Wednesday, August 19, 2009

November and December, 2008

11/29/08: Nabé Party

After my trip to Northern Japan, I definitely had to meet up with the Tohoku Girls. This time, I was invited to Ms. Iwaté's place for a Japanese hot pot party, along with Ms. Aomori, Ms. Miyagi and a new member, Ms. Hokkaido.

Ms. Aomori prepared marinated Gyu-tan, which is a thinkly sliced beef... well, you can Google it.

I contributed two bottles. The first one to be opened was Nanbu Bijin Junmai Daiginjo (SMV: +1, Acidity: 1.5, Rice: Yamadanishiki, Seimaibuai: 40%, Yeast: #9) that I brought home from Japan. This was a prototypical modern-style Jumnai Daiginjo, with soft apporach and incredibly round and fruity flavor.

Nabé, or Japanese hot pot is essentially cooking ingredients in a dashi-filled communal pot at the table, which makes it a very social event and highly suited for drinking saké. The ingredients were fresh vegetables and seafood.

The second bottle was Kudoki Jouzu Junmai Ginjo from Yamagata. The refreshingly fruity and clean style was a good match to go with the nabé.

Here is Ms. Aomori, Ms. Iwaté, and Ms. Hokkaido. Ms. Miyagi is presumebly holding the scallops shown on the lower right...

12/13/08: Nanbu Bijin Nama

On this Saturday, I stopped by Sakaya to discover that Nanbu Bijin Nama is now available in the US. Surely, this must be from this batch. Two years ago, Nambu Bijin Nama was light and dry with flavors of steamed rice, more traditional in style. Last year, the style was far more modern, emphasizing fruits. This year, the change in yeast added elements of fresh mushrooms to the fruits. I wonder what next year's version will bring?

12/31/09: New Year's Eve

My friend Hideo invited me to a New Year's Eve Party at our mutual friend's office space. While "office space" doesn't sound particularly attractive, I couldn't resist as it was located right near Times Square,where I could enjoy the atmosphere from inside.

Inami-san contribted a whopper of a bottle, Kokuryu Shizuku Daiginjo in a 1.8L size. Polished down to 35%, this was extremely gentle, fruity, and deep.

My contribution was Ama No To "Umashiné" Tokubetsu Junmai.

Much more traditional in style, I really enjoy the rich umami of Umashiné.

A shochu made an appearance, and a rare one at that - Hozan red label made with sweet potato koji mold. Soft, complex, and delicious.

I am sure that wlcoming the New Years with Umashiné will bring good luck in 2009!

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