Hibino-san

Hibino-san

The first time I met Brewmaster Mr. Hibino, I found myself a little lost in translation and deep in the heart of Shizuoka Prefecture visiting Oomura Sake Brewery, home of the famous Wakatake Onikoroshi brand.

This time, however, we were on my turf. I was very happy to hear that Hibino-san was coming to Astor Wines to promote a long standing favorite of NYC sake drinkers, Wakataki Onikoroshi Junmai Daiginjo. I was happy to see Mr. Hibino remembered me as well, but shocked to hear that he has just arrived from Japan that morning and was already pouring sake! If he was tired he didn’t show it. Onward with the tasting! it was time to sip some Wakatake for myself. I had recently served it in an Elements of Sake Class and it was every bit as good as I remembered. SMV ±0 and super clean, this sake is very easy to love. Welcome to New York City Hibino-san! Please come back again soon!

Maruyama-san

Maruyama-san

Hibino-san was kind enough to introduce me to. Mr. Kazuo Maruyama, representing the Shirataki Sake Brewery in Niigata prefecture. Maruyama-san was pouring one of their most well known sakes: Shirataki Sara Wind Junmai. I recently had this sake at Buddakan Restaurant and really enjoyed it. One delightful feature of buying Shirataki Sara Wind Junmai is that the bottle comes with a cute cloth bag and a small glass “ochoko” sake cup. Who wouldn’t love that? The label is beautiful as well. It was drawn by a french artist visiting the region and it represents the local rice fields. The taste is clean and light and unobtrusive. It is beautiful in it’s Niigata-ness.

Shiratake also produces the much loved Jozen Mizunogotoshi Junmai Ginjo. This is a sake I did one of my very first (and embarrassing) videos on!

I was happy to visit these brewers serving their best sakes at Astor. I have always told people that attending events with the brewers visiting from Japan is one of the best ways to learn about sake. You can get the info on the sakes right from the source. And if your interested in learning about sake, and meeting some really wonderful people, there is nothing better than that. Kanpai!