Sake Paired with French Cuisine

Kyushu on the Table: Pairing Kyushu Specialties with French Cuisine #01


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Every region’s climate and culture influence the character of its tipple. Japanese sake is no different. The strain of rice, the water, and how the two interact produce a wide range of flavours, but we don’t often consider the local culture and fare when we think of these differences in flavour.

Most would never think to pair sake with the robust flavours of French cuisine. However, Kashima, in Kyushu’s Saga Prefecture, has a reputation for seasoning food with abandon, so the area’s sake couples nicely with richer flavours. Kashima is home to six sake brewers and each is rich, sweet, and full-bodied. The sakes still couple nicely with the conventional light flavours of Japanese food, but they definitely come to life alongside France’s culinary culture.

Sachihime Brewery brews Pure, Dry Sake that lives up to its name. Its finished quality results from a process that involves chilling the sake right out of the malting room. Warm or chilled this one is a delight to drink. Not many will want to warm the sake, but it offers new possibilities for pairing when heated.


Pure and Dry Sake from Sachihime. The store adjacent to the brewery offers a wide selection of products that aren’t for sale anywhere else.

Mitsutake Brewery brews Shall We Dance, a pure rice sake that’s their signature product. Its yeasts give it a supple flavor akin to white wine, making it a great option for pairing with French food—as well as making it a sake that can be enjoyed casually every day.

Shall We Dance from Mitsutake Brewery uses wine yeasts and is ideal for Japanese sake cocktails.

Yano Brewery’s Specially Pure Super Dry Kizake is bottled unpasteurised, resulting in their description of it as a fresh-squeezed liquor. While its shelf-life is short and its temperature must be maintained, making it difficult to sell internationally, it’s a brilliant sake that everyone should try if the opportunity arises. Specially Pure Super Dry Kizake’s yeast yields a foamy texture and uniquely fresh flavour. While every brewery has their own kizake, Yano Brewery goes out of its way to make one that’s a versatile partner for food. It’s an especially outstanding match for raw oysters or creamy seafood dishes.

Specially Pure Super Dry Kizake from Yano Brewery isn’t available everywhere overseas, so it’s a must-try for anyone visiting Japan.