Friday, August 13, 2010

Sushi, Sake, and Wine

Sushi, sake, and wine was the theme for this Provisions ( class and I was stoked because I love sushi so much. I have only tried sake once, thanks to my friend Anne, and it wasn’t too bad but it doesn’t have the easy-drinking flavor that I enjoy with sweet wines.

This class was totally different than previous classes at Provisions because we were given all our beverages first…two types of sake, a sparkling wine, a plum wine, and Schlafly Summer lager ( I think Angie was trying to knock me off my game, especially since she did not provide a menu for me to follow and take notes on. Not only is it tough to read my own handwriting but I’m having to write this review via napkin notes.

Yet, there was a method behind this madness because this allowed us to try a variety of flavors with each course. At times, this presented quite a challenge because it was hard to have enough bites of sushi to last all five beverages. And then you had to make sure to ration all five to make it through all the courses. Luckily, my buddy Joe asked for seconds so I was able to get seconds as well…especially seconds of my favorite…sparkling sake!

I was very surprised that there was even such a thing as sparkling sake but it added the missing sweetness to sake that it so desperately needed. We also drank both sakes cool or at room temperate. It turns out that sake is often heated to hide imperfections or lower quality sake.

I thought that the sparkling wine or plum wine would go best with all the courses since sparkling wines tend to go well with everything, while plum wine is frequently served at Japanese restaurants. But I found them both to be far too tart for the courses. Instead, the sparkling sake was easily paired with everything because it held that hint of sweet.

The first course was tempora vegetables and anything fried is well cut by bubbles. That’s one of Angie’s top ten wine rules. Someone should create a list…hmmm…she could probably write a book of them.

Anyway, the second course was a salmon avocado cucumber roll…definitely one of my favorites of the night because that’s typically what I get a at a sushi restaurant. I even tried it with the wasabi, but it just overpowered all the beverages, although the plum wine almost stood up to it.

The third course was a seared ahi tuna with ginger, which had a light flavor so again, only the sparkling sake was light enough to match up.

Another first, I had a Korean-style sushi roll with egg and ham inside and an overall sweeter flavor. So one more time, no heavy drinks went well.

Finally, the last course, beef tenderloin in a teriyaki sauce, could handle the regular sake. The beef was so soft and tender, I was definitely wishing for seconds.

Unfortunately, I will be missing the next Provisions class due to a concert but it looks like it will probably sell out: August 24th – A Taste of the Mediterranean (

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