Crafty Cousins

Wine and saké: a culinary kinship

By Hilary Berg

Welcome back to OWP’s regularly scheduled programming. In January, we took our annual break from monthly coverage to wrap up the previous year of Oregon wine, among other items, in the 2020 Oregon Wine Almanac.

The special edition throws off some of our readers and distributors, who end up calling because customers are looking for the January issue yet thankful for the bonus delivery. There is no January OWP; instead, we publish the Almanac. For the confusion, we are sorry. For those looking for and looking forward to our magazine every month in their local wine shops, we thank you!

For the February issue, we have an unusual cover topic: saké. You are correct: This is not Oregon wine.

Let me explain.

We often get people — writers and readers — asking to cover local spirits. While wine remains our focus, once a year, we open the door a smidge for a play-date — so to mommy-speak — with a beverage cousin.

Hello, saké.

By “cousin,” I mean they’re both fermented and contain similar amounts of alcohol, which means they pair well with food, especially cheese.

Saké and cheese. Who’d have thunk it? After reading Tamara Belgard’s story (page 30), you’ll understand how the two marry well. Some even say the rice spirit is a better pairing — it has to do with lactic acid.

Now, I assume you enjoy wine — you ARE reading OWP — but, as I’m not so certain you have the same affection for saké, I’d bet most of you appreciate fine cheese.

I know I do.

“Give me a good sharp knife and a good sharp cheese, and I’m a happy man.” —George R. R. Martin.




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