Tag Archives: 地酒

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai

When I visited Mr. Negami in his brewery in Gotemba City 550 metres up Mount Fuji, I asked him, “Why do you make only Junmai Sake (Sake to which no pure alcohol is added)? After all, you are none among only thirteen in the whole of Japan!”
Before giving me the answer, the brewmaster explained he visited my France, my home country, where he loved the wines so much and then finally replied, “Do you add alcohol to wines? Why should I?”
Although technically incorrect (Port wines for example), I tend to agree with him!

Negami Brewery-Kinmei Tokubetsu Junmai

Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Alcohol: 15%
Water: Mount Fuji Source Water
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Fruity and powerful
Custard, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Fruity attack backed by Junmai petillant
Complex. Oranges, custard, caramel, almonds.
Pleasantly lingers for a while warming up the back of the palate.
Starts liquorish to quickly turn dry.
Dry oranges make a comeback with a faint note of white chocolate, macadamia nuts and coffee beans.
Marries so well with food!

Overall: Very pleasant sake fit for any time of the day or night, chilled or at room temperature!
Drinks so easily.
Personally I prefer to drink it as it is at room temperature on its own for the sheer pleasure of a straightforward sake combining the tastes of old and new!

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: Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji

When looking for unusual brews you do have to keep your eyes wide open!
To think that Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City put out only 100 bottles of this particular sake by I consider myself lucky to have noticed it in the small supermarket inside the JR Station of the same city!

You do also have to keep your eyes open (that is, if you can read Japanese!) for the comments written on various parts of the bottle:
“霞か雲かにごり酒/kasumi ka kumo ka nigori sake” meaning, “A haze or a cloud? A troubled (like in troubled waters) sake”.
Nothing negative about it as the Japanese call “nigori/impure-troubled” a sake which was not separated from the white lees.
In this case they left just enough of the white lees to create a “haze”!

The name alone of this brew certainly makes for a long sory!

Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji
Doi Brewery: name of the Brewery located in Kakegawa City
Hana no Ka: The Flower Perfume, name of a special series of sake
Junmai Ginjo: the level of the sake. Junmai also denotes the fact that no pure alcohol was added
Genshu: unaltered sake to which no pure water has been added
Nama: unpasteurized
Nigori: in this cas more or less unfiltered
Homare Fuji: name of the rice. Homare Fuji rice is exclusively grown inside Shizuoka Prefecture

Doi Brewery-Kaiun Hana no Ka Junmai Ginjo Genshu Nama Nigori Homare Fuji/土井酒造・花の香純米吟醸原酒生にごり誉富士

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 17 degrees
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Limited to 100 bottles
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very clear if unshaken. Smoky if shaken (white lees)
-Color: Transparent if unshaken, whitish, cloudy if shaken
Aroma: Strong fruity alcohol. Banana, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Not as strong as expected. Pleasant and easy to drink.
Fruity, almost liquorish. White lees do not influence taste as much as expected.
Fruity: oranges, banana, hints of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Varies little with food.
Disappears quickly and pleasantly with oranges, lemon, and notes of almonds.
Great balance between acidity and slight sweetness.

Overall: For all the fact it is a nigori, it revealed itself as softer and more pleasant than expected.
The higher alcohol is barely noticeable.
Marries so well with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.
If chilled could be drunk as a dessert wine or liqueur!
A 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 Sake Tasting: Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

Negami Brewery has the particularity of being the highest located brewery in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Some time ago they had to move from their original place near Gotemba Station to a spot 550 meters high on the slopes of Mount Fuji to dig a well into Mount Fuji to use its Water!

Negami Brewery also has this particularity to produce only junmai style sake, that is, no pure alcohol is ever added!
This brew is a nama, meaning it wasn’t sterilized!

Negami Brewery-Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

Rice: Yamanishiki 100%
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Water: Mount Fuji water
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: discreet. Sweetish. Fruity: banana
Body: Fluid
Taste: Junmai petillant attack backed by pleasant alcohol
Complex and fleeting. Fruity.
Disappears fairly quickly.
Dry, reminiscent of of a dry white wine.
Pineapple, faint almonds.
Liquorish comeback with second sip. Oranges and pears coming later.
Turns soft with food. Very feminine.

Overall: A very soft approach to sake.
Can be appreciated in many ways but is best at room temperature.
Ladies will love it!

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 Masamune Honjozo

Takashima Brewery in Numazu City is not only celebrated for its inventiveness and daring but also for actively supporting Shizuoka Gastronomy in general!

