Kinji Shinoda, the Japanese consul to the CNMI, hopes to promote an authentic sake culture in the CNMI during the two-day sake-tasting event held at his office at the Marina Heights building in Puerteo Rico.
In line with this, it is planned that there will be sake tasting at the upcoming Taste of the Marianas.
According to Shinoda, that would depend on the responses to the questionnaires handed out at the two-day sake tasting event. The tasting session last Wednesday was attended by members of the private sector while Thursday night’s session was for government officials.
Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan Food and Beverage director Das Krishnan said that offering sake to tourists is a valid consideration.
“It was a good experience for us, as well as a good experience for hoteliers to see what they have,” he said.
According to Krishnan, he and his assistant manager are already starting to think of possible food combinations that would go well with the different kinds of sake.
Sake, according to Shinoda, hails from several prefectures in Japan. Krishnan took particular notice to Dewazakura Dewanasato’s Junmai sake, and Daiginjo Sansui’s Daiginjo sake. Both sakes won gold and silver, respectively, in their particular categories at the 2016 International Wine Challenge.
Krishnan described both as “very easy on the palate” and went down well as cold drinks; he added that it might be good paired with a teppanyaki dinner.
Fiesta Resort’s Osamu Nimura, the Managaha manager for food and beverage on the islet, fell for Zaku Kaizanittekisui’s Junmai Daiginjo sake and Tokumo Koshu 2016’s koshu sake. The latter won silver in the koshu category of the Japan Wine Competition 2017.
Shinoda thinks the sake tasting event went well. “Most of the people had a positive impression of the Japanese sake,” he said. “I strongly hope that in the future they purchase in Japan the sake to serve in the hotels and for retail so that ordinary people can have a chance to taste Japanese sake.”
Shinoda said this was a first step for the recognition of sake in the CNMI. He looks forward to sake becoming a fixture at the Taste of the Marianas.