Episode-03: RICEY: On Your Own Terms with the Sake Concierge

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We’re back again with more, On Your Own Terms, the series that allows our guests to select a single bit of sake or shochu-specific terminology to share with us, explaining it concisely, while also reflecting on their unique experiences and perspectives tied to their topic-of-choice.

This week, the Sake Concierge, Takashi “Umio” Eguchi, brings both terminology and perspective that only he could deliver. This time around we explore the “ricey” component of the sensory experience of sake.

When we started doing this, somewhat narrow-mindedly there was an assumption that most guests would likely select a Japanese-term that would mean little to those not particularly well-versed in the world of sake or shochu. While that’s generally been the case up until now, Umio throws a wrench in things this week – in the best way possible.

The sensory experience of sake is often described, in terms of either (or both) flavor or aroma as being “ricey”, or expressing “riceyness” in some form, whether it be something reflecting steamed or cooked rice, mochi rice, rice bran, or something else entirely.

If your evaluation of a particular wine pointed out its “grapeiness”, you might get sideways looks for pointing out the obvious. If we were talking beer, however, pointing out “malty” character or something being “hoppy” would be considered information of value.

For a drink essentially made entirely from rice and rice-based raw materials (koji!), what meaning or significance does the “riceyness” of a particular sake communicate? Could it mean something different to different people depending upon their geographical or cultural perspective? How does such a term not only point out the obvious, but also the exemplary? Umio elucidates on all of these things, keeping us on our toes and in a state of reflection for this session of On Your Own Terms.

We’ll be back with more Sake On Air – On Your Own Terms, in just a few days.
Until then, kampai!

Sake On Air is made possible with the generous support of the Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association and is recorded and broadcast from the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center in Tokyo. The show is brought to you by Potts.K Productions with audio production by Frank Walter. Our theme, “Younger Today Than Tomorrow” was composed by forSomethingNew for Sake On Air.