Life Begins at Yon-Ju.

Seishu Kubota HekijyuWhen somebody special to you has a special birthday, you want to do something, well, Special. Scott was turning Yon-Ju years old on June 13, and I wanted to cook up a special treat for him. A special treat for him that somehow involved Sake for me. The perfect plan emerged when I remembered Sugiyama. They serve a Kaiseki style dinner.

Scott and I had always talked about wanting to try a Kaiseki dinner – but he wanted to wait for a special occasion. Well, if your Yon-Ju birthday isn’t a special occassion, I don’t know what is. Kaiseki in this country is almost always a japanese style tasting menu with an emphesis on the freshest, most flavorful ingredients and a stunning presenation of the food over multiple courses. If you’re not having a tea ceremony Kaiseki, they most likely offer Sake to go along with the food.

Sugiyama is an elegant place. The staff was very professional and attentive. I spotted a sake on the menu that I felt would be a sure-fire hit with the birthday boy: Kubota Hekijyu Daiginjo. This is a sake i’ve tasted before, it won an UrbanSake.com “Golden Masu” last month, and I must say it is one of my very, very favorites.

Kubota HekijyuThis Kubota bathes your tongue with it’s clean flavor that I find superbly balanced. It reads clean from nose to finish. There is no hint of strong alcohol or any astringent flavor as well as an avoidance of anything too sweet. The Sake Meter Value on this baby is +3, which is a little north of what should be perfectly balanced between dry and sweet, however, I have read a few places that a +2 or +3 is really more in line with the modern palate of what this perfect balance would be. The Brewmasters at Kubota know what the are doing with this one.

The Kubota Hekijyu was so good with the Kaiseki food, we ordered a second carafe. If it ain’t broke…

I think Scott enjoyed his special day and we were both dazzled by the food, service AND sake at Sugiyama. Note to Self: Have a large bottle of Kubota Hekijyu Daiginjo chilled and ready to help me ease into hitting Yon-Ju… when the time comes of course.