Thursday, January 24, 2008

1/12/08: One day in a life of...

Today, I felt like a true New Yorker. Waking up with no agenda aside from stopping by Sakaya to greet Kuji-san from Nanbu Bijin, I had absolutely no expectations coming into what seemed to be an ordinary Saturday.

Since the in-store tasting began at 4:00 pm, I decided to see if Hideo was interested in coming Downtown. No dice, but I got invited to hang out at his place after the tasting. All I had to do was pick up 2 bottles of saké. Suddenly, my evening was beginning to take shape. Let's see what unfolded..

We were in for a treat, as Kuji-san brought over 4 bottles of freshly squeezed Tokubetsu Junmai Namazaké specifically for Sakaya. One bottle was for tasting. As he poured me the glass, the conversation went like this:

KC: "Mmmm... YUM!"
Kuji-san: "Here, would you like more?"
KC: "You know I can't say no!"
Kuji-san (pouring a generous glass): "We just squeezed this FEW WEEKS AGO! I am sure this is THE FRESHEST saké in New York right now!"

Cleaner than the regular Tokubetsu Junmai, two words to describe the saké would be "fresh" and "balanced." Fortunately, there was one bottle left for sale, and it was mine.

With the first bottle chosen, I had one more bottle to select. As Sakaya carries some unique sakés, I decided to take advantage of that fact and chose Hana Tomoé Junmai Ginjo from Nara. This, too, happened to be the last bottle in the store.

As I was bidding adieu, Kuji-san told me that he would be heading over to Saké Hana with few couple of people from NY Japion after 10:00 pm, and extended an invitation for me to join if I am in the area.

I got to Hideo's around 6:30 pm, two bottles in my hand. Hideo's friend cooked healthy vegetable-centric dishes, which were perfect for the sakés. We had a belated toast for the New Year with the Nanbu Bijin Nama. The dishes went very weill with the saké; it's always a plus when you can have saké, and enjoy munchies that are healthy.

The next bottle, Hanatomoe Junmai Ginjo (SMV: +6, Acidity: 1.7, Rice: Bizen Omachi, Seimabuai: 50%, Yeast: Assoc. #9) was partly chosen because my recent trip to Japan was still on my mind, and this was brewed in Nara. The saké was very good, with soft and round approach leading to a deep, balanced flavor. When we finished the bottle, it was time for me to meet up with Kuji-san at Saké Hana.

The evening, somewhat blurry at this point, was fun. Joining Kuji-san were Mori-san from Saké Bar Decibel, Tomoko-san from Chopsticks, and Hiroko-san from NY Japion. Basically, we talked saké. When Kuji-san spoke...

...the girls were enchanted.

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