Raise your glass

Forget the champagne this Valentine’s Day—sparkling sake is here to put a new twist on the occasion.

When most people think of sake, they think of the drink in small cups they enjoy with their sushi. But Mio Sparkling Sake is about enhancing the experience of the beverage, bringing it out of Japanese restaurants and making it a part of any celebration.

The name “Mio” is taken from the Japanese word for the foam that trails in the water behind cruise ships. This crisp, bubbling imagery is intended to inspire the palate in anticipation of the beverage’s sweet, sparkling taste. And the celebratory atmosphere aboard luxury cruise liners is a perfect symbol of the occasions of enjoyment and revelry to which Mio is perfectly suited.

Traditional sake, modernized

Mio Sparkling Sake is brewed by Takara Brewing Company in Nada, Japan, a coastal hub of sake brewing located within the city of Kobe. Thanks to the mineral-rich waters that ow near the city, Takara’s brewers are able to create a richly sweet avour that is unique and smooth. The area also provides fertile soil where superior rice is able to grow and provide robust avours that local brewers craft into some of the world’s finest sakes.

Mio is created using centuries-old sake-brewing techniques, maintaining its appeal to traditionalist tastes, while the sparkle in each bottle of Mio modernizes this traditional beverage. The result is a crisp and bubbly offering similar to champagne, making it the ideal libation to serve at your next celebration.

A bubbling up-and-comer

Sparkling sake has increased in popularity in recent years, especially among young Japanese women. With its light, fruity flavour, sparkling texture and only 5% alcohol by volume, Mio is an attractive choice even for those who aren’t frequent sake drinkers—while the beautiful design of the bottle makes it a lovely gift. Mio is also an appealing alternative for people who don’t enjoy the dryness of traditional sakes. And for those who don’t generally see sake as a youthful beverage, sparkling sakes like Mio are turning that idea upside down. These days, even Japanese F1 race-car drivers are choosing sparkling sake to victoriously spray on each other at the end of races, instead of champagne.

Like any sparkling beverage, Mio is best served chilled. It has a soft and smooth texture that glides over the tastebuds, while the refreshing bubbly feeling dances on the tongue. Its fruity aroma makes it delicious on its own or ideal for any cocktail that calls for champagne, especially when mixed with orange juice and paired with brunch. With a flavour that is slightly sweeter than other sparkling wines, Mio also pairs well with a charcuterie tray, spicy dishes or tart-tasting desserts. Best of all, you can easily pick up a bottle of Mio at the LCBO East Asian Boutique store in Markham (3075 Highway 7 East at Woodbine Avenue.)


P14_01Sparkling Facts

1.Sake brewers have been practising their arts for centuries, but sparkling sake is a rather new development on the sake scene. This fizzy take on the beverage has only been gaining popularity over the last decade or so.

2. While traditional sake can be served warmed or chilled, when it comes to sparkling sake like Mio, chilled is the way to go.

3. Sweet and mellow with a fruity aroma, Mio is an ideal accompaniment to desserts, for sipping alongside appetizers or for making a festive toast. Try it in place of champagne at your next celebration!

4. In Japanese, MIO means the white stream of foam that trails behind cruise ships. (Likewise, this new sake is making waves of fun in drinking scenes all around the world!) And in Italian, MIO means “My.”