We spent a wonderful Christmas Eve afternoon in Aspen with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa – better known to all as “Nobu,” the renowned chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants, Fumio Hazu the purveyor of Hokusetsu Saké, the partners, Nobuko Kang and Michael Goldberg and the management team at Matsuhisa Aspen.
We gathered for a traditional celebratory Kagami-Biraki or sake barrel breaking ceremony in which the lid of the Hokusetsu Saké barrel was broken open by a wooden mallet. Hazu then served his sake to everyone present. Kagami translates to, the lid of the sake barrel and Biraki means, to open. The round lid of the barrel symbolizes harmony. The Kagami-Biraki represents an opening to harmony and good fortune.
The Hazu family has produced sake since 1871 in Sado aka “Saké Island”, the largest island in the Sea of Japan. The area is known for its severe winters, which offers a perfect climate for brewing Hokusetsu products. The name Hokusetsu, means “Northern Snow”.
Hokusetsu Saké has been exclusively producing the sake served at Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants worldwide for almost 25 years. The signature sake’s not to be missed are, TK 40, YK 35 and Junmai Dai-Ginjo.