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For heaven’s Sake

Now here’s something that you might not have thought about when you’re drinking in a wine bar, Japanese Sake. OAK N4 in Finsbury Park is leading the way by introducing sake and it’s typical of the challenge – always gentle of course – that they lay down for their clientele. To expand knowledge and break down prejudices in wine. Whatever to that, sake is also something of a national trend that OAK N4 are at the forefront of. But, what do we know about Sake?

Sake is often referred to as a wine for its complexity and variety but in terms of fermentation it is actually more akin to a beer in that the grains of rice are brewed rather than crushed and fermented like grapes are.

It’s a fascinating product and like all things Japanese has a rich history of tradition and craft which has been abused in western culture. And in some Japanese restaurants too, where poor quality sake is served to undiscerning customers.

Keiko Urakawa is a professional sushi instructor, and all-round fan-girl for sake. Originally from a town called Yokkaichi in Japan where her parents ran a sake shop, she then trained in Sydney, Australia where some of the best Japanese restaurants outside the country are to be found. Moving to London with her knowledge and skills she decided to do her own thing, sharing her love of Japanese cuisine and culture.

Keiko runs Wine Flights at OAK N4 in Finsbury Park where you can learn about how sake is made and appreciate the myriad of different styles that are available. Find out about the importance of polishing, junmai, the types of rice (there are many varieties), the water that’s used and how to drink it, like whether to chill it or not. The story of sake is captivating, and Keiko is a charming and fun guide. Kanpai..!

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