Then Yoshiaki Soma started to draw on his notebook: rain that falls on land, and flows into the river, after nourishing the rice plant rising from the soil. From the water and from the rice, man brews sake, and from the soil man creates ceramic utensils. Isn’t there something « special » taking place when sake gets in contact with its soil again, when it is poured into an earthenware vessel fired near its birthplace?

That was the theme of last weekend’s event at the gallery managed by Soma san, right under his sake bar named The Hangar. The fine sake ware of 3 young artisans was on display. I enjoyed a Tokubestsu Junmai sake called Hakurou (Sawada brewery, founded in 1669), brewed from local rice and served into a beautiful guinomi modelled and fired by Mr. Ohara, not far from the brewery, in Tokoname, an historic town for ceramics in Aichi Prefecture. Then I re-visited a Junmai Ginjo brewed by Tedorigawa (and matured by Yoshiaki Soma), poured into a sake glass, blown and carved by Satoshi Nishigaki, who uses the “same” water near Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.

I will defer to the specialists of “Energy”, and their over-sensitive receptors, to make a judgement about the particular intensity of the symbiosis in the above two associations of elements from the same “ecosystem”.

What each of us can experience though, are fine nuances when appreciating sake “through” vessels of different shapes and materials: visual impact, contact with the hand and the lips, head inclination when drinking. At a more technical level, beyond the shape, the interaction of sake with the vessel’s wall (smooth for glass, rough for clay) can be expected to produce fine differences in the aromatic profile, cause a different “decantation”.

Last but not least, these “pairings” serve as a reminder that a beautiful story makes a nice experience even more enjoyable, and marks one’s memory more intensely.


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