Feel the wind of ancient Amami

As we enter June, we can feel the footsteps of summer, albeit little by little.

Wouldn't you like to feel the summer ahead of time with aged sake?

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Would you like to relax and enjoy the delicious sake of ancient times?

Instead of pouring sake into a glass and drinking it right away, why not take your time and enjoy the goodness of aged sake?

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% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

[For 60th Birthday Celebration] [For Longevity Celebration] Taste that deepens over time

Celebrating your loved one's milestone year. It is an important celebration to pray for continued good health and to express gratitude.

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[For a reward for yourself] [For a special day in everyday life] Cheers to me for working hard

I did my best today. There is still a lot to do, but I would like to take this opportunity to praise my efforts. Instead of the usual sweets and draft beer, why not pamper yourself today with some delicious sake from the past?

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% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

Sake that won a gold medal at a global wine competition

Did you know that there is a type of ``old sake'' that has won a gold medal at a global wine competition ?

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% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

[For a business partner] [For a retirement gift] Rare vintage sake highly praised by a wine-loving president

When it comes to gifts for alcohol lovers, wine, sake, and champagne are the standard gifts. Why not get creative with the gift you give this time and give a different kind of alcohol than usual?

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[Father's Day] [6/19] "This is the first time I've seen my father's eyes sparkle this much."

I have given my father, who loves alcohol, a variety of Japanese sake, wine, beer, and famous brands of alcohol from various regions as gifts.

However, the gift I received this year, ``Delicious Sake from the Past,'' was something completely different.

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% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

What do dishes that go well with aged sake have in common?

The characteristic of aged sake is its rich aroma and taste. This time, we will introduce common features of dishes that go well with the taste of aged sake.

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% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

Does sake age? Doesn't it turn into vinegar?

I'm Matsumoto, a sommelier specializing in fine sake from ancient times.
This time I will explain a little about the aging of sake.

What exactly is maturation? From that point...

According to the general idea of ​​maturity,

①Enzymes possessed by microorganisms and the food itself work over time to break down proteins, converting them into amino acids and peptides, and causing reactions such as increasing the flavor (soy sauce, cheese, meat, etc.)

②A reaction in which a substance changes over time without the intervention of microorganisms or enzymes.

Both types occur at the same time.

During the aging of sake, the enzyme function is stopped during the process of pasteurization, so basically only reaction 2 occurs. (In the case of raw sake, it is not pasteurized, so the enzymes are still alive and the sake may become sweet.)

In fact, the reaction that is observed in ``Ancient Beauty Sake'' is mainly the Maillard reaction, which is a reaction between sugar and amino acids to produce a brown colored substance (Meiraizin).

~Maillard reaction~

Now, let's explain the Maillard reaction in detail!

 The Maillard reaction is a reaction that occurs when amino acids and sugars (water is also required) are present at the same time, and produces various aroma components while synthesizing a brown substance.

A simple and familiar example is the phenomenon in which when onions are stir-fried for a long time, they gradually turn from a candy color to brown, and the reaction that often occurs with delicious brown foods that everyone loves, such as beef steak and fried chicken.

 The key is heat; the higher the temperature, the faster the Maillard reaction will proceed. Even Japanese sake acquires color as it is stored at higher temperatures, so many breweries store ``Kojo no Bishu'' in tanks at room temperature, and some sake breweries initially keep it at low temperatures but switch to storing it at room temperature in order to add color.


~Fragrance components and characteristics of aged incense~

You can enjoy a variety of scents due to the Maillard reaction and ester bonds.
This is a unique way to enjoy aged vintages.

This time, we will delve deeper into not only the characteristics of the scent, but also how it is produced.
I would like to explain

-Sotolon - Caramel and dried fruit aroma

When it comes to aged incense, this is the most typical main ingredient.It is a component that is responsible for the various scents felt by aging, such as caramel, dried fruit, and honey-like scents. 

Sotolon is produced through the course of the Maillard reaction, and increases as the aging period becomes longer or the brown reaction of the Maillard reaction becomes darker.

It is also produced when α-ketobutyric acid, a decomposition product of amino acids, combines with acetaldehyde produced during fermentation.

-Furfural - Nutty and savory aroma

Various aldehydes are produced during ripening due to Strecker decomposition, which occurs as a side reaction of the Maillard reaction.

Among them, we will introduce furfural, which is a type of aromatic aldehyde.

 Although it is the ingredient that causes the smell of snails, it has a nutty and burnt aroma. It is an ingredient that allows you to enjoy a very pleasant scent depending on its content.

 -Pyrazines - Relaxing aroma

A fragrance component that is responsible for the aroma even in aged sake. The ingredients found in roasted meat and roasted green tea also have the effect of relaxing the brain and promoting blood flow.

 -Diethyl succinate - Honey - like scent

It is thought to be the main component of the honey-like aroma felt in aged sake.One of the joys of aged sake is that it is a complex intertwining of various aromatic components, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of aromas.

