I recently enjoyed teaching my Sake 101 class at Astor Center! The class is referred to as “elements of Sake” and that is really true! We break down what the basic classifications are, what to look for when tasting sake and we review the sake production process.

Let’s take a look at the SEVEN sakes we tasted during this fun sake 101 lecture. Can you guess which one was the class favorite??

otokoyama_junmaiOtokoyama Junmai You can really taste that this is a strong, very DRY Junmai with a hint of fruity-something melon-something. It stands up for itself. I think if the Man Show picked a sake, this would be it. I enjoyed it. It is a good sake to have around for those informal times when something good and strong fits the bill.

kubota_senjuKubota Honjozo Fuller in flavor and bolder, this honjozo is a touch on the dry side with a real food friendly vibe. This brewery is top notch and very highly regarded in Japan. This was our only “alcohol added” sake of the evening. Robust, full and very high quality.

senchu-hassakuTsukasabotan Tokubetsu Junmai This sake is dry, but has a well-rounded depth of flavor. It’s impressive and understandably a favorite! I enjoyed every sip. For lovers of dry sake, this is a “must try”. just beyond being dry, this delicious brew also offers depth of flavor.

dassai_50v2Dassai Junmai Ginjo Light, balanced, clean and easy drinking, this sake is a star. It’s wonderful for beginners to get into sake and fantastic for others to simply enjoy. There are wonderful fruits on the palate without coming off too sweet. Just fantastic.

dassai_nigoriDassai Junmai Ginjo Nigori A Nigori version of the famous Dassai 50 junmai Ginjo. The story here is all about texture and the light sweetness conveyed by the rice solids left in this nigori. The nose on this sake makes you say “wha?” , but the palate is all “ahhhh, delicious”. a beautiful choice if you’re hankering for some nigori action.

masumi-arabashiriMasumi Arabashiri Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu This delight just screams springtime nama. It’s fresh, fresh flavor is alive with a fruitiness that may come across a touch sweeter than it actually is. This sake tastes alive and makes me happy to be alive. This is so yummy you can easily drink more than you perhaps should.

kurosawa_daiginjoKurosawa Junmai Daiginjo Truly one of my very favorite Junmai Daiginjos… This one is masterful. Wonderful light apple and soft pear on the palate. lightly luscious with a resounding smoothness you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

So, what do you think won out as class favorite? If you guessed Masumi Arabashiri, you’re right! The super bold, fruity and spring time zing-fest that is Masumi Arabashiri won out as the favorite of all the picks. Have you tried it? If not, get thee to a liquor store and order some as soon as possible! it’s only available in the springtime and supplies are limited!

Please join me for my next Sake classes at Astor Center!! We have a Sake and Food pairing course on June 3rd as well as another Sake 101 class on June 24th. Don’t miss them!

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