Not everyone knows, but Suruga Bay is the home of the greatest number of varieties of edible seaweeds.
Takashima Brewery started to introduce the fact on labels since last year!
The present one is called Champalone by its scientific name!

Moreover, Takashima Brewery has always been careful about the design of their labels, real collector’s items!
The present brew also includes Homare Fuji rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Takashima Brewery-Hakuin Masamune Honjozo

Rice: Homare Fuji 22&
Rice milled down to 60%
Aichi no Kaori: 78%
Rice milled down to 65%
Yeast: Shizuoka NEW-5
Alcohol: 14~15 degrees
Dryness: +6
Acidity: 1.5
Bottled in May 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Light golden hue
Aroma: Strong. Fruity. Alcohol. Complex. Pineapple, oranges, banana.
Body: fluid
Taste: Liquorish attack with a strong alcohol back up.
Starts almost sweetish to disappear with very dry almonds.
Complex. Fruity. A lot drier on the second sip.
Almonds, coffee beans. Faint notes of citrus.

Overall: Typical brew from Takashima brewery who concoct their sake both to marry well and food and satisfy the curiosity of true sake lovers.
A somewhat mysterious sake which will surprise many. Very dry for Shizuoka sake and certainly not obeying the trends!
A favorite of mine!

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: Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery: Doman

Since Yasatei Restaurant has Doman rice shochu on its list I took the opportunity the other day to conduct a tasting while enjoying the food!
“Doman” is the name of a (very expensive) crab solely found in salt water Hamana Lake in Hamamatsu City.
It is brewed by Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery which also brews (mainly) sake and beer, and also liquors!

Doman is a rice shochu made with the best sakekasu/white lees of the Brewery by their brewmaster who is a lady!

To help with the tasting I ordered some Shizuoka-grown tomatoes!

The red tomato is “Ameera” variety celebrated for its sweetness. The orange tomato is a variety grown organically by Shizen no Chikara Farm!

Hamamatsu-Tenjingura Brewery: Doman Rice shochu

Ingredients: Rice, white lees, Shizuoka Yeast, water
Alcohol: 28 degrees

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity. Custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Starts with a soft attack to amplify into a warm pleasant invasion of the palate.
Complex. Fruity and dry. Custard.
Stays dry all the time although taste tends to fluctuate into sophisticated notes of coffee beans.
Marries well with food, especially vegetables salads.

Overall: A very pleasant shochu which does not need to be mixed with anything else.
Best appreciated poured above plenty of ice in a large glass!
Marries so well with vegetables!

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: Fuji-Takasago Brewery: Fuji No Tsuyu

As foreigners, especially not living in this country, seem to be interested in Shochu like my new friend Sissi in Switzerland I thought it was about time to introduce (actually re-introduce) the shochu made in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Although 10 out 28 sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture also distill an aggregate of over 40 shochu, they are not well known (actually rare) in Japan as quantities are comparatively small and also because they are simply extravagant!
They are all true shochu/honkakushochu/本格焼酎 but they do not always follow the pattern of the shochu made in Kyushu island for example.
All rice shochu here is either made from the polished rice leftovers or the white lees/sakekasu/酒粕 left after the sake has been pressed.

This shochu was distilled from the white lees left after the sake was pressed and with water from Mount Fuji, hence the name “Fuji no Tsuyu/富士の露 or The Dew of Mount Fuji”!
The label was re-designed last year!

Rice shochu
Base: sake white lees
Water: Mount Fuji water
Alcohol: 25 degrees
Bottled in December 2010

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Transparent
Aroma: Fruity and dry. Alcohol. Custard, vanilla.
Body: fluid

Taste: Dry strong but pleasant attack.
Fruity. Almonds, Custard.
Very pleasant even on its own.
Lingers for a while with notes of Macadamia nuts.
Complements food well.

Overall: As far as rice shochu comes it is just too extravagant. I really enjoyed it on its own or with plenty of ice.
Beautiful with chilled Perrier, too.
No real need to mix it with anything else! It shows too many facets to interfere with!
The kind of shochu ladies would relate to!

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: Yamanaka Brewery-Aoitenka Tokubetsu Junmai Homare Fuji

Homare Fuji, the local Shizuoka Sake Rice has not only become a feature in most breweries in our Prefecture, but the latter have been working hard using it in the creation of premium sake such as did Yamanaka Brewery in Kakegawa City!

These brews are really recognizable with their little label.
This tokubetsu junmai made with rice milled down to an extravagant 55% would achieve junmai ginjyou status anywhere else!

