Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Toubinkoi Muroka Junmai Ginjo

Yamanaka Brewery i not easy to access as it is far away from Kakegawa Station near the sea and one can reach only by bus, car and bicycle (not from Shizuoka City for the latter!)!
It is a fairly small establishement, although very well known, the more for it that its neighbour is the famous soy sauce brewery, Sakae!

This particular bottle was extravagant for many reasons.
The decoration was very original in the sense that the label on the bottle is actually made of cloth!
Coming into a great box with plenty of explanations, both the bottle and box are worth a collector’s attention.

The contents were also absolutely extravagant:
The real title is Yamanaka Shuzo/Yamanak Brewery, Aointenka (sake name), Tobinkoi (sake extracted drop by drop by being left hanging into sacke inside the tank and into a large glass jar), Muroka (unfiltered), Junami Ginjo (high premium with no alcohol added), Genshu (no pure water added), the whole meaning a completely untouched sake brew!

Now for the details:
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 48% (high dai ginjo level!)
Yeast: 1401
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 16~17 gegrees
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Slghtly dry and very fruity. Almonds, coconuts with notes of pineapple. Extremely pleasant
Body: fluid
Taste: Very complex and fruity. Extremely pleasant and sophisticated.
Dry and fruity. Junmai petillant spreading over the back of the palate. Lingers on only a little.
Dry almonds, pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla.
Finishes on a very dry almond note, but turns a little sweetish with food. Later on reveals faint notes of dark chocolate and cofee beans.

Overall: Simply extravagant, although its pricetag is ridiculously cheap (that is for that quality!). The rice millage would be of another plane elsewhere!
Sophisticated, lmost “feminine” in spite of high alcohol content.
Best appreciated lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Personally the best aperitif one can come across!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (’10/71): Canned Heat bento

The weather has finally turned to Autumn/Fall, especially at night when it’s easier to sleep! Mind you this the typhoon season with some scalding daytime hetin-between.
Now, why did I callthis Bento Canned Heat?
Some of you (the nostalgic ones) will remember the rock group of the same name at Woodstock!

Canned yakitori is a very popular item in Japanese supermarkets and they can be arranged into surprisingly good food!
The Missus always has a few in her “larder”.
I chose the yuzu ksohio yakitori canned yakitori.
The Missus steamed the rice with the yakitori on top.
She then mixed the lot adding her own pickled sansho/Japanese pepper and “tukudani” made with ginger and konbu/seaweed.
It does make for a very tasty and filling rice. And very nourishing, too.
She added some pickled daikon for colour effect.
She added some delicious tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette she concocted with shiso/perill leaves.

She prepared the salad and dessert garnish inside the other (Shizuoka) Mempa bento Box with its T-shaped partition (all lacquerd).
Soba hime/buckwheat sprouts with katsuo bushi/dry bonito shavings in one quarter.
She filled the half section with a salad of beans, konbu, and boiled yellow and pink potatoes (the latter from her family’s garden), the lot on some lettuce leaves and topped with local plum tomato.
As for dessert nashi pears and plums!

Very filling and tasty!
Poor Susan at My Bento Box, who is being deprived of her bentos for 3 weeks is going to scream!

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