The new bubbly
This sweet, delicate refreshment is the beverage of choice for young women and racecar drivers across Japan.
Toast your next celebration with something other than the usual champagne by grabbing a bottle of Japan’s trendiest beverage—bubble- infused rice wine, or sparkling sake.
Although sparkling sake has been around for several decades, it has only recently taken the spotlight in Japan’s food and drink scene. Just like champagne, sparkling sake is created by a second alcoholic fermentation of the rice wine in the bottle or by injections of carbon dioxide. Referred to in Japanese as happo-shu, it typically has about a third of the alcohol content of traditional sake and comes in both unfiltered and filtered forms.
One of the most popular names in sparkling sake is Mio, created by Japan’s legendary sake producer, Takara. Mio isthe Japanese word to describe the wake that trails behind a moving boat, and the name inspires the image of dynamic and lively bubbles riding a gentle wave. The secondary meaning behind Mio: it’s the Italian word for my. Applied to the bottle, it’s meant to evoke personal ownership of the sake.
Although Mio has a crispness and fruitiness that resembles some sweet champagnes, it has a dis- tinct rice wine flavour that makes it unique. It also has an alcohol content of only 5 percent, so you can enjoy it without fear of getting too drunk and crazy at a company party. A perfect blend of mellow and sweet, Mio is best served chilled and is nice for some relaxed sipping as an aperitif. Or, because of its sweet and fruity aroma, Mio also goes well with hors d’oeuvres such as artisan cheeses and olives, and with sweet chocolates or tart fruits, such as strawberries. Luckily for us, we don’t have to be in Japan to get this drink—just hop over to the LCBO.