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Sugidama Podcast

Food & Cooking Podcasts

This is a podcast to chronicle my journey into the world of sake and other Japanese drinks, food, culture and history. While I have a sake qualification (International Kikisake-shi), I still consider myself as a novice in the sake world. I have plenty to learn about the drink and I want to share this experience with my listeners through personal accounts, interesting facts about sake and interviews with sake experts.

This is a podcast to chronicle my journey into the world of sake and other Japanese drinks, food, culture and history. While I have a sake qualification (International Kikisake-shi), I still consider myself as a novice in the sake world. I have plenty to learn about the drink and I want to share this experience with my listeners through personal accounts, interesting facts about sake and interviews with sake experts.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

This is a podcast to chronicle my journey into the world of sake and other Japanese drinks, food, culture and history. While I have a sake qualification (International Kikisake-shi), I still consider myself as a novice in the sake world. I have plenty to learn about the drink and I want to share this experience with my listeners through personal accounts, interesting facts about sake and interviews with sake experts.

Language:

English


Episodes

Sake Ingredients: Rice, the Essence of Sake

4/1/2021
Rice is the essence of sake. It’s the source of alcohol and it gives sake its flavour, aroma, texture and character. It’s like grape to wine but slightly different. But rice is not the most suitable ingredient for an alcoholic beverage for one obvious reason: it does not have much sugar. But people found a way to turn starch which dominates the rice grain into sugar using koji and to make beautiful sake. In this episode, I am talking about the role of rice in sake making, how sake rice is...

Duration:00:26:14

Sake Ingredients: The power of Water

3/18/2021
The importance of water is difficult to overestimate. It’s second only to the brewer’s skill and as important as good rice and koji. But honestly, given good water, a skilful toji can make excellent sake from even table rice. But I am not sure if even a genius of a toji can make a delicious sake from low-quality water. At least there is a quote in the excellent The Japanese Sake Bible by Brian Ashcraft when he asks Akira Tanaka, the director at Kinshi Masamune sake brewery if it’s possible...

Duration:00:23:35

5 tips to pick up the sake you will enjoy (plus what is SMV)

3/4/2021
What could be more disappointing than ordering something, waiting for it with excitement and then realising that it’s something you don’t like. It happens quite often unfortunately and buying and ordering sake is not an exception. So in this episode, I would like to give you a few tips on choosing sake and also talk about some parameters you will find on the bottle beside a milling ratio. And my tips of course are based on my own experience. In addition to this episode, you can listen to...

Duration:00:28:32

5 Essential Books about Sake

12/31/2020
There are plenty of books about wine or whiskey. You go to any bookshop and you can always find something. Unfortunately, there are actually not many English language books available about the beautiful drink of Japanese sake. Definitely more than 5 (I’ve got seven) but still probably fewer than 15. But the five books I am going to talk about are probably the must. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the...

Duration:00:29:40

Through the time: the history of sake (Interview with Natsuki Kikuya)

12/17/2020
The origin of sake is covered in mystery. In order to get some clarity, I have spoken to Natsuki Kikuya, who is a certified sake and wine professional, educator and sake sommelier. She’s been a sake judge at the prestigious IWC Sake Category since 2011. In 2013, she launched “Museum of Sake” website, which she calls an intangible museum providing sake education, promoting the craft sake across the UK and Europe, organising sake events and many other exciting things. Coming from a family...

Duration:00:53:50

How to Open a Sake Bar in London and Survive a Lockdown (Interview with Erika Haigh from Moto London)

12/10/2020
Erika a sake and wine specialist and director of Moto London, a sake bar which opened in London Covent Garden just about a year ago. She is an amazing person and whom I have known for some time through my blog, Instagram and personally. The story of Moto is really fascinating. You can imagine what it means to open a bar and not just a bar but a sake bar three months before the UK went into a complete lockdown for more than 2 months and then again in November. But let’s listen to her...

