Sunday, April 03, 2011

Springtime For Sake





Recently, a local liquor store conducted its annual spring Sake tasting -- bitterly ironic given the recent tragic events in Japan.  With this in mind, I attended the tasting to sample a variety of Sakes and this blog post will describe a few of them.  Normally, this liquor store discounts the wines and spirits at its tastings by fifteen percent or more – however, due to the occurrences in Japan, the store decided to forego its usual discounts that it passes on to its customers and instead, kept the prices at their normal level, taking the discounts they would typically give and donating them to The Red Cross for assistance to the Japanese people during these troubling times.

First up was Dewazakura Tobiroku Sparkling Sake – called “The Festival Of Stars” because of its sparkling quality, this is a new sake and as a result, is not yet very popular because it has not been out on the market for very long. Referred to as “The Champagne Of Sake”, it is harvested only one time per year and has been on the market for a mere two to three years. Most of its presence has thus far been on the Japanese market, but it is slowly making its presence known here in the United States.

Next up – for me, anyway – was something that was nicknamed “The Happy Bride”. If you prefer your sake with a low alcohol content, then this may be something that you might want to consider trying. Officially, it’s called Kamoizumi Komékomé Specialty Sake and comes from the Hiroshima Prefecture. Due to the low alcohol content, it has an extremely light taste and it is suggested to use it as an aperitif to serve before your meal in order to enhance the taste buds. Slightly spicy with a very mild bit of sweetness to it, some have actually compared it to a Kabinett-style Reisling sort of wine (for those of you who, unlike myself, are wine connoisseurs). The distributor, World Sake Imports, described it as being quite rich in amino acids, which is believed to be promoting both good health and a rosy complexion.





Last for me on this afternoon was something commonly referred to as “Summer Snow”. Its official name is Kamaoizumi Nigori Ginjo Sake, it also comes from the Hiroshima Prefecture, just like the above – mentioned Happy Bride Sake. If you are a fan of nigori sake, then this is an absolute must. Considered a premium sake, it is quite rich and creamy, due to the fact that it is what is known as an unfiltered sake. Its natural flavor is mildly sweet, yet rather robust nonetheless. If you are new to sake, then this one would probably wind up being an excellent introduction to this particular libation. Compared to Happy Bride, it has a noticeably higher alcohol content and pairs well with many kinds of foods – including and especially fish. According to its distributor, this is the type of sake you might be better off chewing rather than drinking!

While you are in all likelihood sick of hearing this by now, it is nevertheless worth repeating that if you are so inclined to want to make a contribution in order to provide assistance to the people of Japan in these tough times, then please contact your local Red Cross for information and recommendations.

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