Rice: Homare Fuji
Rice milled down to 55%
Dryness: +1.5
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity. Banana, vanilla. Alcohol
Body: Fluid
Taste: Liquorish attack pleasurably warming the back of the palate with junmai petillant.
Complex and fruity. Starts liquorish and almost sweet to depart on a warm dry note.
Oranges and almonds. Very pleasant to drink.
Were it not for its late dry note it could become a dessert sake/wine.
Changes little with food and actually nicely complements it.

Overall: A pleasant sake to drink.
More elegant than expected, which shows all the improvement achieved by brewers with this particular strain of sake rice.
Although designed to accompany food, makes for a very pleasurable beverage on its own!

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

2nd Central-East Shizuoka Sake Breweries Festival in Kakegawa City

More and more sake breweries in Shizuoka Prefecture have been organizing medium-scale regional sake Festivals.
One of the newest ones is the “Dai Nikai Kuramoto to Nihon Shu wo Tanoshimu Kai/Chuutouen Sake Monogatari/中東遠酒物語・第2回蔵本と日本酒を楽しむ会/the 2nd Festival for Sake Breweries and Sake of Central East Shizuoka”.

Mr. Morimoto (Morimoto Brewery/Kikugawa City) and Mr. Doi (Doi Brewery/Kakegawa City) on both sides of a grower of Homare Fuji Sake Rice.

The event was held at the Kakegawa Grand Hotel on Saturday evening June 25th.
No less than 150 guests, including some well-known figures attended the Festival.

Money donations were collected to help the victims of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in North East Japan!

Five breweries took part:
Doi Brewery in Kakegawa City.
Senjyu Brewery in Iwata City.
Kokko Brewery in Fukuroi City.
Yamanaka Brewery (Aoitenka) in Kakegawa City.
Morimoto Brewery (Sayogoromo) in Kikugawa City.

Junmai Dai Ginjyou table!

Each table of 9 guests had two bottles of sake ready while loads of bottles standing in wait on three more tables for all to sample!

Dai Ginjyou table!

All in all, no less than 27 brews were introduced to the participants!

The Junmai and Ginjyou table!

This particular table also featured a great koushu/old sake from Senjyu Brewery I tasted again and again later as well as an excellent umeshu!

All the breweries had brought water from their own wells!

These vegetables offered in Bagna Cauda style were all from Kakegawa City!

Such events are vital to make people know more about their own sake, and to make them remember the occasion until next year plenty of excellent buffet food had been prepared to accompany all those great brews!

A very generous buffet including some rare Yorkshire pork from pigs raised in Mikkabi!

And appetizers had been set in front of every guest to titillate his/her appetite in expectation!

I had actually conducted my own investigation before the festivities started!

Representative of Yamanaka Brewery!

This event proved an invaluable opportunity to share long chats with The sake brewers and colleagues from (serious) media!
I already have quite a few interviews and reports lined up!

The celebrities!
Denbei Kawamura, the Godfather of Shizuoka Sake, the man who created the Shizuoka Yeast!
Mr. Yabuta of the President of the Tago Katsuobushi Association!

To be continued (in further reports on participants and naturally at next year’s event!)…

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: Senjyu Brewery-Ginjyou Enshyuu Gohyakumangoku

Senjyuu Brewery is the sole brewery still standing in Iwata City, but it can benefit from a rich farmland as demonstrated by the Gohyakumangoku Sake Rice grown in the region under the name of Enshyuu Gohyakumangoku. Enshyuu is the traditional name of the region covering most the Western area of Shizuoka Prefecture.

As Senjyu Brewery does not add a sticker with figures at the back of the bottle of this particular brew you need a good knowledge of Japanese to decipher the small characters!

Rice: Enshyuu Gohyakumangoku (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to: 50%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in June 2011

Clarity: Very clear.
Color: Transparent.
Aroma: Fruity. Alcohol. Pineapple.
Body: fluid and liquorish
Taste: Dry attack backed up by pleasant alcohol.
Disappears fairly quickly on a dry note.
Complex: almonds with notes of pineapple and oranges with citrus notes lingering on.
Pleasant and light dry sake. Changes little with food.
Faint coffee beans, walnuts, dark chocolate and nuts appearing with further sips.

Overall: Pleasant sake that can be enjoyed either slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Very pleasurable on its own although it has obviously been designed to accompany food.
Dry but soft and complex sake. Easy to drink!

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: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Junmai Nama Genshu Homare Fuji

Fuji-Takasago Brewery went through a scare when a magnitude 6 earthquake hit Fujinomiya City almost just after the terrible earthquake that hit Northeastern Japan. They found cracks in walls in over ten spots and are busy repairing them now.
But it did not prevent them from brewing in general and certainly not their brews made with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Rice!

