Sunday, March 22, 2009
Now, I know there are many who believe that namazake is not what sake should be. I am not one of those people. But, I can understand what they are saying....that perhaps the vibrant textures, brilliant juiciness overwhelm the subtle beauty of premium sake. For me, I guess, its like having kids (which I do not, unless you include my bonsai collection), how can you love one more than the other? Aren't they perfect in their own perfect little way? So, lately, I just cant get enough of Harushika "Shiboribana". Like it's pasteurized cousin, Harushika Junmai Daiginjo, this sake pairs gentle sweetness with bright acidity. Add in a dash of depth and velvety lines, and POW! you got one yummy drink. I recommend as aperitif mainly; with richer foods the loveliness of this fresh pressed flower would just get lost. Happy sipping....
Monday, March 2, 2009
Ok, ok, I know Im a bad blogger. I admit it. Honto ni sumimasen!! Well here is a little up date!
A month ago, I was a Level 1 Sakemama and now I am a Level 2 Sakemama!! Big thanks to Mr. John Gauntner for his incredible teaching abilities and efforts to share the love of sake with others. 10 beautiful days in Japan have furthered my passion of it's food, traditions and of course it's sake.
In this trip I visited Sawanoi brewery in Tokyo, Tensei in Kanagawa, Kikuyoi in Shizuoka and also Michizakura in Gifu. With my mother and father in law, I went to the annual tasting at Onna Joshu, small brewery deep in the countryside of Gifu. We tucked our heads into this small hallway that lead us down past a tiny indoor garden, then opening to a large room filled with middle aged Japanese men and few women. We sipped on 4 sakes served from taru. What fun! Most everyone was surprised to see me there and were very curious.
As for now, this will be a quick overview of the trip. My photos are are not loading for some reason...and since I am a sake nerd and not a computer nerd, I dont know how to fix it.
Japan is cold in the winter. Really cold. Ice cold wind seems to blow right through you. Having gone there 3 times before all in the autumn, it was interesting to see just how different the landscape is in the winter. The sinowy branches of maple and elm contrasting with the impervious depth of cypress trees; and every now and again, you'll see a lone red pine raising high above the others. Luckily, it was close to the end of winter and was able to catch a few, yet sweet glimpses of some flowering plum trees.
A wonderful coincidence, or shall I say "synchronicity," just last week, two very cool, very important sake figures came to San Francisco for a tasting event. I had the honor of hosting both Haruo Mastuzaki, famed taster/extraodinaire and also Kohiyama-san, head of the export division of the Japan Sake Brewers Association at Ozumo for a little after party, then onto Yoshi's for the after-after party. What an incredible opportunity to hang out with these guys. Good thing, when we're talking sake, I can understand (70% I guess) in Japanese. So I learned quite a bit. We were accompanied by Kozaemon-san, a brewer from Gifu prefecture. Kozaemon-san's brewery is located very close to the town where I will be living and he has invited me to come learn to brew sake!!!!! Ahhhh haaaaa!! Hoping that I can leave for a month this next winter with my hubby, we will go and do a little sakezukuri....
OK, baby steps here. I'll post this now and get back on with my weekly posting. Thanks for reading...