Jacob’s Creek is launching two new wines specifically designed to complement Japanese cuisine. The wines, called WAH White and WAH Red, were co-created by winemakers from Jacob’s Creek together with two renowned Japanese chefs. The creation of WAH represents a milestone in the storied history of wine as it was created specifically for pairing with Japanese cuisine.
WAH White was created with leading fourth-generation Japanese sushi chef Mamoru Sugiyama, who is also the owner of Michelin-starred sushi restaurant Ginza Sushi Kou. WAH Red was developed in collaboration with renowned Japanese chef Toru Hashimoto, who is the fifth-generation owner and chef of the famed Kappo Nihonbashi Toyoda restaurant.
WAH was created as Jacob’s Creek saw an opportunity to develop a wine that was specially crafted to complement traditional Japanese cuisine, ranging from sushi and sashimi to yakitori and Wagyu marbled beef. The wine provides an opportunity to further broaden Jacob’s Creek’s appeal with Asian consumers and become a strong consideration for a very popular and traditional cuisine style. The character for WAH has many meanings, including Japan itself, Japanese cuisine, storytelling and is also the first syllable in the word “wine” in Japanese.
Work on WAH White began with the arrival of Mamoru Sugiyama in Australia. After a visit to the local fish market to buy the freshest ingredients, Sugiyama-san prepared a variety of delectable sushi pieces at Jacob’s Creek’s brand home in the Barossa Valley. 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 for WAH.
WAH White 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 mouth-feel.
While WAH White was created specifically for connoisseurs of sushi and sashimi, WAH Red was developed to appeal to sophisticated palates choosing wines to accompany traditional Japanese dining staples such as yakitori and grilled Wagyu with miso and tare sauces.
WAH Red was also conceived in response to the rise of wine as part of the dining experience in Japan, in particular, the popularity of red wine. In Japan, 90% of wine is consumed in restaurants and 58% of all wine consumed is red, with the market amongst younger Japanese adults growing year on year.
The creation of WAH Red started with master chef Toru Hashimoto visiting the home of Jacob’s Creek in the Barossa. After preparing a number of delicious dishes reflecting his Edo- style Kaiseki tradition, the winemakers worked with Hashimoto-san to refine the WAH Red blend until the perfect wine complement for the cuisine was achieved.
WAH Red is a delightful blend of vibrant fruit, savory aromas and soft tannins that perfectly balances the subtle flavors and succulent texture found in Japanese cuisine.
WAH White and WAH Red will be available from 23 March 2015 in selected Japanese restaurants in Singapore, including Goku, Otowa, Sushi Kou, E-Pachi and Tatsu Sushi. For the latest information, please visit http://www.jacobscreek.com/sg/our-wines/wah/
Editorial by Wilsurn “Pappardelle” Lim