THAT first sip of Fukuju sake brings feelings of happiness.
With spirits uplifted, wealth and longevity should follow. Or at least that’s the plan.
And these are the terms from where the Fukuju (福寿) name is derived. According to the official website, the Fortuitous Fukurokuju is one of the seven lucky Gods of good fortune in Japanese mythology.
Fukurokuju, is a combination of “happiness” (fuku), “wealth” (roku), and “longevity” (ju).
The clean, crisp taste of Fukuju Junmai (Green Label) is light and slightly sweet, with a pleasantly faint aftertaste. The Fukuju Junmai Ginjyo (Blue Label) packs a bit more punch with a bigger nose and more sweetness but finishes off just as smoothly with hardly any aftertaste on the palate.
Drinking Fukuju sake on its own is like enjoying a cool gentle breeze on a hot and humid day.
Pairing it with Asian dishes such as chicken rice, deep fried battered cod fish and deep fried pork is refreshingly satisfying. The light and clean tastes of the sakes cut right through the richness of the food so our palates are ready for the next bite. That subtle sweetness is accentuated when taken with saltier foods, the soft finish lingering on your taste buds even after the wine goes down.
We have also tried cooking a classic Japanese pork belly stew (Buta no Kakuni) with Fukuju Junmai (Green Label). The result of the overnight stew yielded a fatty pork with rich umami flavour that is savoury and not at all greasy.
We could easily disregard the numerous international gold medals won by the Fukuju Gold Label, Fukuju Blue Label and Fukuju Green Label sakes. We could also disregard the fact that this Kobe ShuShinKan brewery continued using traditional methods of brewing sake since 1751, or 270 years ago, and still continues winning awards for water management and ethical practices.
But we cannot ignore the prestigious events where Fukuju sake has been served, for example the Fukuju Blue Label was selected for the internationally renowned guests at Nobel Prize award ceremonies for several years since 2008.
In my decade long love with sake, Fukuju’s sakes are ichiban! They certainly rank number 1 in the taste-vs-price-value category.
And in that state of bliss, it certainly lives up to its name of bringing good fortune and happiness.
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