Duration:01:08:28

How to Drink Sake Like a Pro (Interview with Oliver Hilton-Johnson from Tengu Sake)

12/2/2020
Oliver Hilton-Johnson is a Sake Specialist and Director of Tengu Sake, a sake imports, wholesale & retail company. Tengu Sake supplies quality Japanese sake and spirits to some of the UK’s finest restaurants and bars and is the recipient of the International Wine Challenge’s ‘Sake Merchant of the Year’ award 2016 - 2019. In November 2019 Oliver was named as one of the ‘Future 50’ drinks industry professionals to watch. Oliver has got a fascinating story about how he went from hating sake to...

Duration:00:45:59

It’s a Kind of Magic: How Sake is Made Part 2

11/19/2020
The second part of the exciting two-parter about how sake is made. I never stop admiring the skill and craftmanship of sake brewers. They manage to create a beautiful drink from rice and water. In this episode we continue exploring the sake brewing process learning about sandan jikomi, multiple parallel fermentation, pressing and post-production. Don't forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of...

Duration:00:28:42

How to order sake and other tips from Satomi Dosseur

11/5/2020
Satomi Dosseur is a sake professional and educator, a founder of Enshu Limited, which runs a great and very interesting sake specialist course (Kikisake-shi) in London, which I took a few years ago. Satomi can talk hours about sake and is very good at encouraging people to try it and enjoy. Born and raised in Tokyo, Satomi grew up with a deep understanding and love of Japan’s exceptional culture. She was taught by her Japanese parents to appreciate and love the diverse uniqueness of Japan’s...

Duration:00:34:19

It’s a Kind of Magic: How Sake is Made Part 1

10/29/2020
Great news! Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone. Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount...

Duration:00:26:56

How I learnt about sake and started to love it?

10/1/2020
A lot of people often ask me why sake. They are usually quite intrigued. I’m not Japanese (they don’t know that sake in Japan is not that popular these days), I’ve never lived in Japan (only visited two times as a tourist), my wife is not Japanese (again, another thing that could link me to the drink, don’t know why). I wouldn’t say that I fell in love with sake at the first sight or shall I say sip. For a long time, my drink of choice was wine or beer. I love German Riesling, I enjoyed...

Duration:00:29:22

From Kimoto to Sokujo and Back Again

8/27/2020
The process of making sake is really exciting! There are several sake brewing methods: three main ones, kimoto, yamahai and sokujo (or sokujo-moto) and another one, bodaimoto, which is even older but has been rediscovered only recently. Sake taste profile depends to a certain extent on the method used to make it. So if you know what each method means, you can make a better choice of sake. All the methods differ by the way, the starter is created. In kimoto, the starter is churned for hours...

Duration:00:28:58

A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Sake Universe Part 2

8/4/2020
While sake has a milder taste compared to wine, it's diversity is astounding. You not only have sake grades or styles which have their own flavour profiles but also sake types, which add another dimension to the sake universe. Nigori, namazake, koshu, all these words mean variations in brewing technics adding unique characteristics to sake. If you know what these names mean, you can better choose sake for your meal or an occasion. The long names of sake, which sounded like spells from old...

Duration:00:27:34

A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Sake Universe Part 1

7/16/2020
Junmai, honjozo, ginjo, daiginjo... What do all these strange words mean? Do we have to know them to enjoy sake? It will definitely help you to identify the sake types you like, to understand a difference between these incomprehensible sake bottles in a shop or exotic sake names on a wine-list, to decide what sake you should choose for a particular meal, or whether you need to pop the bottle in the fridge before drinking or it’s fine as it is and so on. So let me be your guide in this vast...

Duration:00:28:04

Busting Popular Sake Myths and Legends

7/2/2020
Welcome to the first episode of Sugidama Podcast, the podcast about Japanese sake, the amazing drink, I am madly in love with, profoundly fascinated by and eager to tell you about! Sake is a mysterious drink for the Western audience. Many heard but only a few have tried. As any mysterious object, it’s surrounded by myths and legends. Some of them are completely false and others have some truth in them. Before I started my sake journey I also had many misconceptions about it. So I would like...

Duration:00:24:57