my first book and I think I was a little naive in that thinking, oh yeah, this will be helped by then not thinking of how far in advance, you know, you’re doing things. So that was really cool. But yeah, the bulk of it was in that first year, The second half of 2019 and 2020.
Nancy Matsumoto: 9:39
I was just going to say we were actually aided in a way by the pandemic because we did three research trips, two in 19 and one in 20, I think. anyway, the third research trip, the day we left Japan, really, it pretty much shut down because that big cruise ship had just landed the night before and, and everyone was quarantine.
John Puma: 10:00
Nancy Matsumoto: 10:01
Uh, and then no one could really come in and out, everything in the world started shutting down. Uh, so really that was the time to write the book where there was just, you couldn’t. You could barely leave your apartment. So really it was kind of enforced writing time. There wasn’t a lot else to do so in that sense, I think we were kind of helped by the pandemic.
Michael Tremblay: 10:23
Well, and add to that, it was actually therapeutic. The pandemic was horrible. It doesn’t matter how. If you had the best case scenario for the conditions you are living in and, you know, if you’re jobless or whatnot, to be able to go back to those travels and work on chapters, talking about people. We really fell in love with, you know, on our adventures. Really, always every time we, you know, like open whatever chapter I was transported right back into, you know, happier times. So it was, um, it was a really great, great thing for that.
Timothy Sullivan: 10:58
Yeah. And I think we were all really naive at the beginning of the pandemic thinking it would be over in a month or two, and we could all get back to our lives, but here we are.
Michael Tremblay: 11:07
Well, I think I remember Nancy and I, okay. Well, you know, we’ve got like four weeks or six weeks before things open. We need to maximize this time and it just kept going and going and going. Um, but it was good. It lit the fire right at the beginning, we were both like, know, let this go to waste. Let’s take advantage of in a way it was a gift. Uh, you know, I hate to say that, cause it there’s so many awful things about the pandemic, but it was, it was really a gift for us to get things moving, um, with our, with this book.
John Puma: 11:39
Um, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the w seeing a small light in an otherwise dark area. Um, really quickly on the structure of the book. I think the book does a really great job of balancing information for people who are brand new to sake and also lots of fun tidbits for people who are, have been around this for a long time. It does a great job of kind of going back and forth and, uh, and keeping everybody I think, engaged. Uh, what was your idea for the structure of the book? How do you, how do you arrive this.
Nancy Matsumoto: 12:10
Oh, we wanted to really make a book that was accessible to anyone from the absolute newcomer to the sake, to a real diehard connoisseur, who knows a ton. Yeah. Like you guys. Um, so that was kind of the challenge at the outset. And so we knew we wanted to have a sake basic section and it was a perfect vehicle for uh, Michael’s infographics to have that sake primmer, that 30 pages in the front of the book, where if you don’t know what sake is, and you don’t know what it’s made with, and you know how it’s made you just kind of flip through that section and you can really go into. It’s deep into it, as you want, you don’t need to go into Kimoto or bodaimoto or all of the, crazy graphs that Michael does on tasting and pairings. Um, but you know, it’s kind of up to you what you want to take out of it. Uh, and then we go into sort of the narrative part, which is divided into two sections. The first is rice water earth, where we talk about the elemental components of sake. So we have two chapters on rice. Yamadanishiki, of course, because every beginner knows it learns that that’s the king of sake rice. And then we wanted to do one on omachi. because it’s our favorite heirloom. And we had been hearing Yeah. About, the omachi festival. I was really kind of obsessed with going to, and it ended up being kind of like a, a great part of that chapter where you just get all these serious, serious. omachi fans who were all gathering and tasting and judging and then we have a section on the different waters, the kind of water regions, uh, and then on mountains and terroir. You know, the, sort of the contentious topic of terroir and what it is. Um, there’s a whole chapter on snow country where, Timothy features in, you know, he’s got the exact page memorized.
Timothy Sullivan: 14:09
John Puma: 14:10
wait a minute. Wait, one moment. Timothy, do you have the page memorized?
Timothy Sullivan: 14:14
and if it’s all right with you, if it’s all right with you, I’d like to read a quote from page 113. is probably the most, the most impressive quote in the whole book. This is in regards to Yuki Muros, snow storage cellars in Niigata. And it says “Sullivan who grew up in the snowbelt city of Syracuse, New York says Yuki Muros and snow country customs in general, quote, use snow as a natural resource rather than treating it as an obstacle and nuisance as it is in Upstate New York.”
