Sake Matsuri 2022 returns to Singapore again after a two-year pandemic hiatus, set to showcase more than 200 different sakes on 5 November.
Japan may have just opened its borders to a flood of global tourists, but for those of us who prefer to wait till skyrocketing airline prices come down, this sake festival brings the best of Japan’s sake to Singapore instead.
In addition to tasting craft sakes, there will also be a limited number of food booths during the event – I’ve a strong suspicion that oysters and yakitori will stand out. Sake Matsuri had an earlier June run and its popularity is what prompted this edition later on in the year.
Tickets are priced at S$55 per person and can be purchased online from sakematsuri.sg – this includes a free sake-tasting glass too.
The event is split into two three-hour sessions: from 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 6pm. Unfortunately, as of this article’s publishing, tickets for the 3pm to 6pm slot have completely sold out, leaving only the earlier session available.
Highlighted sakes to try
Some key sakes touted by the event organisers (and myself) are the:
- Sohomare Ki.itsu 2016 Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo – Available for the first time in Singapore. Aged at 5°C for five years and brewed using the ancient kimoto method producing a flavourful and well-balanced style of sake. Available at Origins Foodist booth.
- Rokkon Diamond Junmai Daiginjo – Matsumidori Brewery’s limited brew and award-winning sake, where only 900 bottles are made each year. Available at Woodstock booth.
- Shichirobei Junmai Ginjo Yamadanishiki 2018BY – An atypical Junmai Gingo from Aomori which has the familiar Southeast Asian aroma of pandan and coconut, pairing well even with local favourites like nasi lemak! Available at Kurara booth.
- Nito Junmai Yamadanishiki 65 (Unpasteurised) – Maruishi Jozo began brewing sake in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, and has continued making sake for over 330 years since. The unpasteurised version tastes surprisingly different and is one of the secret sakes available upon request. Available at Inter Rice Asia booth.
- ABUNOTSURU Junmai Daiginjo “Saito no Shizuku” Namazume – Only available in Hong Kong and Singapore. Made with Yamaguchi’s own Saito no Shizuku polished to 40%, a pure rice Daiginjo that’s not charcoal-filtered (muroka) and pasteurised once only. Available at Woodstock booth.
Sake Matsuri masterclasses
Although most of the main festival’s tickets have sold out, masterclass sessions are still available. Booking a masterclass, unfortunately, does not grant access to the main tasting area.
Regionality of Japanese Sake (S$108)
Date: 29 October 2022
Time: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Venue: Flo Bistro (77 High Street, High Street Plaza, #01-04, Singapore 179433)
The REAL Shochu Masterclass (S$60)
Date: 30 October 2022
Time: 2pm to 3pm
Venue: Workhorse Izakaya (10A Haji Lane, Singapore 189203)
NOMAD Caviar and Sake Pairing Journey (S$120)
Date: 5 November 2022
Time: 2pm to 3pm
Venue: UE Square, Indoor Atrium, 81 Clemenceau Ave, Singapore 239917
The first Singapore sake awards
For the first time in Singapore, the major distributors have come together to initiate their own sake awards to recognize the best imported sakes. The judging will be conducted via a double-blind tasting by a panel of seven esteemed judges. This inaugural competition will crown the best sakes in these categories:
- Best Junmai Daigingo/Daigino (Gold, silver, bronze)
- Best Junmai Gingo/Gingo (Gold, silver, bronze)
- Best Junmai/Honjozo (Gold, silver, bronze)
- Best of Festival Sake
- Best Value-for-Money Sake
- Sake Matsuri Most Popular Sake Award
This judging is held prior to Sake Matsuri and is mostly intended for industry folks. However, the winning sakes will be made known publicly and available for tasting/purchase at Sake Matsuri!
If you liked the sakes tasted at Sake Matsuri, bottle sales will also be available on the day with a holding area for you to collect your sake after the event ends. Do act quickly as the popular sakes get snapped up fast due to the limited stocks.
This will be the final year to attend Sake Matsuri held at UE Square as well before the event moves to a new venue next year; hopefully larger and with more capacity.
Event date: 5 November 2022 (Sat)
Timing: 11am – 2pm or 3pm – 6pm
Price: S$55/person or S$250 for a group of five
Address: UE Square atrium, 81 Clemenceau Ave, Singapore 239917
Get your tickets from sakematsuri.sg.