No the label did not break during the earthquake!

Rice: Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity: Banana
Body: Fluid
Taste: Not as strong an attack as expected. Almost liquorish.
Fruity. Banana with hints of almonds and coffee beans.
Lingers for a while with alcohol background. Very pleasant despite high alcohol contents.
Hints of oranges, custard and macadamia nuts with further sips.
Changes little with food apart of getting a little drier.

Overall: Difficult to say whether best drunk on its own or with food.
Does marry well with any food, especially heavy izakaya fare.
Personally appreciated it on its own a little 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

Japanese Izakaya: Odakkui

The first snack comes with a message!

Service: Very friendly
Facilities: Old but clean. Interesting and clean washroom!
Prices: appropriate
Strong points: Local traditional cuisine. Great sake and shochu!

Izakayas are the pillar of Japanese gastronomy as they are the best indication of any local food enjoyed in any particular region.
Naturally there are izakayas and izakayas!
To discover a worthy establishment you need only follow a few rules of the thumb:
A good izakaya serves:
-Local food made with local ingredients whenever possible.
-Variety in cooked and raw dishes
-At least one or two superlative local sake (or local drinks)
-A good choice of drinks to satisfy all tastes and priorities.
The (necessary) extras are:
-Conviviality
-Keen interest in customers’ requests
-Traditional atmosphere

Oddakui, although a celebrated (reserve your seat beforehand!) institution in Shizuoka City it is not easy to find as it is located on the second floor of an unremarkable building. Look for the sign below, and…

and above your head!

The MOTH: Naofumi Ohshiro/大代直史!

Naofumi is not only a great izakaya oyakata, he is also a remarkable business as he opened Yasaitei/やさい亭 with the help of Chef Aki Suzuki/鈴木朋 to offer a complementary establishment to his customers with an accent on vegetables while Odakkui/おだっ喰い serves typical izakaya food from sashimi to oden and croquettes (the last two a must!)

Naofumi has his customers’ bien-être at heart: a message greets each of them wrapped around the chopsticks!
One problem with such establishments is trying to take pictures without a flash!
But don’t worry, do refer to Odakkui’s Homepage for a great rendition of their food and atmosphere!

The little details that make a place so welcoming!

A great sake from Shizuoka: Shisizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!
The ladies must try the umeshu made with brown sugar!

This salad is called “Shizuoka Umare Sarada/静岡生まれサラダ/Shizuoka Birthplace Salad!
it is made with mitsuba/三つ葉/Japanese honeywort and shirasu/シラス/hard mouth sardine whitebait!
Shizuoka Prefecture is known all over Japan for its shirasu!

The whitefish has been steamed and cooled down beforehand.
With avocado in between, it certainly makes for a complete and healthy dish!

Although the menu is worth exploring, you ought to sample their suigyoza/dumplings in soup!
Even the Chinese would come for that!

They (or the Vietnamese!) would also come for the Raw Spring Rolls!

Yummy and so healthy again!

The customers are always offered a dessert before leaving: Brûlé Pudding and Strawberry Sorbet! Another detail which spells the difference!
Sorry for the fuzzy picture!

This is only a short start as I must sample their croquettes, oden and sashimi! LOL

ODAKKUI/おだっ喰い
420-0034 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa Cho, 1-8-1, Aoba Yokocho, 2F
Tel.]Fax: 054-253-6900
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
Closed on Mondays
HOMEPAGE

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 Fair: 19th Shisa Heiya Bishu Story 2011

Junmai Ginjyo created by Oomuraya Brewery (Shimada City) with Hyakumangoku Rice, Yeast and water all form Shizuoka Prefecture (limited batch!)!
Courtesy of Marcus Grandon

On the 9th of June 2011 the 19th Shida Beya Bishu Monogatari 2011 was held in Yaizu City at the Hotel Ambia Shyofuku!
”大19回志田平野美食物語2011” means “19th Shida Plain Beautiful Sake Story 2011”!

Welcoming 400 guests through the lobby!

My friend Marcus and I have been invited at the event for the last 4 years and we can afford (politely) to take some liberties.
After having gone through the reception motion we decided to take a quick peek before the official entrance!

Getting the sake tasting space ready before the rush!

Preparations for the meal by the hotel staff were almost completed!

Almost finished!
About time we made ourselves scarce!

The sake kegs from the 6 participating breweries in front of the entrance hust be fore the official entrance!

