Category Archives: 酒

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sanwa Brewery: Garyubai Ginjyou Hamare Fuji

Although Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, has never used and probably never will use the Shizuoka-made yeasts, they nonetheless use many home-grown varieties of rice, especially Homare Fuji with which they come up with brews as high as junmai ginjyo!

The “Homare Fuji” banner.

This brew being a junmai (no alcohol blended in) genshu (no water added), it gives a fair indication of what to expect!

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees
Dryness:+3
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity, very dry: pineapple, banana. Alcohol and junmai characteristics
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong junmai attack backed with strong and pleasant alcohol.
Complex and fruity. Custard, Macadamia nuts, almonds, oranges, dry plums.
Lingers for a while with very dry lychees and plums.
Apricots appear with the second and third sips.
Junmai petillant coming back strongly with food.
Marries welll with any food.

Overall: Brewers in Shizuoka Prefecture seem to have mastered the still new brand of Homare Fuji sake rice. They easily porduce as high as a level as Junmai Ginjyou with happy results.
This very brew, in spite of its strength, is particularly suited to food.
A sake for lovers of strong sake with a character!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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

Shizuoka Sake tasting: Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Zen Junmai

I just had the opportunity to obtain a limited edition (only 180 bottles) of a Junmai sake brewed by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City!

At +8 it is certainly very dry and furthermore it was made with sake rice exclusively grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

To cap it all (not the sake! LOL) it was adorned with those great words of hope!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin -Zen Junmai

Rice: all grown in Shizuoka Prefecture
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +8
Production: 180 Bottles (1.8 l)
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Very discreet, fleeting. Fruity. Pineapple. Hints of coffee beans.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Softer attack than expected. Elegant and fleeting.
Fruity. Very complex. Custard, oranges, pineapple.
Lingers for a while with very dry notes of oranges and coffee beans.
Ends with long dry coffee beans notes backed by Junmai petillant.
Marries perfectly with food with little change.

Overall: A sake for all seasons!
Definitely at its best on its own, but marries so well with food.
I brought it to a BBQ and Japanese and expats kept coming back to it in spite of all the beer and wine available!
Even ladies appreciated it!
Another discovery!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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

Shizuoka Izakaya: Waga!

Daikon Katsu!

Service: Very friendly and easy-going! Slow food!
Facilities: Very clean overall. Large and clean washroom.
Prices: reasonable
Strong points: Great list of sake and shochu. Typical izakaya gastronomy with a personal touch!

I’ve always been a great fan of Waga since it was open. Pity I cannot visit it often as it is just too near my workplace! LOL

The design is definitely modern and comfortable allowing you to choose between seats at tables, tatami (with dug space for your legs!) or at the counter.
Food here is definitely of the slow and attentive variety and generous!
On top of that the difference is made with some interesting specialties!

The o-toshi/snack coming with the first drink are worth a second look: salmon deep-fried in cornstarch served with fine ratatouille!

Small deep-fried renkon/lotus root sandwiches and mushrooms in sweet and sour sauce!

Like in any Shizuoka izakaya worth its salt the sashimi is first-class: madai/true seabream!

A Waga specialty: deep-fried nagaimo sticks!
The nagaimo being fried, it is not sticky at all, but tender and crispy! A discovery!

Another Waga specialty (you might do well to order it in advance!): Daikon katsu!

The daikon is first slowly simmered in dashi souip stock, then drained and cooled down before being covered with breadcrumbs/panko like for tonkatsu/pork cutlets, deep-fried and served cut seasoned with a personal dressing!

Another Waga’s classic: kabocha croquettes baked with tomato and cheese sauce!

Waga’s tamagoyaki/Japanese omelette is special! (at the back are three cups of different sake for comparison!)

For a better view!

The original arrangement will make you think you are eating two different kinds!
Incidentally I always have it for dessert!

Served with an original sweet seaweed sauce!

WAGA
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, takajyo, 2-1-20, Kuroyanagi Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-271-7121
Business hours: 17:30~23:30, 17:30~26:00 (on Fridays, Saturdays and National Holidays)
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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

Shizuoka Sake tasting: Suruga Brewery-Tenko Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

Tenko/天虹 in English means “Heaven Rainbow” and is the name of the main brand produced by Suruga Brewery in Shizuoka City!
Incidentally Suruga Brewery is the “youngest” brewery in Shizuoka City and Prefecture!

