All Nippon Airways (ANA) has launched an updated sake menu for passengers travelling on international and domestic routes, as well as ANA’s suite lounges starting in March.
Sake is a popular alcoholic beverage in Japan made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran.
The Japanese carrier has partnered with sake sommelier Yasuyuki Kitahara to bring the new rice wines to passengers on its flights and in its lounges.
ANA said it selected a range of premium sakes such as Jikon, Kamoshibito Kuheiji and Kokuryu after evaluating sakes from 319 breweries. The airline has chosen a total of 46 brands for its passengers.
“ANA and Kitahara evaluated sake based on taste as well as how well they paired with in-flight cuisine and their seasonal appeal. This led to the creation of a balanced sake menu that offers something tailored to the palates of every passenger. The sakes range from summer-themed refreshing and fruity flavours to robust sakes ideally suited to the changing weather of autumn,” said the airline.
International first class
Kokuryu Daiginjo Ryu by Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation (Fukui Prefecture)
Established in 1804, Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation’s Daiginjo is “matured at a low temperature to apply the latest wine maturing technology”.
It will be available throughout March this year.
Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Betsuatsurae by Banjo Jozo (Aichi Prefecture)
ANA said brewery Banjo Jozo sake “boasts a fragrance of ripe fruits such as melon and lychee, sweet and bitter flavours spread in the mouth but leave an elegant acid after taste” and uses up to 35 per cent polished rice.
It will be available from April to May.
International business class
Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Yamada Nishiki Eau Du Desir (water of hope)
This sake will be offered on “some” of the airline’s international business class routes.
A spokesperson from ANA told Business traveller Asia-Pacific that the airline will serve the sake on routes flying to and from Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai , Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
It will be available from September to November 2020.
ANA’s sake selection for international business class
Domestic premium class
Junmai Daiginjo Chokaisan by Tenju Shuzo (Akita Prefecture)
The airline said Junmai Daiginjo Chokaisan sake has hints of pear and green apple.
It will be available from December until February 2021.
ANA Suite Lounges
Sawanoi Tokyokurabito by Ozawa Shuzo (Tokyo)
The Ozawa brewery is located in the western part of Tokyo. According to ANA, the brewery uses pure Iwashimizu water from a cave located in the “Chichibu Paleozoic layer below 140 meters of bedrock”.
The sake has a smooth taste “due to its moderate acid that highlights its flavour”, added the airline.
It will be available from June until September.
ANA Suite Lounges are located in both Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita International Airports, as well as Itami, New Chitose, Fukuoka and Naha Airport. The lounge is also located in Honolulu International Airport, but the sake will not be served on this location.
Last year, the Japanese carrier rolled out several new wines for its first class and business class passengers travelling on international flights as well as passengers travelling domestically in the airline’s premium class.