March 13, 2018

Kozaemon: A sake for all seasons

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  • Big sake breweries may be more popular across the globe, but as far as the Japanese are concerned, smaller breweries produce the best-tasting sake. Called jizake, these brewers lean towards producing high-quality sake more than simply producing large batches.

    Kozaemon Nakishima Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. is one such company. Located in Gifu, Kozaemon has been silently brewing some of Japan’s well-loved sake since 1702, using the purest of water sources in the prefecture. Kozaemon is known across Japan, Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, China, and parts of Southeast Asia, yet it has never set foot in the Philippines until recently.

    Mr. Munetaka Nakashima, the adviser for the Nakashima Sake Brewing Co., led the launch of Kozaemon last March 6 at Ralph’s Wines and Spirits in Makati City. Five of Kozaemon’s best sakes were introduced at the sake-tasting event. Though all were good, two caught our attention: the Junmai Dai-Ginjo and the Junmai Plum Wine Beninanko Ume.

    Nakashima-san holds a bottle of Junmai Dai-Ginjo, the party sake.

    Nakashima dubbed the Junmai Dai-Ginjo as a “party sake”, perfect for small gatherings or even simple dinners. It goes well with most food, though he prefers serving it with skewered meats, a.k.a. party food.

    The crowd favorite: Kozaemon’s Plum Wine.

    Kozaemon’s Plum Wine was easily the crowd favorite. A pre-dessert wine, its sweet taste coupled with citrus notes impressed the crowd more than any of the sakes served.

    If you’d like to have a taste of Kozaemon’s Junmai Dai-Ginjo or Plum Wine, you can swing by Ralph’s Wines and Spirits or get in touch with Philippine Wine Merchants at 02-832-2529 or

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