They are refreshingly eclectic in their approach as they both promote old brands they acquired when they bought the rights from the defunct Yoshiya Brewery last year, and also Shizuoka-grown sake rice, namely Homare Fuji/誉富士/”Proud Mount Fuji”!

Suruga Brewery-Tenko Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 60%
Dryness: +4
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong and pleasant. Fruity: banana with hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate. Complex
Body: Fluid
Taste: Junmai petillant-dominated attack.
Very fruity and complex.
Starts liquorish in spite of its +4 dry status.
Lots of custard and almonds with notes of coffee beans, white chocolate and dark cherries.
Tends to turn drier with further sips.
Turns slightly drier with almonds and custard with food.
Smooth on the palate and easy to drink.

Overall: Unusual sake that, although dry, almost feels sirupy on the tongue.
Very complex and fruity.
Probably best drunk on its own at room temperature, but marries well with food.
Another sake you could drink as an “ice cram” if properly chilled!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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

Shizuoka Shochu Tasting: Takashima Brewery: “En” Sherry Barrel Matured Rice Shochu

Takashima Brewery in Numazu City has been justifiably considered for the past few years as one of the most daring Sake Breweries in Japan.
Not only content with producing nationally recognized sakes, they also make use of the sakekasu/white lees of their premium sakes into some extraordinary rice shochu!

Having distilled the sakekasu into shochu spirits they store the latter in sherry barrels inported from Spain to mature for at least two years.
The result is a unique nectar the color of wood.
Actually, the first time they submitted it for registration with the Japan Bureau of Taxes and Excise, it was refused for the somewhat pernicious reason it was too dark and resembled too much to whisky!

Takashima Brewery: “En” Sherry Barrel Matured Rice Shochu

Rice
Alcohol: 25~26%

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Wooden, light brown orange
Aroma: Strong. Alcohol. Plums, oranges.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity and complex.
Plums, nuts.
Disappears quickly warming up the back of the palate for a long time.
Both elegant and puissant.
Fruits keep reappearing with every sip.
Very reminiscent of whisky and anturally dry sherry.

Overall: Extremely elegant and rare shochu!
Probably a unique taste in the whole of Japan.
Drinks easily.
So complex that it requests many a sip to properly discern it.
Should be drunk poured over a lot of ice.
Mixing it with water, or anything else for that matter, would be tantamount to infanticide!

Takashima Brewery
410-0312 Shizuoka prefecture, Numazu Shi, Hara, 354-1 ( a few minutes walk from Hara JR Station)
Tel: 055-966-0018
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Sugii Brewery-Suginishiki Yamahai Junmai Homare Fuji Genshu

The name of this brew just made by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City seems indeed a long story!
Yamahai is the old traditional natural way of making sake shunned by many breweries but not so much here where this brand of sake is increasingly becoming popular!

It has two great nerits: it is made with Homare Fuji sake rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and it is a junmai (no alcohol added) genshu (no water added). Practically untouched!

Rice : Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 18~19 degrees
Dryness: -1.0 (sweet by Shizuoka standards)
Acidity: 2.2
Yeast: Association No 7
Pasteurised only once
Brewed in 2010
Bottled in July 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: banana,, custard, pears.
Body: fluid
Taste: Dryish attack with a lot of pears and junmai petillant.
Complex. Fruity: Pears, oranges, custard.
Pears lingering in the back of the mouth for a while.
Very pleasant and easy to drink.
High alcohol contents affect taste very little.
Turns quickly dry after a sweetish start in spite of its -1.0 status (sweet).
Oranges, pears, black cherries and even almonds keep coming back with further sips.
Changes little with food.

Overall: Very pleasant sake in spite of its Yamahai genshu status which just shows how great skills can help make such a supposedly strong sake easy to drink.
Complex and surprising.
Although obviously designed to accompany food it is best enjoyed on its own slightly chilled. It could reveal other facets if served lukewarm/nurukan.
Certainly one of the best sake made with Homare Fuji rice I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

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