International food professionals explain how Kochi’s sake sparks creativity and is valued for its taste and quality.

Rick Smith, Sake Buyer, New York

Rick Smith, the owner of Sakaya, New York’s only store specializing in premium sake and shochu, is passionate about Tosa sake. “We handle about 140 different brands of sake, and our customers are as diverse as the people who live in New York. I had the good fortune to visit Kochi a couple of years ago, and met many of the sake makers. People think of Kochi’s sake as having a light and dry style, but each one has its own characteristics. Kochi’s advantage against other regions, is the salinity in the flavour – it’s not salty, but there is a hint of salt air that distinguishes it. Kochi sake pairs well with fish, vegetables and cheese. Mild cheeses like mozzarella and ricotta, are complimented by the refreshing crispness of the sake."

Executive Publisher of "SAKETIMES" China, Vice Chairman of China International kikisake-shi association and the owner of bar SAKE7 and Japanese restaurant Moto, Li Peng

"As a kid, I learned about one of Kochi’s most famous people, samurai and activist Sakamoto Ryoma, through Japanese animation. I learned a lot more about Kochi after engaging in the sake business. Kochi people are really generous, and passionate about sake. In the nineteenth century, Yamauchi Yodo, the 15th daimyo of the Tosa Domain, referred to himself as "Gei kai sui ko" (the lord who drinks like a whale), because he loved sake. Tosa sake has a mellow smoothness and delicate balance, which is perfectly suited to food. Over the years, I've paired sake with a variety of Chinese or Western delicacies, and can always find the right Tosa sake to enhance the flavor."

Beau Timken, Sake Sommelier, San Francisco

Beau Timken has been passionate about introducing the subtle flavors of sake to his customers for 20 years. “The best part of Kochi sake is that it is so drinkable! They make sake that is so easy to enjoy, and that's the point of making sake. This does not mean it is simple sake, it is thinking sake that just tastes great. And that shows incredible skill and technique.” Timken sells several varieties of Tosa sake, from crisp tokubetsu junmai, to a sweet and fruity junmai with yuzu juice. “Drinking Kochi sake is a pleasure!”



Kochi produces high-quality sake with a clean, crisp taste that pairs well with food.


Kochi produces high-quality sake with a clean, crisp taste that pairs well with food.



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