tim.JPGI was lucky enough to be invited to host another “sake samurai” tasting at Sakaya, New York’s ONLY all sake store. It’s really fun when I get to meet people and introduce them to some of my favorite sakes one on one! This time, we focused in on three Junmai Ginjo sakes, with three unique flavors, all from different parts of Japan. urakasumi_zen.jpgHere is a look at what we tasted…

First, we looked at Urakasumi Zen Junmai Ginjo. This sake approaches you with an even hand across the board. It’s got a wonderful medium body with a medium dry palate. And you guessed it… a nice medium acidity rounds out this very well balanced, smooth sake. A wonderful textbook example of “junmai ginjo”. A nice slow brewing time at a low temperature is one of the secrets of this fantastic brew. Enjoy it on it’s own, or even better – pair with some food. Urakasumi is extremely food friendly and I encourage you to experiment! You’ll be sure to find your own state of “ZEN”. ooohmmmmm.

kaiun_junmai_ginjo.JPGNext we tried Kaiun Junmai Ginjo. Kaiun is a rich and layered sake. Quite delicious! I think it’s interesting that this sake is from Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka is know around the world for it’s refined tastes and palate. An example I often site is the exquisite production of Green Tea crop that comes from Shizuoka. I find this refined palate reflected in the sake. There is a special flavorful nuance in Kaiun that speaks to me of it’s home. If you’ve tried Kaiun Junmai Ginjo, please post a comment below and let me know what you thought.

mantensei.jpgLast I served Mantensei Junmai Ginjo. This sake has a strong aroma of organic honey on the nose. smells just like the farmer’s market honey! I’m telling you!! give this sake a whiff and you’ll see. Such a fun thing to find the smells and flavors in sake. Moving on from the nose, this sake came across to me as rich in texture with a touch of a dry finish. Really an interesting brew and I can’t wait to drink it again for further investigation.

“Junmai Ginjo” means different things to different people, but talking with sake fans at this tasting convinced me that there is no one answer to what it is. I think it will easily be a life-long quest to try and better understand this classification of sake. The good news is, that’s a mission I am happy to sign up for. Kanpai!

5 replies
  1. Tatiana
    Tatiana says:

    Now I check your clip explaining about Dassai sake, and I listened the music you had choiced for the ending of this tape.

    Do you know Yoko kanno?

    Since I am a litle child I allways liked japanese art, and until now I have listened tons of music form that country.

    If you like japanese music you should know about this wonderfull compositer.
    She made music with many interpreters around the world, like scott mathew, steve conte, origa, ilaria gratziano or gabriela robin.

    Have you ever been in Argentina?

    My country is very famous because of our wine, tango, asado, soccer-maradona. ^.^.

  2. Tatiana
    Tatiana says:

    I saw your video clip on msn, I am argentinien.

    I am shock by your debotion with japanese culture, I come from a place named Iguazu waterfalls near to brazil, but I live in buenos aires, and here we have a very nice japanese garden, sometimes they show some kimonos, but I never have seen how do they dress with it.

    If I go to your country I would like to take some classes.

    At the moment argentien people belive a kimono is the same than a chipao, so you will realise that not many people understand japanese culture like you do.

    Thank you a lot for your time.

    I hope we keep in touch, and I would like you send to me a e mail where you can explain about how many day´s or hours you teach to dress properly a kimono.


  3. Timothy
    Timothy says:

    Isn’t Kaiun fantastic? You know, it’s really fruity! If you want to show someone how water and rice can be a fruity affair, let them taste Kaiun!

  4. mark szymanski
    mark szymanski says:

    I really enjoy Kaiun. The light body and fruity nuances are delightful. I will suggest this to many.

  5. Robert-Gilles Martineau (ロベル。ジル)
    Robert-Gilles Martineau (ロベル。ジル) says:

    Here you are, Tim!

    Kaiun Ha Junmai Ginjo by Doi Brewery, Kakegawa City, was the second brew tasted by the Hamamatsu Geeks on November 2nd, 2007:

    Kaiun Ha Junmai Ginjo
    Rice: Yamada Nishiki 100% (Hyogo Prefecture)
    Rice milled down to 40%
    Dryness: 6.0
    Acidity: 1.3
    Limited edition: 600 bottles
    Bottled in May 2007

    Clarity: very clear

    Colour: almost transparent

    Aroma: Light, fruity

    Body: soft. Velvety to fluid

    Taste: Delicate, fruity. elegant. Almonds/Bitter chocolate

    Overall: Very elegant and discreet. Complex. Suited for ladies especially.

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