Nancy Matsumoto: 14:48
I love that quote because it’s very true. Yeah.
Timothy Sullivan: 14:53
I told Nancy that we referred to Syracuse as Siberia -cuse, because it’s so cold and snowy, but I did not grow to appreciate snow, until I lived in Niigata. Well, Nancy, um, thank you so much for the beautiful quote. And so back to the structure of the book, um, so this first part again is all about. The rice water and earth.
Nancy Matsumoto: 15:20
Yeah. And then part two, we call the alchemists because we’re talking about yeast. We’re talking about mold, fungus, Koji Kin, but we’re also talking about people like the master brewers. We have a chapter on the toji guild system. We have a chapter on women master brewers. We have a really fun chapter where we talk about our favorite sake bar crawls, where we’re meeting all kinds of interesting and, uh, eccentric people. And then there’s a chapter on, on recipes too, which I really liked putting, you know, gathering the recipes and, and talking to the families about what they eat and how they pair it with sake. So, yeah. So that’s the structure of the book.
Timothy Sullivan: 16:01
Excellent. Well, I know, I know you did so much research and so much travel for your book. You guys were all over the place and. When you’re reading through the book, it’s really amazing to just get the scope of all the places you actually visited. And I learned so much reading through the book. And I’m wondering for each of you, is there something that you learned about sake would this type of in-depth travel and research that really suprised you.
Michael Tremblay: 16:29
Yeah for me. What was really cool about our trip and the process of writing the book was connecting the dots on some things that, you know, I mean, I’m, I’m French Canadian. I, you know, I I’ve been learning as much as I can about the history of Japan and, and sake, but there are always a few things that, you know, just didn’t line up perfectly on that timeline. And I just couldn’t figure out what, and one of those was in Hiroshima. you know, I always heard that’s inside. Joe is the birth of sake. there’s a lot of advancements that they did there for, for many reasons. But when we visited Imada Shuzo in Akitsu um, which is on the other side of the mountains, uh, from Saijo, um, uh, Senzaburo Miura’s house was right behind it. And this gentleman was, this kind of early godfather of ginjo techniques, you know, particularly with what to do with Koji and all that, because he had learned to go make sake in Hyogo and, the water there is hard. And so, you know, that the techniques the brewers were using there we’re designed to go with this harder water. Um, but when you’re in a, in an area in Hiroshima that relatively softer water, the techniques didn’t work and he was making bad sake and he was, I’m sure he was beyond frustrated at the time. And so, hearing about this and whatnot, I was like, well, why is it Saijo, that is the birthplace not, you know, Akitsu, um, because to me, this guy is. You know, there, the guy that really started it all. Um, but you know, there’s a combination of things at play. There was the, this, uh, uh, his techniques, they’re called the soft water brewing laws, but also there’s another gentlemen in Hiroshima, Riichi Satake who, uh, developed the vertical rice polishing machine in the early 1930s. But, the brewers in Saijo were some of the first to really, gravitate to these polishing machines. And I think that was really cool that plus the piece of what Miura brought to it. And the great thing about what Senzaburo Miura did is he wanted to share it with all the brewers in Hiroshima. It wasn’t for sale and that was written on the back of this manual and he really wanted it to get out there. And I think that’s really beautiful. I love that selflessness that he had. Um, and so that was a bit of a mystery solved for me. An aha moment when we were at the Maegaki household in, in sideshow and asking, why is it here that this birthplace and I was trying to connect these pieces. And for some reason I just couldn’t make them fit. And it finally clicked in place while we were having sake. Probably the sake helped with that. Um, but I was just. Yes, sake oysters. We were, you know, we were drinking Kamoizumi and oyster shells, and that was awesome. And, but yeah, so that, to me, that was one, I mean, there was many moments where, you know, there are revelations, but, I’ll pass it off to Nancy here.
