Sake Splash: Mio Sparkling Sake

Bubbly, delicate, and elegant.

Who needs diamonds when a glass of Mio can make you sparkle?

Welcome to the very first post of Sake Splash with Eda!

During these trying times, we understand how difficult it is to focus on the positive and find the strength needed to push forward. We all need a win, and sometimes it’s about celebrating the little things that can help us take control of our lives again. So, what better to help you celebrate those everyday achievements than sparkling sake?

Today, we would like to introduce to you “Japanese Champagne”, also known as sparkling sake. Let’s dive into the bubbly depths of Mio Sparkling Sake. You’ve probably seen this at your local Asian grocery store and at your favorite Japanese restaurants, but it’s anything but basic! Mio is brewed by Shochikubai’s Shirakabegura, located in the Nada region of Hyogo prefecture. Shirakabegura strives to innovate and produce premium sake made from Miyamizu water. This brewery also holds the longest streak of gold-medal wins at the Annual Japan Sake Awards.

Mio embodies the idea of “a new sake for a new age”

The name Mio (me-oh) tends to roll right off the tongue, but did you know that it rolls right off the ship? Mio (澪) in Japanese is the white stream of foam trailing behind the wake of a cruise ship. This delightful sparkling sake comes in a slender eye-catching blue bottle with a luminous foiled label. The Japanese character for Mio is written in white and the calligraphy stylization is reminiscent of foam, much like its namesake. Pricing is easy on the wallet and seems to range from around $9 to $12 USD for a 300ml bottle in retail. Mio’s alcohol by volume (ABV) sits at 5% but that doesn’t mean this sparkling sake can’t pack a punch! If you aren’t used to drinking sake, we recommend you take it slow but we can understand how easy it is to polish off a bottle of Mio in no time flat.

As we twist off the cap, we hear the delightful hiss of carbonation escape. The symphony of bubbles doesn’t stop there. As we pour Mio into the glass, we hear the unmistakable sound of fizz. This sparkling sake’s fragrance and appearance is just as beautiful as it sounds. Clear with a pale cream color followed by the soft scent of “peach, ripe persimmon, freesia, and fresh bread”, according to Takara Sake. This sparkling sake is soft, fluffy, and effervescent in the mouth. The overall rice flavor of sake is still prevalent but plays closely with juicy peach and pear, floral rose, and baked cinnamon on the palate. There’s a certain magical balance between the acidity, and creaminess that Mio brings forth. Sweet and refreshing!

Mio shines as an aperitif but I could see this pairing well with creamy pastas, light cheeses, acidic fruits, and umami-rich tomato-based foods. The carbonation and acidity of this sake helps cut through heavier dishes as well. I personally love going back and forth between sweet and savory flavors, so if you’re like me, Mio is definitely for you.

Mio’s elegant bottle and champagne-like appearance make it perfect for more upscale functions, but its pricing and fizzy fun make it great for everyday celebrations as well. Sparkling sake is to be served chilled. This helps highlight the crisp and refreshing qualities of the carbonation and rounds out the sweetness. But don’t feel like you have to drink Mio straight! There are so many fun cocktails to be made with sparkling sake, like the Mio Grape Cocktail or Raspberry Mio Float.

Now that you’ve gotten to know Mio Sparkling Sake a little better, wouldn’t you say it’s the perfect drink to celebrate with? Whether it’s keeping up with chores at home or picking up a new hobby during this quarantine, we’ll drink to the little things. Cheers! Or as we like to say, kanpai!

Stay home, stay safe, and we will get through this together.

Please drink responsibly and we’ll see you next time on Sake Splash!