Last night I took my friend Scott B out for an early birthday dinner at a favorite Restaurant of mine, Momoya. Even though we were celebrating Scott’s special day, he was kind enough to let me be all bossy and pick the sake. I took a risk and didn’t get an old standby sure-fire winner (like wakatake or dewasansan). Instead I scanned the sake menu and just picked a brand i’d never had… let’s call this technique “Japanese Roulette”.
It was Junmai Daiginjo called Kura No Hana a.k.a. “Fair Maiden” – ya gotta love the english names they come up with! Fair Maiden fared quite well with me. The nose was quite floral and had an above average strength to it. On the tongue, the sake starts out softly sweet and then finishes with the distinct taste of sweetarts candy. The finish is long and that tart flavor lingers in the mouth. I’ve read many places that the Japanese don’t usually drink Sake with Sushi and that doing so is more an American’s view japanese customs. (Anyone know, is this true?). Anywho, this mildly sweet and floral sake worked very well with fresh sushi deluxe. Recommended if ever in need of a fair maiden to make your dinner something special. Happy B’day Scott B!
Here are the stats for Kura No Hana: Uchigasake Brewing Co., Rice Variety: Kura no Hana, Polishing Ratio: 45%, Alcohol Percentage: 15.5%, Sake Meter Value: -2.0, Acidity: 1.2, Yeast Type: Association 1601.
The importer, World Sake Imports had this to say about Kura No Hana:
Transparently light and touched with a sweet kiss of anise, Hoyo’s winsome grace and charm are irresistible. Its floral aroma and luscious flavor extend a demure invitation to the world of sake enjoyment. Delicious as an aperitif, or with salads and light seafood dishes and at the sushi bar; goes perfectly with lobster and scallops. Best enjoyed cold, but not chilled.
Awards: Gold Medal, Daiginjo B class, 2002, 2003 and 2004 U.S. National Sake Appraisal