Located along the Sea of Japan, Ishikawa’s cold climate is perfect for sake brewing. This is where renowned chef and sake purveyor Masaharu Morimoto’s own brew is crafted. “In my opinion, sake is the beverage of choice with Japanese food,” Morimoto says. “Since it was developed in Japan, it naturally is a good fit. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to create my own brand of sake.”
Sake grade is determined by the degree to which the rice is polished. Morimoto recommends beginners start their exploration with junmai ginjo, made with highly polished rice, water, yeast and koji, the mold that makes brewing possible. At Morimoto (in MGM Grand, mgmgrand.com), the best way to experience his portfolio is with a flight. The Morimoto Sake Moriawase ($45) includes 2-ounce portions of his junmai, junmai ginjo and junmai daigingo as well as a 5-year-aged sake. The experience follows the evolution of sake based on how it changes with age and grade.
In Japan, while drinking sake with friends, it’s customary to pour for one another. When someone tries to pour for you, lift your cup to meet the flask (tokkuri) that they are hopefully holding with both hands. It’s the honorable thing to do.