Thursday, November 20, 2008

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you...

Recently, after a long day of work, I sat down at the bar to have a bite and a little sake.  A recent gift from a sushi chef, Cho Chin Namazume Junami Daiginjo offered up its gorgeous bouquet of ripe fruits and melon.  I paired this sake with pan seared day boat scallops atop a fluffy pillow of shimeji and shiitake risotto.  The sweetness of the sake complimented both the texture and sweetness of the scallops.  At the same time, it's bright acidity gently cleansed the palate after each exquisite dollop of risotto.  It was, to say the least, delicious.
This beautiful brew had been carefully created in "BY 19."  This stands for the brewing year 19.  This measurement of time reflects the years in which the current Emperor Akihito has been on the throne.  The current year is Heisei 20, this sake was brewed in Heisei 19.  To add to its dimension, take the fact that is it namazume.  After brewing, the sake had been left to age and mature unpasteurized, for a year.  At that point, it was bottled then pasteurized and released.  
Though I only had about 1/4 of the bottle to enjoy, I still felt compelled to share it with my unsuspecting neighbor at the bar.  He was quite taken aback when I offered and said it was the first time someone he didn't know had offered to share a bottle with him.  It seemed strange to me not to offer.   The pub is where humans have been coming together for centuries, it felt only natural.  And with a "kanpai," our conversation led us down many different roads, then we parted.  
Sharing sake with those around me will always be a part of my life.

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