Monday, April 14, 2008

4/5/08: Spring Saké Tasting at Saké Hana

Mere two days after the Japan Society event was the tasting at Saké Hana. As always, Saké Hana does a tremendous job combining quality and value. The theme of the event was “Spring Saké Tasting” which featured 14 saké selections in all- you- can- drink format from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Amazingly, this extravaganza set us back only $20.

I came along with my Baseball teammates, and met up with Sakurai-san, Tony, Lefty and Eric, who introduced me to his friend and saké enthusiast, Kelly.

The event featured these 14 selections:
1. Mukune "Root of Innocence" Junmai Ginjo
(SMV: +2, Acidity: 1.8, Rice: Gohyakumangoku)
2. Mukune "Shadows of Katano" Junmai Ginjo Nigori
(SMV:+5, Acidity: 1.5, Rice: Yamadanishiki and Gohyakumangoku)
3. Tozai "Well of Wisdom" Ginjo
(SMV: +5, Acidity: 1.1, Rice: Nihonbaré)
4. Tozai "Voices in the Mist" Ginjo
(SMV: +5, Acidity: 1.1, Rice: Nihonbaré)
5. Rihaku "Wandering Poet" Junmai Ginjo
(SMV: +3, Acidity: 1.6, Rice: Yamadanishiki)
6. Rihaku "Dreamy Clouds" Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori
(SMV: +3, Acidity: 1.6, Rice: Gohyakumangoku)
7. Tentaka Hawk in the Heavens" Junmai
(SMV: + 3, Acidity: 2.1, Rice: Gohyakumangoku)
8. Tentaka "Silent Stream" Junmai Ginjo
(SMV: +2, Acidity: 1.5, Rice: Yamadanishiki)
9. Chiyonosono Shinriki "Sacred Power" Junmai Ginjo
(SMV: +2.5, Acidity: 1.5, Rice: Shinriki)
10. Chiyonosono "Garden of Eternity" Junmai Daiginjo
(SMV: +3.5, Acidity: 1.4, Rice: Yamadanishiki)
11. Kanbara "Bride of the Fox" Junmai Ginjo "Muroka" Unfiltered
(SMV: +3, Acidity: 1.6, Rice: Gohyakumangoku)
12. Kanbara "Wings of Fortune" Junmai Ginjo "Muroka" Unfiltered
(SMV: +3, Acidity: 1.7, Rice: Yamadanishiki)
13.Takasago "Morning Glow" Tokubetsu Junmai
(SMV: +5, Acidity: 1.3, Rice: Miyamanishiki)
14.Takasago "Divine Droplets" Junmai Daiginjo Shizuku
(SMV: +3, Acidity: 1.2, Rice: Yamadanishiki)

Those selections were preented by representatives of four brewers (Kanbarra Rihaku, Tentaka, Takasago), and consultant Paul Tanguay who explained that Mukune and Tozai labels are produced by Daimon Brewery, with the difference being Tozai is a private bottling made exclusively for the importation into US. (I found that in general, Mukune style was more firm and tighter in structure, while Tozai was milder.)

It appeared that the two of the most popular selections were the Tentaka Junmai Daiginjo and Takasago Junmai Daiginjo. I found Tentaka to be more fruitier and longer on the finish, while Takasago to be milder and well-balanced.

After trying lots of fruity sakés this week I personally found Tentaka Junmai and Chiyonosono Shinriki to be comforting. Tentaka was notable for its earthier style, with crisp and balanced flavors of rice and chocolate standing out among other fruitier selections. By contrast, Shinriki stood out for being subtle, much milder on the approach with long umami on the finish.

After the tasting ended, my teammates stayed behind for dinner, joined by Tony and his friend "A-Rod." The dishes ~ Curry Puffs, Tropical themed sushis, Sirloin Cube steaks, among others ~ were top notch, and was accompanied by Dassai 50.

No comments: