All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-star airline for seven consecutive years, has partnered with renowned sake sommelier Yasuyuki Kitahara the winner of the 4th World Sake Sommelier Competition, to update its sake selection. The new offerings will be available on international and domestic routes starting in March 2020.
“ANA strives to raise the standard in all aspects of the dining experience for our passengers, and we have spared no effort in curating one of the finest airline sake selections in the world,” said Hideki Kunugi, Executive Vice President of ANA. “Like all aspects of ANA hospitality, we focused on delivering the best possible experience to our passengers throughout the selection process and we believe this effort is evident in our updated menu. It is our sincere hope that passengers will gain a greater appreciation of sake and its important role in Japanese cuisine through the menu we have prepared.”
The new sake selections were chosen through an in-depth tasting process and will be available on ANA’s domestic and international flights as well as in ANA SUITE LOUNGE. ANA selected a range of premium sake such as Jikon, Kamoshibito Kuheiji and Kokuryu that reflects consumer tastes as determined by consumer preferences and expert opinion including selections from various breweries. ANA evaluated the products of 319 sake breweries selecting 46 of its favorites for the updated menu.
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 flavors to robust sakes ideally suited to the changing weather of autumn.
The following sakes are among those that ANA has included in the revised sake menu:
Kokuryu Daiginjo Ryu by Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation (Fukui Prefecture)
Kokuryu Sake Brewing Corporation was established in 1804. Since the first generation – Ishidaya Nizaemon, they have pursued the creation of the finest, most refined sake. Its Daiginjo is matured at a low temperature to apply the latest wine maturing technology, resulting in a taste that is mild and soft with a refreshing aroma of apples and tropical fruits.
Available in March 2020 on all International First Class Routes.
Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Betsuatsurae by BANJO JOZO (Aichi Prefecture)
The sake brewery BANJO JOZO was established in 1646 and its Kamoshibito Kuheiji line is derived from the name “Kuheiji” which family heads hand down to each generation. Boasting a fragrance of ripe fruits such as melon and lychee, sweet and bitter flavors spread in the mouth but leave an elegant acid after taste. By using up to 35% polished rice the sake has a delicate and rich profile.
Available from April 2020 until May 2020 on all International First Class Routes.
In addition, Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Yamada Nishiki EAU DU DESIR (Water of hope) will be offered on some International Business Class Routes. Please refer to the attached sheet for more details.
Junmai Daiginjo CHOKAISAN by TENJU SHUZO CO., LTD (Akita Prefecture)
The subterranean steam water from the ten thousand snow of beautiful Mountain Chokai is used for the brewing water. The characteristic of this sake is the flowing taste with gorgeous fragrance of pear and green apple.
Available from December 2020 until February 2021 on all domestic Premium Class Routes.
SAWANOI TOKYOKURABITO by OZAWA SHUZO CO., LTD (Tokyo)
Located in Ome City, Tokyo, OZAWA SHUZO CO., LTD. has for a history that goes back over 300 years. The brewery is surrounded by nature and has views of mountains and the scenic Tamagawa river. OZAWA SHUZO uses pure Iwashimizu water from a cave located in the Chichibu Paleozoic layer below 140 meters of bedrock. Junmai Ginjo sake is created using the “Kimoto Zukuri” technique, the original method of sake brewing. The sake has a smooth taste due to its moderate acid that highlights its flavor.
Available from June 2020 until September 2020 in International ANA SUITE LOUNGE
Following the “Inspiration of Japan” high quality of service, ANA has been awarded the respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013 from SKYTRAX. ANA is the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation seven years in a row. Additionally, ANA has been recognized by Air Transport World as “Airline of the Year” three times in the past 10 years – 2007, 2013 and 2018, becoming one of the few airlines winning this prestigious award for multiple times.
ANA was founded in 1952 with two helicopters and has become the largest airline in Japan, as well as one of the most significant airlines in Asia, operating 78 international routes and 118 domestic routes. ANA offers a unique dual hub model which enables passengers to travel to Tokyo and connect through the two airports in the metropolitan Tokyo, NARITA and HANEDA, to various destinations throughout Japan, and also offers same day connections between various North American, Asian and Chinese cities.
ANA has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999 and has joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines.
In addition to the full service and award-winning record of ANA, the ANA Group’s subsidiary Peach Aviation Limited is the leading LCC in Japan, and has expanded following the integration of Vanilla Air Inc. in late 2019. The ANA Group carried 54.4 million passengers in FY2018, has approximately 43,000 employees and a fleet of 260 aircraft. ANA is a proud launch customer and the biggest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.