Nancy Matsumoto: 19:33
Yeah, I wanted to talk about not something even so much that surprised me, but I think one of the parts that I really loved about our research, and partially it’s because I really am interested in agriculture and I write about regenerative agriculture, uh, was really meeting the farmers who you realize as you’re talking to them. And you’re looking at the rice fields that, the people who make the raw material in sake are so important and they really are revered by the makers who understand, but I don’t think the average person who’s sipping a beautiful glass of sake is, necessarily thinking about the guy who grew the rice. Uh, so we were really lucky. We were able to meet some farmers, up close when really memorable farmer was in Okayama Prefecture. Uh, we were visiting Muromachi Shuzo which is the oldest brewery in Okayama. And, um, they really love their use about 85 at the time we visited his name is Hajime Sakon and, he. actually has a sake named after him. That’s for export only, that’s sort of shows you how much they care about him and how they, they love him, but we’re out there and we’re trying to figure out what makes this so special. Is it the soil? And we’re thinking, yeah, it’s that incredible clay soil. And at one point, one of the farmers sort of kicked up. Pretty picture of this marae green sludge. And we’re like, okay, it’s the minerals. Right? And he said, no, not really. It’s just that the sort of the density of this carries the organic fertilizer really well. And then a day later, we go visit Toshimori-san at Toshimori shuzo who makes another Another gorgeous Omachi sake HitoSuji. And he’s like, no, no, no my soil is Sandy it’s granite. you know, the water drainage is really good and that’s, you know, one of the secrets. And so you kind of realize that there are so many different factors that are making a sake great. And that a farmer has to kind of manipulate to, get the result he wants. So it was, I dunno, it was just little details like that, that I, I thought were really cool.
Timothy Sullivan: 21:46
John Puma: 21:47
That’s always a, that’s a fun, that’s a fun story. I like that a lot.
Nancy Matsumoto: 21:50
So many mysteries.
John Puma: 21:52
Michael Tremblay: 21:53
Well in one’s on we’ll we’ll always remember because, uh, Oklahoma is, uh, you know, how a lot of the different prefectures are famous for a certain fruit or vegetable or culinary delight. And, uh, in Okayama peaches are, um, something that people from other prefectures will drive to, to. pick up and buy these peaches, they’re fabulous. And so Sakon-san grew, he had a small orchard of them, behind his, his house. And, uh, he asked if we wanted some peaches and we went back to his place and he painstakingly chose the best peaches, that he had in his shed. And, uh, it was really heartwarming to see how generous he was with them. they’re they’re giant, first off, they were like a softball, um, sized peach, and he gave us a thing. What was it? Nancy like nine or 12 of them. And in my head, I was like, what are we going to do? We’re getting on a train and we’ve got a whole crate of these beautiful peaches and you don’t want them to go to waste. And I remember. I think we were, we went into Hiroshima and we had dinner and we, um, we shared some of the peaches with the chef and we had some for dessert and they had, they were able to enjoy them because, Nancy had some relatives in Kyushu. We are visiting and she was able to, you know, enjoy some of these peaches with them. So in a way it was great because they didn’t, they didn’t go to waste, which is, you know, For us, it was like, well, we can’t eat all these. It’s just impossible. And we, you know, it was great to have them to, to share with others on our travel. So.
John Puma: 23:30
Nice peaches looking for a good home. Well, uh, this is that time of our show. Are we, uh, Stop talking about sake for a moment and start sipping it while we talk about it a little bit more. for this episode, Nancy has selected a very wonderful, wonderful sake. This is the Kaze No Mori Alpha three Junmai Daiginjo Muroka Nama Genshu in case you needed any more descriptors. Uh, I don’t think we have any more. Kaze No Mori is from brewery over in Nara prefecture. Yucho Shuzo. The, seimaibuai on this rice, which is a Akitsuho, rice is 50% and sake meter value of that measure of dry to sweet is plus three. And the acidity, a very reasonable one. oh. And of course the ABV 17% Genshu remember that? So, um, really quickly, uh, Nancy, what influenced you to select.
Nancy Matsumoto: 24:33
Well, Um, part of what it was, what was available when I was in New York, that we could get it and you can get also, we were tasting this center at our little Brooklyn Kura events. I knew I can get it at Kura Ichi but we also visited Yucho Shuzo and, we really love, Yoshimoto san. He’s an amazing, uh, I, he, someone who knows history, but also is incredibly on the cutting edge of technology. Um, so he really wants to kind of elevate this humble table rice, Akitsuho and treat it the way you would treat about an issue. So his alpha two is posed to 22% and it’s really like, I want to treat this humble table rice, like the best Toku A Yamadanishiki just to show people how amazing it can be. And he’s a great brewer too, and this is kind of his overseas, sake. So it’s unlike the others it’s lightly pasteurized, so it can travel. Um, but you still get that really lively nama quality to it. And it’s got an effervescence that’s really pretty.
John Puma: 25:36
Timothy Sullivan: 25:37
All right. Well, let’s get our bottles open and into the glass.
John Puma: 25:44
That’s uh, Kaze No Mori is a brand that when I am traveling in Japan, I am often told, oh, you’re going to like this. And then they pour it for me. And then they’re usually very right.
