Travelers’ Treasures / Mizubasho Pure (Sparkling sake)

The long-standing Nagai Sake Inc., established in 1886, has taken its sake brewing skills, cultivated over many years, and married them with the traditional techniques of France’s Champagne region to create its sparkling Japanese sake, Mizubasho Pure. It required an innovative method to perform the world’s first in-bottle secondary fermentation with sake, as is done with champagne, and succeeding in this was a labor of love for the maker. The results, though, are impressive.

With pure water filtered through the terrain of the Oze Valley and Yamada Nishiki, well-known as a premium brand of sake-making rice, acquired from contracted farmers, a flavorful fermentation was attained. Produced is a spicy and elegant sake and the ginjoka aroma of highly polished rice, followed by a crisp aftertaste. And just as with champagne, the urbanity of effervescent foam is a nice touch. Considering how to properly match the sake to a dish is well suited to social settings, and with either Japanese or Western cuisine, this is a delightful bottle of sake that works well as an aperitif or during a meal.

Price: ¥4,860

Manufacturer: Nagai Sake Inc. in Kawaba, Gunma Prefecture ( 

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Photos and information except for prices from The Wonder 500 (

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