Scott and I have made it our tradition to head to Sakagura Restaurant each New Year’s eve to celebrate in true style and luckily for me, this year was no exception! From the moment we sat down, Sakagura manager Mr. Kadoi made sure that we were well taken care of. He personally helped us select our sakes for the evening and he’s got one of the best palates in the city, so I knew we were in good hands.I wanted something fresh and interesting to start off with and after a few samples of alluring Kubota sakes, we decided on the delicious Nanbu Bijin Junmai Nama. This Namazake from Iwate Prefecture was supple, and spoke to me of soft fresh fruit. I enjoyed the gentle nama flavor profiles, and was so happy to be reminded of this sake’s specific charms. It has such a nice, pleasant level of nama juiciness without being overwhelming or brassy. Nanbu Bijin Nama went down easy and was the perfect brew to let one’s mind wonder to the sky high hopes for the new year. Alongside the nama, we feasted on a sashimi platter that was darn near perfect. Once we hit our stride, I ordered a wonderful treat: Sougen Junmai. Kadoi-san let us sample Sougen chilled and warmed side by side. This was really facinating. The chilled sougen was more clean and easy drinking, while the warmed Sougen (warmed to the perfect nurukan temperature by Kadoi-san) came across as richer and rounder on the palate, and of course perfect for a cold New Year’s eve. Both were extremely enjoyable and it just goes to show you, sake is the most versatile booze around. (Yeah, don’t try this nurukan trick with your prized Pinot, ok?)
After a lovely meal and these fantastic sakes, it was time to head out into the night to welcome the new year. I can’t think of a better place to get 2009 off to a fantastic start. Special thanks to Kadoi-san and all the wonderful folks at Sakagura for the wonderful evening. …and it goes without saying that dinner and drinks at Sakagura beats out New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on TV. um, Seacrest out!