Jacob's Creek, the leading Australian wine brand, has launched in Bangkok a refreshing and fruity white wine specifically designed to complement Japanese cuisine. The exclusive launch event took place at Shintori Japanese Art Cuisine restaurant on Level 18 of Zen World.
Mamoru Sugiyama, second left, chef and owner of Michelin-star sushi restaurant Ginza Sushi Kou in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
The wine is called WAH and it was co-created with Mamoru Sugiyama, the leading fourth generation Japanese sushi chef and owner of Michelin-star sushi restaurant Ginza Sushi Kou in Tokyo's fashionable Ginza district.
"WAH was created as Jacob's Creek saw an opportunity to develop a wine that was specially crafted to complement sushi/sashimi," explained Aphivich Panya, marketing manager of Pernod Ricard Thailand, distributor of Jacob's Creek. "With few wines like WAH on the market, it provides an opportunity to further broaden Jacob's Creek's appeal with consumers and become a strong consideration for a very popular and traditional cuisine style."
Work on WAH began with the arrival of Mamoru Sugiyama in South Australia. After a visit to a local fish market to buy the freshest ingredients, chef Sugiyama prepared a variety of delectable sushi pieces at the Jacob's Creek brand home in the Barossa Valley.
The wine is best served with sushi and sashimi.
What followed were extensive discussions and intensive food and wine pairing sessions, tasting different individual varietal wines in unison with several combinations and ratios to arrive at the perfect blend. Jacob's Creek winemaker Rebekah Richardson said: "WAH is designed to work in synergy with any Japanese dish using dashi or soy sauce, in particular with most sushi.
"Sugiyama-san taught us that the sushi dining experience is as much about taste _ in terms of the balance of sweet, sour and salty _ as it is all about the texture of the food.
"WAH has the necessary texture and palate weight required to match the oily richness of tuna and salmon. The wine's aromatic components also lighten the palate so it doesn't overwhelm delicate sushi and also contributes additional layers of taste."
WAH was blended from three of southeast Australia's best grape varietals _ chardonnay, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. The summer months are generally warm to hot across all regions of southeast Australia where these conditions produced an excellent rain-free vintage, allowing the chardonnay, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc fruit to ripen to its optimum.
Fruit was then harvested during the cool of the night at temperatures less than 15C to minimise phenolic pick up.
Considerable effort is employed to ensure that each vineyard is picked to meet the winemakers requirements. Every effort is taken to reduce phenolic extraction from the skins, minimising the need for fining.
This is reflected in the wines, which are soft and flavoursome. As the retention of primary fruit flavours is the main objective, the juices are clarified and fermented using neutral wine yeasts. Post fermentation, some of the wines have extended yeast contact and malolactic fermentation which adds complexity, said Richardson.
Chardonnay delivers fresh and generous citrus nutty flavours, pinot grigio adds an oily textured layer while sauvignon blanc provides structure and a subtle zesty edge. When blended, the result is a pale straw with greenish hue wine that exhibits lifted fruit aromas and subtly melded flavours of pear, peach and citrus. The palate is crisp, with softened corners that yield a lovely refreshing, yet smooth mouthfeel. WAH is perfect for serving with sushi and sashimi, boiled crustaceans, minced Japanese dango fishballs, chicken yakitori and other Japanese cuisine flavoured with dashi or soy sauce.
The character on the wine bottle also has unique meanings including "Japan" itself, "Japanese cuisine", "story-telling" as well as being the first syllable in the word wine. WAH is currently available at Shintori and selected leading Japanese restaurants in Bangkok.Jacob's Creek is one of the largest-selling brands in the world, offering quality contemporary Australian wine styles with great varietal expression. The brand was first launched in 1976 and is named after a creek that runs through the renowned Barossa Valley wine region in South Australia. Jacob's Creek is made by Orlando Wines which was founded by Johann Gramp after he planted his first vines on the banks of Jacob's Creek in 1847, and thus began a tradition of winemaking over 165 years ago.
Visit www.jacobscreek.com for more.
WAH, a new white wine to complement Japanese food.