Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Onna Joshu Tasting

On a cold winter morning, in the prime of sake brewing season, my family and I walked up quiet, cobble-stoned streets to find Onna Joshu brewery. Every year around the same time the brewery opens its doors to the locals, giving them a chance to taste the first of the season's brews.  
As we tuck our heads into the narrow, cramped hallway I could smell the undeniable aromas of fresh pressed sake.  Probably because, before I knew it, we would be in a small room filled with about 80 people all filling their small little cups with Onna Joshu's fresh pressed sake.  There were about 6 or so different sakes to taste.  Surprisingly, I remember almost half of them being nigorizake, or un-filtered sake.  
Being the only gaijin (foreigner) in the room, many took a liking to me, practicing their sake-related english.  Others didn't quite know what to do.  This is very rural Japan where not many foreign travelers visit.  But we had one (probably more) connection....the sake.  
Like most shiboritate brews, their sakes were bright and brash, you could smell the youth in them.  Lots of apples, pears, lime.  Very refreshing with undertones of rice and koji.  Yum, yum.  Perfect for a drive around the countryside on a Sunday afternoon.  Of course my mom-in-law didn't drink.  She doesn't really drink anyway.  So my dad-in-law and I wooped it up.  Had a grand 'ole time in fact.  He enjoys sake very much and I am looking forward to many more events like these in the future.