Nancy Matsumoto: 25:55
Yeah, it’s great.
Michael Tremblay: 25:57
what’s really cool about the brewery too, is they’re rooted in history. such a fascinating history, you know, going back to bodaimoto, but you know, their Kaze No Mori line and, and alpha are so modern in their approach, but they come from a place of history. And that’s. I think remarkable about this.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:17
lovely, but, uh, fresh above all.
Nancy Matsumoto: 26:21
I would say so it’s a refreshing socket. sake.
Timothy Sullivan: 26:23
Yeah. All right, well, let’s give it a taste.
John Puma: 26:32
Hmm, you were not kidding about that. Slight effervescence is right there.
Michael Tremblay: 26:39
Yoshi-san is a obsessed with freshness. Um, He even devised at bottling spout that goes right down to the bottom of the bottle and then slowly moves up and fills it so that it minimizes any, oxidative, qualities that would appear in the sake. But also that freshness is where, you know, when you cap that bottle, you keeping in that, that super freshness, there’s some CO2 in there that dissolves into it. Gives it a bit of that, that tickle?
John Puma: 27:09
Yeah, I think that, as people receiving this, as an import, that his dedication to freshness is something that I really appreciate because you really do get that on the, on the product that arrives in the U S and that’s a, that’s a tricky thing to do sometimes.
Nancy Matsumoto: 27:24
Yeah, and he calls it it’s, uh, the title of it is bridge to the world, meaning that it’s sort of his, um, reaching out to the wider world to the international community to introduce this whole Kaze No Mori Line cause his father started the Kaze No Mori Nama and the alpha series is kind of his building on what his father built. But now he’s up to like number eight or something like that. So he just keeps iterating in new and creative ways. And it’s, it’s really exciting to watch.
Timothy Sullivan: 27:56
Yeah, and this is the alpha type three. I was wondering what that number was all about. So he’s building and tinkering and
Nancy Matsumoto: 28:04
time. I think the first one was like 60. seimaibuai then 22, then this is 50. And then he does that. Um, the, sort of the siphoning thing that Michael was talking about where, um, he makes it really cold so that the yeast falls asleep and goes to the bottom of the tank. So there’s absolutely no pressing or filtering. It’s mainly just, it’s really just siphoning from the top of the tank and then replacing that, empty space with nitrogen.
John Puma: 28:37
Great. Well, we got it in the glass here and, uh, Tim, he want to take us through?
Timothy Sullivan: 28:43
just holding it up to the light. I see, like almost a micro particulate floating in there and a little bit of perhaps effervescence, a little bit of bubbling. And, um, this does not look heavily charcoal filtered like a Niigata sake. This is a reading, more natural in the glass to me. Do you see that as Nancy,
Nancy Matsumoto: 29:06
Yeah. absolutely. It’s got a, a little bit of color to it.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:11
Yeah. Let’s give it a smell.
John Puma: 29:15
Timothy Sullivan: 29:17
smells so fresh, just lovely.
Nancy Matsumoto: 29:23
beautiful. Actually, I opened it earlier before dinner and, um, now I’m getting a little bit more of that herbal quality for some reason, then the first time where it was fruity or.
John Puma: 29:35
Hmm. I’m getting a lot of fruit, uh, personally on my end, like. banana.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:44
Um, there is fruitiness, but I agree with Nancy that there’s also like an herbaceous note, like almost fresh cut grass or something like that. Just really really springy and,
Nancy Matsumoto: 29:55
and so that freshness again, he’s obsessed with that freshness.
Timothy Sullivan: 29:59
Wow. And a lot of these details you’re mentioning as we’re tasting are outlined in your book. So it’s, it’s, the.
Nancy Matsumoto: 30:05
Timothy Sullivan: 30:06
The vividness that you’re bringing to our talk now everyone can read these stories in the book, and this is just a little teaser as to the type of experiences you had really, really exciting.
Nancy Matsumoto: 30:19
Thank you. It was a lot of fun.
John Puma: 30:21
So Nancy and Michael, we are just about out of time for this week’s episode, but, Intrepid listeners, we will be continuing our discussion with them next week, going through the book, exploring the world of Japanese craft sake, and next week we will also have another delicious sake had to taste together.
Timothy Sullivan: 30:52
and Before we sign off for today, I want to give a special shout out and a special thank you to all of our patrons whose generous donations make our show possible.
John Puma: 31:01
so until next time, please remember to keep drinking sake and
John Puma: 31:06