Uncorked: Ryosuke Mashio

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Ryosuke Mashio sommelier Roketsu restaurant

Related tags Ryosuke Mashio Roketsu Sake Wine Sommelier Uncorked

The sommelier at Marylebone’s Roketsu on Château Mouton Rothschild, pairing prosciutto with warm sake and why people should give Japanese wines a chance.

Tell us about the moment you first became interested in wine and sake
There was always a bottle of sake at home. My parents love drinking, they always enjoy a glass or two every night with dinner. I started drinking with them and found I loved drinking it too. 

Describe your drinks list at Roketsu
I believe our wine list is unique. We have over 400 wines and 70 references of sake with lots of by the glass selections - 36 wines and 30 sakes. As the menu changes monthly, glass selections change accordingly due to the high demand of pairings. We are very strong on Burgundy and showcase a 38 vertical of Château Mouton Rothschild from 1968. People tend to think bubbles, white, and sake go well with Japanese cuisine. This is true, but we offer many dishes which are red wine friendly too. 

Over the course of your career, have you had any wine-related disasters?
I once forgot to tell my commis sommelier that I was chilling a bottle of red in an ice bucket. He then topped up another table who was drinking a bottle of white. 

Name your top three restaurant wine lists 
Umu and Trivet in London and The Fat Duck in Bray. They all have a great selection of sake.

Who do you most respect in the wine and sake world?
All the ex-colleagues who are stepping up their career in the industry. Especially non-Japanese friends who didn’t have any knowledge but started working with sake and have now became evangelists.

What’s the most interesting wine or sake you’ve come across recently?
IWA Assemblage 2 (a sake produced by Richard Geoffroy, the former chef de cave at Dom Pérignon). When I tried it right after the release I found it had a really straight and mineral driven style, but following a recent retaste I found it rounder, mellower, and with more lactic nuance. Most of the sakes in UK market are recommended to be drunk early but putting them aside to see the development is also interesting.

What are the three most overused tasting notes?
Fruity, aromatic and juicy. Most wines are.

What’s the best value wine sake on your list at the moment? 
Aramasa Cosmos (a sake from the Akita prefecture). One of the exclusive sakes for Roketsu in the UK, this sake has a light ABV of 13%, stone fruits, creamy palate, charming acidity, and a hint of sweetness. It’s similar to a Mosel Spätlese.

What is your ultimate food and drink match?
Prosciutto with warm sake. 

Old World or New World?
Old World. 

What is your pet hate when it comes to wine service in other restaurants?
I don’t like it when wine is brought to the table already in a glass.

Who is your favourite sake producer right now?
Kayashima brewery in Oita, which produces Nishinoseki. Their classic Junmai is my all time favourite. The depth and umami rich palate goes perfectly well with the food we serve at Roketsu. It’s even better drunk at higher temperatures so autumn and winter are the perfect season to enjoy this fabulous sake.

As a sommelier, what question do you most get asked by customers?
What my favourite Japanese restaurant is. I always say Hannah in Waterloo. Food, service, and wine list are great. Reasonable prices too.

Which wine producing region or country is underrated at the moment?
Japan. We have so many good wines produced in Hokkaido, Nagano, Yamanashi, and more. People should let go of their bias and try them.

It’s your last meal and you can have a bottle of any bottle of wine or sake in the world. What is it and why?
I would go wine over sake. Savigny les Beaune Narbantons Leroy 2000. I tried it once at the very beginning of my career. I still remember the sensation I got. I was totally speechless. The special bottle convinced me to pursue the career.

World Sake Day takes place this Sunday (October 1). The event marks the beginning of the brewing season following the rice harvest.​  

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