Sommjam5 report
Mr. Yutaka Ozaki


sommjam 5 Report
2018.2.26 @S’ACCAPAU


「サッカパウ」の2代目シェフソムリエである梁 世柱さんがゲストソムリエを招き、ひとつのコースペアリングをふたりで完成させる。お店同士の垣根も、業界の常識も華麗に蹴破る、ソムリエ同士のスペシャルコラボイベント「ソムジャム」。



“Mr. Ozaki is the only person I would like to invite to join me in eliminating barriers between professionals.”

Sommjam is a special collaboration event between sommeliers. Mr. Seju Yang, chief sommelier at S’ACCAPAU, invites other sommeliers to explore wine-pairings together. There are no prohibitions between restaurants and this is simply unheard of by conventional wisdom.

The fifth Sommjam guest is Mr. Yutaka Ozaki. He is not an active sommelier, but general manager of the supplier Wine Diamonds.





He was famous for being an amazing sommelier at the restaurants of his former company, Global Dining. He was a pioneer of the natural wine boom which now dominates Japan’s wine industry. Extending an invitation to such a legend of the wine industry inspired Mr. Yang’s comment above. This particular thought holds a special meaning and a strong message for Mr. Yang and he has been thinking about it for a long time.

“Sommeliers and suppliers tend to not get along together. Some sommeliers behave arrogantly and think, ‘We are the decision makers.’ This is outdated thinking.”

Mr. Yang wanted to break such unspoken rules. Mr. Ozaki first came to his mind and he thought, “He is the only one who can make a big impact on such old-fashioned ideas.”






Mr. Ozaki is shy enough to glance aside, and with a gentle smile he says, “The words ‘generation change’ came to me. Mr. Yang is about ten years younger than me and very skillful. There is nothing for me to do but admire this active sommelier’s knowledge and technique. I have to swallow my pride, but I am looking forward to working with him.”

What kind of matches made at Sommjam emerged between these two who highly respect each other?

Mr. Ozaki’s fans from the old days and the regulars at S’ACCAPAU waited expectantly. Amuse-bouche for the night was jerky style kangaroo meat. Mr. Tabuchi, executive chef at S’ACCAPAU, said he was influenced to make this by Mr. Ozaki who has a deep knowledge of Australian wines. He also served foie gras terrine and croccante of mackerel with a type of lime called finger lime.

For this typical combination of three kinds of S’ACCAPAU amuse-bouche, Mr. Yang and Mr. Ozaki chose Cava, sparkling wine from Spain.





Mr. Yang explains, “This is completely organic wine, produced small-scale and handcrafted in operation which has been getting popular recently. The production process is also very natural. You can enjoy its complex flavor.”

Mr. Ozaki is joking around and brightening up the atmosphere. “It has been about ten years since I was serving wine in a restaurant. Even though I tried to serve professionally tonight, my hand holding the bottle is just a little shaky,” he says laughing.

The best part of Sommjam is that different varieties of very rare wine are served one after another. This time there’s a super rare wine named Brutal which was chosen for a snow crab and peach turnip plate. Brutal only produced 261 bottles in the world and it is an object of envy to wine lovers. “Since people need to win a lottery to obtain a bottle, there are very few opportunities to drink Brutal. I tried every means possible to import 48 bottles to Japan. I have brought four of them here today,” said Mr. Ozaki. Excitement fills the air.




Next is Japanese pond smelt. For the dish, Mr. Yang opens Italian Lombardia which is aged until the umami taste is fully concentrated. It is said that white wine is the usual companion of fish in general, but Mr. Yang and Mr. Ozaki agreed on going with red wine intentionally. “This wine-pairing makes the bitterness and flavor of the intestines tastier. This method has actually been used abroad for a long time as a matter of course,” said Mr.Yang. Their shared values of flexible ideas and western style service are the true worth of these two!




Mr.Ozaki says, “I do not think about matching wine and food so often. Sometimes, I dare to choose an unpredictable type of wine.” However, black pasta was the biggest headache for him this time. This pasta is made with seafood, cooked in squid ink and finished with karasumi, a kind of fish roe, as the binding. “No one would be surprised if I chose a standard wine, like Chablis.” So he chose Bourgogne Aligote, made from a very old grapevine planted in 1902. “Aligote is generally known as a watery wine with high acidity, but it has a very strong, delicious flavor,” he explained.

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For this Somjam, Mr. Ozaki decided to choose wine solely from places he had visited as a sommelier. He used to communicate well with winemakers and sometimes he stayed at their houses, tasting various types of wine all night long. He occasionally shared stories from such episodes of his experiences.

The last wine served with tiramisu was especially outstanding. Barolo Chinato, an after-dinner wine mixed with healing herbs was chosen for the last dish. “Once, when I had a severe hangover after a big party with winemakers in Barolo, a daughter of a famous winemaker gave me a glass of Chinato. She said, ‘I know you feel sick, but drink this.’ I didn’t believe it could help, but it actually did. Two hours later I had totally recovered. I was fascinated by Chinato after that experience and subsequently interested in after-dinner wine.”







Mr. Ozaki’s amusing talk and delicious wine were a perfect match. The customers felt happy and relaxed.

One customer commented, “The tiramisu itself was surely delicious, but the wine-pairing was even more perfect. I felt the health benefits of the wine when I drank it. That was awesome.”

A young man in his 20’s said, “It was amazing! Normally there is only one sommelier in a restaurant, but here there are two. I have never seen such matches made with excellent results. Thank you.”

Another customer who is a sommelier visited S’ACCAPAU for the first time and said, “I am very satisfied, not only by the food, but my human sensibility is satisfied by their service. I think this kind of restaurant must be needed today.”





Mr. Yang also noticed a positive reaction and said, “I am going to be more flexible. This Somjam will be the start of something new. A great project having a huge impact.”

Each Sommjam brings surprises and makes customers happy. What kind of unexpected progress will we see next?


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