Autumnal sake pairings

Shibuya “Hachiko,” Junmai Ginjo

By Shirataki Brewery, from Niigata prefecture; $17 (6 ounces), one of Shibuya’s three private-label sakes.

Recommended by: Dieter Xiao, Advanced Level 2 sake specialist, Shibuya at MGM Grand.

Nose: Bright and fresh fruity aromas.

Palate: Light, smooth, easy drinking.

The somm says: “It is a great sake to be enjoyed by itself or with light foods. It pairs well with most light fare no matter the season.”

Pair it with: Shibuya’s Kani salad, with three kinds of crab (king, snow and Dungeness), seaweed, pickled cucumber, dry soy and lotus chips.

Black River Anniversary Edition, Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto

By Kurosawa, from Nagano prefecture; $142, at Sushi Samba in the Palazzo.

Recommended by: Tiffany Dawn Soto, kikizake-shi (master sake educator), restaurant consultant and president of the North American Sake Institute.

The somm says: “This sake is complex but not so much as to take away from the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives you as it passes across your lips. The rich aromas combined with the elegantly smooth palate perfectly accompany the hearty complexity of the fall menus, a welcome departure from summer.”

Nose: As unique as it is wonderful. With light scents of yellow apple skin and subtle mushrooms, then something elusive, rich, familiar and comfortable, reminiscent of buttery pound cake.

Palate: Soft and ever so slightly sweet with a level of elegance rarely achieved in a kimoto sake.

Pair it with: Sushi Samba’s Berkshire Pork Gyoza with kabocha puree and su-shoyu dipping sauce.

Harushika (“Spring Deer”), Junmai Daiginjo

From Imanishi Shoten, from Nara prefecture; $310 (720 milliliter) at Sensi in Bellagio.

Recommended by: Sanae Halprin, sommelier, Sensi at Bellagio.

The somm says: “This sake is made shizuku style, which means it was not pressed. As a result, it’s very fresh and soft. The weather in autumn, especially in Las Vegas, is fresh and soft, just like this elegant sake.”

Nose: Floral aroma, melon, banana.

Palate: Soft and silky smooth, light body.

Pair it with: Sensi’s Sashimi and Crudo Sampling.



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