Viva Akita! Viva Genshu!

wild_for_akita_sake.jpgThe Akita Sake Club has come a long way, baby! The most recent event was held again at the Japan American Association offices in Midtown and was the Club’s 6th meeting that celebrates the sake from Japan’s Akita Prefecture.

In addition to the sake, The club also features the food and music of Akita. I’ve read that Akita ranks Highest for per capita sake consumption in Japan…and after this event I can believe it! I had a great time and wanted to share a couple of the real standout sakes that I had.

kariho_daiginjo3.jpgI really enjoyed a fantastic Kariho Daiginjo Genshu This sake was billed as “fragrant and silky” and boy did it deliver. I was really wowed the the ability of this sake to stand out from the crowd without shouting. I think I can best describe it as an elegant richness. very nice! Rice Polished down to 35% of it’s original size. this adds tremendously to it’s smooth as silk allure!

dewatsuru_daiginjo2.jpgNext I found myself drawn to another Daiginjo Genshu (anyone seeing a trend here??). I’m talking about Dewatsuru Daiginjo Genshu. This sake was another winner. I found the taste to have something scrumptious about it. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something in this sake compelled my arm, almost involuntarily, to raise the sake cup to my mouth… repeatedly. Seriously, this sake was just delicious, complex and commanding. I’m crushing on this brew big time!

Next I caught up with my friend Linda Kawabata who is helping introduce a new line of Akita sakes to the world. She started off by my introducing me to Mr. Sato, President of Hinomaru Brewery. Sato-san let me taste two of his sakes coming to the US this fall. They are are Manabito Kimoto Junmai Ginjo and the Manabito Junmai Daiginjo. Linda pointed out that both of these sakes spend time being aged in the bottle before shipping. Once opened, they both blossom when they get a chance to breath. I love sakes that expand like this. they give you a chance to enjoy the changing aspects of a sake over the course of an evening.

manabito.jpgManabito Kimoto Junmai Ginjo was a lovely kimoto sake coming across to me as softer and smoother than most Kimono i’ve tried. I think that is due to the fact that this was a Junmai ginjo grade and not just a junmai. This is one of those sakes you just want to pair with food! I would guess this sake is a fantastic pair with all the hearty foods of the Akita region. yum! Manabito Junmai Daiginjo also had a wonderfully soft touch! smooth and very drinkable. I really enjoyed this junmai daiginjo.

Last but not least, I headed over to the Joto Selections and tried Kacho Gesseki Junmai Daiginjo Genshu. OK, now there is definitely a trend!! This was another wonderful sake from Akita! The aromas on this sake were fantastic and bold. You pick up lost of tropical fruit on the palate. This sake is bold and full of melt in your mouth flavors. fantastic!

Well, another successful evening with the cool cats from the Akita Sake Club. I don’t know what was drawing me to all those daiginjo Genshus! whatever it was I was bowled over. I hope the drinking we did this night gets added to the per capita consumption stats of Akita Prefecture. They’ll be number one for a while. Kanpai!