~Changes in taste due to aging

Aging causes many changes in taste.I think the major changes in taste due to aging are bitterness and acidity.

In particular, it is deeply involved in pairing with food.

Sake mainly contains succinic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and citric acid.

Among them, succinic acid, which is said to control umami flavor, changes into succinic acid monoethyl ester, which has a cleaner taste, and malic acid, which has a sharp sourness, changes into malic acid monoethyl ester, which has a softer and refreshing sour taste. I will go


Furthermore, the bitterness, which is hard to feel with regular sake, increases and can be felt firmly.

This brings out the depth of the flavor, giving it a more complex and long aftertaste.

 Up until now, the image of koshu has been that it is an alcoholic drink that can be enjoyed after a meal, but at ``Kokotsu no Bishu'' we propose it as a sake that can be enjoyed as a pairing not only after a meal, but also as a companion drink.

There are three types,

・Light and light-tasting old sake with a pale color [Tanjuku]

・Old sake with a strong flavor and color, and a deep and heavy taste [Koiju]

・In the middle of the list above, a medium-bodied old sake that is not heavy and has a strong flavor [Medium-aged]


Whether it's fish, meat, vegetables, sweets, or cheese, you can enjoy pairing with the ingredients and dishes that go well with each.


~Does sake turn into vinegar when it gets old? ~

In conclusion, it doesn't turn out to be vinegar.

Acetic acid bacteria are required to make vinegar, but sake does not contain them.
Aged sake contains many sugars and acids, including amino acids.

In this balance, some foods may taste sour if they contain too much acid (especially those derived from lactic acid bacteria).

As you let it sit further, changes occur again, and the balance of sweetness and acidity improves.

Drinking alcohol that is too acidic may mean you are still young.

I think one of the interesting parts of aged sake, like wine, sherry, and whisky, is that complex chemical reactions occur when it is aged, creating a variety of aromas that even sake brewers cannot predict.

Please take your time and enjoy the mellow vintage sake that has been around for many years and can only be enjoyed at that moment.

% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

For wine lovers


The charm of vintage sake recommended for wine lovers

If the backbone of the taste of wine is sourness, sweetness, and tannins, the backbone of the taste of vintage sake is sweetness, umami, and length of finish.

Most wines are often drunk in a slightly cold state of about 8 ° C to 14 ° C, but first try vintage sake at room temperature.

Aging depends on the sweetness of caramel and dried fruit-like flavors, the swelling umami of rice, and the lingering memory of the length of the sound of koto. The taste of rice, yeast, and length of time in years will add a touch of color to the table that is different from wine.

If you put it in your mouth with an appetizer such as prosciutto, it will smooth your tongue, and if you take it after a meal, it will produce a dessert-like sweetness and satisfaction.

Of course, as sake during meals is also possible. Please try it with dishes that allow you to fully enjoy the taste of meat such as roast beef.

The sweet and mellow aroma and the solid taste even in small amounts goes well with dishes that are generally considered to be compatible with wine, such as cheese and dried fruits. We promise it will become a new form of relaxation for wine lovers.

Article / Mr. Yasuko Kawada
President of Nagareyama Wine Club
Japan Sommelier Association Certified Wine Expert Food Coordinator
Active in planning events related to wine and food, developing menus for restaurants and companies, wine courses, styling and shooting wine and food, writing columns, etc.
% Y% b% d — 古昔の美酒

Reward to myself

for ME

Give yourself an amber colored sake.

The day will come when I will retire and become independent from the company I worked at for many years.
The faces of the bosses who raised me from scratch, the colleagues who didn't want to lose, and the juniors who I couldn't leave behind came to me one after another.
From now on, I have to decide for myself what to do.
I can't blame anyone. If you are asked if there is any regret on the road you did not choose, you cannot say "no". Anxiety is great in the parts in my life I've had to protect so far.
But I want to expect more from myself.

I bought vintage sake as if to encourage myself.

A rare old sake that has been aged for over 10 years.

"Drink time"-.
It seemed like the sake I needed now, which set a break in the past and took me a step forward for many years.

The moment I arrive at my house and open the box, I am excited.
The serial number is engraved on the luxurious bottle that is reminiscent of a special gift.
If you didn't buy it yourself, you wouldn't have noticed that it was sake that looked so classy that you would want to exhibit it as it is.
Modern things are great, but unexpected developments and unusual things are also fun and bring joy. 

Prepare a glass immediately.
Expectations are high during the sound of pouring: the amber color that sways in the glass, and the sweet scent that it spreads.

I drank "1995 Aoi Tsuru".
This premium old sake is made in a land with a large temperature difference, and of which has been aged for over 20 years.

I am surprised at the mellow but spicy flavor in my mouth.
While drinking Aoi Tsuru, I think it may not be necessary to make a divide to the past.
While holding myself up until now, I will take another step forward. Take a deep step that was lighter than ever before.

A gift that stretches a hand to oneself.

I realized, while drinking, that I was going to looking forward to tomorrow.

% Y% b% d — ProjectCompany