I was emptying my fridge: a good piece of Brie de Meaux on the one hand, a creamy classic cow milk cheese matured by Antony, based in Alsace, one of the best “Maitres Affineurs” (“maturer”) in France…just a little too mature at that stage; and the bottom of a sake bottle by Kinoshita Shuzou (Kyoto, but up North near the sea), branded Tamagawa, on the other hand: unpasteurized, unfiltered, undiluted (Nama Muroka Genshu), Kimoto Junmai made of Gohyakumangoku cultivated without pesticides. The sake was brewed in 2014, matured over one summer at least at the kura…then in my wine cellar for about a year at 15 degrees Celsius, too high for a classic unpasteurized sake, but my guess was that Mr. Harper’s product, with its 21% alcohol content, would actually evolve well.
Both had an incredible punch, however when associated in the mouth, they balanced each other out. Sake’s acidity and alcohol got tamed, just enhancing the creamy texture of the cheese. Lactic aromas were combining well, and aromatic persistence was amazing. If one defines umami as “a longing for another helping”, I found one incarnation.