400 guests patiently queuing up…

Guests seated and everyone waiting for the official beginning of the festivities…

Isojiman Brewery in Yaizu City!

Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!

Hatsukame Brewery in Okabe, Fujieda City!

Oomuraya Brewery in Shimada City!

Sugii Brewery from Fujieda City!

Aoshima Brewery in Fujeda City!

Still looking at the “wrapped” food before the brewers’ presentation…

Official speech and presentation!

And then… Tasting Battle Royale!

The yearly attendance by John Gauntner proves this is a major sake event in Japan!

The dessert was sakekasu/sake white lees mousse!

Growers of the Shizuoka Homare Fuji sake rice!

This emblem was created by a university student!

See you next year!
But before that be assured I will pay a few visits to these 6 breweries!

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: Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Homare Fuji

The beauty of Japanese sake (like wine) is that, regardless of the same methods, same ingredients or same skills, the same brewery will not be able to reproduce exactly the same brew as the precedent year!
And when it comes to making Yamahai it is simply, and luckily to my own mind, impossible!

Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City has never been afraid to experiment.
Once again they used the Shizuoka-grown Fuji Homare rice and brewed it with a yeast not from our Prefecture to produce a very interesting Yamahai!

Sugii Brewery; Suginishiki Junmai Yamahai Fuji Homare

Rice: Homare Fuji (100% Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 70%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: + 4.5
Acidity: 1.6
Yeast: Association No 7
Heated only once
Bottled in April 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue (normal for Yamahai)
Aroma: Dry and fruity: custard, macadamia nuts
Body: fluid and slightly syrupy
Taste: Dry fruity attack backed up by strong junmai petillant
Custard, oranges, almonds.
Stays very dry but fruity all along.
Lingers for a short while before leaving with a warm note and dry nuts.
Pleasant, although the final dry note might surprise a few people.
Changes little with food.
Further sips end with a dry note of apricots and oranges.

Overall: A sake conceived to be enjoyed with food, especially heavy izakaya food, the dry note compensating the heaviness of sauces.
Typical sake from Sugii Brewery, a favorite with food!

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: Doi Brewery-Hana no Ka Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Ginjyo Nama Genshu

Doi Brewery has been already been producing this Hana no Ka/華の香 for the past few years according to old traditional methods
This particular brew was concocted with Homare Fuji Sake Rice grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and is the untouched product as it is nama (no sterilizing) Junmai (no alcohol added) muroka/unfiltered, a true connoisseur’s delight!

It also comes with plenty of comments: kasumi ka kumo ka nigori zake/霞か雲かにごり酒/A sake like a haze or a cloud? (referring to the presence of sakekasu/white lees!

Rice: Homare Fuji (100% Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to 55%
Yeast: Shizuoka Yeast
Alcohol: 17 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: very clear when at rest, slightly smoky when stirred
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Pleasant. Alcohol. Fruity. Pineapple.
Body: fluid and siruppy
Taste: Strong alcohol and junmai petillant attack which quickly disappears.
Fruity: pineapple, custard, almonds.
Makes a complete turn from sweetish to dryish, a telltale mark of sakekasu/white lees
Lingers for a while with alcohol leaving a somewhat marked impression.
Marries and changes little with food.

Overall: A sake obviously devised for food in spite of its ginjyo status.
A sake for the connoisseurs as it is absolutely left untouched.
Great for a Japanese izakaya-style party!

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: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Nama Genshu

Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City, in spite of the strong earthquake in March is actively producing all kinds of sake (and shochu) brews!

They are also one of the 19 (out of 28) Shizuoka Breweries experimenting with Shizuoka-grown Homare Fuji Sake Rice (“sakamai”)!
This particular brew is a nama genshu junmai, meaning it is the very original product with no addition or alteration!

This time I had the perfect snack to enjoy the tasting!

Shizuoka-grown crispy small cucumbers with wasabizuke/wasabi stems and leaves pickled in sake white lees/sake kasu!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Homare Fuji Rice Junmai Nama Genshu

Rice: Homare Fuji (100%)
Rice milled down to 60%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in March 2011

Clarity: Very Clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Light and fruity. Complex. Pineapple
Body: fluid
Taste: Strong dry attack with marked junmai petillant and nama genshu punch combining for a marked first impression.
Complex. Pineapple with hints of caramel and apricots
For all its strength, disappears fairly quickly with dry pineapple spreading over the palate with notes of almonds and apricot.
Changes little with food.

Overall: Intereting strong sake designed for food.
The dryish overall taste combines well with izakaya food.
Noteworthy sake for strong sake officionados!

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