Today I’m posting my first video Sake Review. I’m taking a closer look at Shirataki Jozen Mizunogotoshi (Shirataki Shuzo, Niigata prefecture, Junmai Ginjo, SMV +3, Acidity 1.4, Seimaibuai: 55%, ALC 15.5%). It’s a delightful, clean drinking and super smooth charmer. I hope you enjoy. If you have had this sake, please let me know what you think. As always, comments and feedback are appreciated.

15 replies
  1. Stevo
    Stevo says:

    I had Jyozen Mizunogotoshi sake 6 years ago in a Yakitori restaraunt – griled chicken and parts on a stick – in Osaka (minami area). This sake was totally awesome (I mean friggin amazing) with the greasy chicken and parts on a stick w/salty fingers & followed by Jyozen! My Japanese friend and I polished many glasses overflowing of Jyozen inside its wooden box…then stumbled into the minami night – fullnoon!

  2. Roger
    Roger says:

    “Jozen Mizunogotoshi” is the first sentence of chapter 8 in Laotzu’s Tao Te Ching:

    The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tao. [James Legge translation, taken from http://classics.mit.edu/Lao/taote.1.1.html%5D

    I think it is actually the classy name that made me want to try this sake. I definitely agree with the over-ripened fruit taste, and I think this will stick as one of my favorites. There really isn’t any food pairings I can come up with for Jozen, because anything that carries a bit of its own flavor will tend to mask the aroma of this sake. It can stand quite well on its own after dinner on a warm summer night, though.

  3. Jay
    Jay says:

    Like KC said, It means, basically, like water. I think it has something to do with an old Chinese saying. I have just discovered this website and have yet to view any of the vidoes. But I have had this on a few occasions.

    The first time was in Japan in an Izakaya. I thought it was fabulous. A little fruity with not much of a tail. I will say that I had this right after trying a very, very karai sake. The name escapes me but it reminded me a little of shochu. It might be that the flavor of the more dry one before tasting the jozen gave me a good impression. I thought it would be unlikely to be sold in the states.

    I was wrong. My wife found some. I ended up with 2 bottles of it for last Christmas. One from here and the other from my wife’s friend. My wife’s friend’s grandmother lives down the road from the brewery, which is why she bought that particular brand.

    The second time was shortly after Christmas. I had it along with another, high end sake. I found it to be much more sweet than I remember. I would definitely agree that ham, bacon or maybe something more earthy would go well with this.

    The other high end sake I had and highly recommend was Hakkaisan. I don’t have the details. It’s a little bit dry but not much.

    -Jay

  4. Brian
    Brian says:

    Tim,

    Nice first effort at video review. My local Asian market had this on sale, so I bought several bottles….very nice sake…I prefer sakes a little drier….but this is so smooth and pleasent, it is a great “starter” sake for introducing folks to the joys of good sake.

  5. Timothy Sullivan
    Timothy Sullivan says:

    Hi Melinda! I know – and Hickory Farms is not even a sponsor on my site! People would kill for that kind of exposure 😉 I think our pairing idea is amazing! Next time I pick up the Jozen – I’m heading straight for the bacon… I’ll let you know how it turns out! (it’s gotta be good!!

  6. Melinda
    Melinda says:

    Hey Tim!

    I love a taster who’s man enough to stand up and say he finds Hickory Farms smoked sausage in the finish. Right on to that. It’s one of the things that makes tasting so fascinating and fun.

    So maybe you could try pairing this with something that picks up on that, like bacon or cured ham. Especially if you tasted melon at the forefront.

  7. Pavel
    Pavel says:

    Thanks for the info Tim. Looking forward to your videocast about sake drinking glasses. I am not entirely sure if the smaller vessels allow you to fully appreciate the aroma. I think you were on to something with the stemless glass. Take Care!

  8. KC
    KC says:

    Hey Tim,

    Good job on the podcast. For some reason, you seem happier at the end of this podcast!

    That’s funny you did a profile on Jouzen Mizu No Gotoshi. I had a bottle recently (naturally, it made it into my blog entry). What I found interesting was that the sake came across as being fruitier and bit sweeter than I remembered it to be, but that may have been influenced by other bottle I was drinking and the dish I was pairing with.

    Anyways, I agree this is a very solid junmai ginjo, effectively highlighting the delicate fruity structure of a premium grade sake.

    -KC

  9. Timothy Sullivan
    Timothy Sullivan says:

    Pavel – I was using a stemless white wine glass for this tasting. My usual answer about what to drink out of is anything that doesn’t leak! Seriously, Stay away from the wooden masu – that can seriously effect the flavor. I usually use a small glass – a feeble attempt at portion control. I’m planning an upcoming video on glasses for sake.

  10. Timothy Sullivan
    Timothy Sullivan says:

    Nell – I love when a sake bottle matches the flavor inside. Jozen does! It’s soft and pink just like the label. I’ve been told that labels like this are used in japan to appear to women sake buyers. Food pairing?! Oh gosh, I need to learn more before I make recommendations… what do you suggest?!

  11. Pavel
    Pavel says:

    Very informative post and tasting. Thank you very much. What do you recommend for sake drinking glasses? I noticed you were using a wine tumbler. Is this something you would recommend for tasting? Great video, keep them coming.

  12. nell
    nell says:

    i agree, this is a slow sipping fruity sake. if you were to enjoy this with food, what might you eat? it would be fun to have a little blurb on a sake/food pairing for each sake video you do too. i like your rating system – i do the same thing just for myself in all my sake notes but i just use 1,2, or 3 stars or a big X if i totally don’t like it. but tim are you sure it’s not just the pink label that makes it so tasty?? just kidding…
    KANPAI!

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