Tag Archives: 梅酒

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Junmai Dai-Ginjyou Yamada Nishiki

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the third report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to:40%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +3.0
Acidity: 1.6
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Discreet, fleeting. Fruity: custard, dark chocolate, banana.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry and fruity attack backed by junmai petillant.
Strong start from bananas before perception of coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Disappears quickly on a drier note.
Dark chocolate and coffee beans make a comeback with almonds with further sips.
Eleagant but very assertive.

Overall: A sake to be enjoyed for its own sake!
Even chilled shows complex facets and elegance.
Keeps surprising you with new impressions lurking behind each sip.
To be enjoyed at leisure preferably in great comapany.
There is no need to accompany it with food although it is assertive enough to happily marry with light vegetable salads in particular.

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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

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Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Morimoto Brewery-Junmai Ginjyou Yamada Nishiki

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the second report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to: 50
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +1
Acidity: 1.3
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Dry and fruity. Fleeting. Banana, custard
Body: Fluid
Taste: Smooth attack. Fruity: banana, custard.
Just dry enough to allow for an easy appreciation.
Disappears quickly with lots of custard and almonds on a warm note.
Coffee beans and dark chocolate appear with further sips

Overall: An elegant, complex and fruity sake whose facets tend to surprise as they strike your tongue and palate.
A sake to be savored on its own as an aperitif if chilled on a hot evening, or if at room temperature as a great digestif on a winter evening.
Naturally marries well with any food but would gain more by being enjoyed on its own in special company!

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: Morimoto Brewery-Sayogoromo Tokubetsu Junmai

When one can combine work and pleasure… What more can you ask?
This is the first report of a three-article assignment on sake brewed by Morimoto Brewery in Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Rice: Homare Fuji (Shizuoka-grown)
Rice milled down to: 60%
Alcohol: 15 degrees
Dryness: +3.5
Acidity: 1.4
Brewed in 2010 and bottled in 2011

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Very faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity. Complex. Banana, vanilla.
Body: Fluid
Taste: Dry attack. Fruity: banana, coffee beans.
Disappears quickly on an even drier note.
Very little junmai petillant.
Dark chocolate and almonds appear with second sip before vanishing on a very dry note.

Overall: Very dry but smooth sake typical of Morimoto Brewery, which has always entertained the image of a “maverick” brewer in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Eminently drinkable on its own although it would make for the perfect accompaniment to heavy izakaya-style food.
Would also marry well to desserts, especially chocolate.
A brew for the dry sake lovers!

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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 Umeshu Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery-Limited Edition Umeshu with Shizuoka Tea

Many Shizuoka Breweries have been creating umeshu of their own as a way to expand their range of already extravagant nectars!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City not only made umeshu with their own sake and local Japanese plums, but they also added it local macha tea to it!
It is furthermore a very limited edition!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery’s “Diamond” mark!

Sake
Ume/Japanese plums
Shizuoka Macha Tea
Alcohol: 11 degrees

Clarity: Green cloudy
Color: Deep tea green
Aroma: fruity and sweet. Ume/Japanese plums and tea
Body: Liquorish
Taste: Very pleasant sweetish attack with typical umeshu taste.
Drier than expected. Turns even drier with second sip.
The macha tea is very distinctive but beautifully blends with the umeshu.
The macha tea will linger with a sweeter back note with further sips.

Overall: Soft liqueur impression.
Very feminine but unusual dryness will appeal to gentlemen too.
Best appreciated chilled as it will warm up quickly inside the palate revealing many facets.
In Europe would make for a beautiful aperitif!
Best drunk on its own as it would be a waste to mix with anything but ice!

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

Umeshu made with Organic Plums from Umegashima, Shizuoka City!

If you want the best products nothing can beat having good friends among local producers and farmers!
I got these rare organic plums (at least 5 kg!) thanks to my good friend, Ms. Asami Itoh/伊藤麻美さん, Director of CHA-O, a company of tea bags in Shizuoka City.
As I was busy at University, she went all the way to Higashi Mine/東峰 in Umegashima/梅が島 (meaning !Plum Island”!), Shizuoka City to get these plums for me.
There she visited a plum tree plantation owned Mr. Imai/今井さん located near the highest tea fields in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Mr. Imai grows a variety of Japanese plums called Nankoubai/南紅梅. Japanese plums are not fit to be eaten raw, but can be pickled into umeboshi or preserved in vinegar or as sweet umeshu/plum wine which is the subject of this article!

The plums!

Nankoubai plums are smaller, especially these as they are grown organically, than the ones you will find in markets which sell mass-produced plums which don’t compare when you consider taste and health!
Moreover, since these are grown in altitude they ripe at least one month later although they are harvested still half ripe for better results.

The plums are first cleaned under running water which is enough as no chemicals had been used whatsoever.
They are then wiped dried and their stems and stem “roots” taken out.
Last, a few small holes will be punched in each plum with a toothpick to allow good soaking.

The jar: choose one made of glass to allow you a good look at the contents without having to open it. This type comes in different sizes on the Japanese market. I chose one larger than the standard 4 liter-jar (20 cups) as I like to leave some space in case I need to top it later.

Do not forget to clean the jar, then kill all germs with boiling water and dry it!

The sugar.
Well. many people use many kinds, but the most popular is Koorizato/氷砂糖/”ice sugar”, very hard concentrated sugar.
I use 1 kg. Bear in mind it will take a few months only to melt!

The alcohol:
1) The Japanese sake.
People usually add cheap and low-alcohol “white liqueur” easily found in the market. This is where the main difference between cheap and high quality umeshu will be clearly defined.
I use only top-class sake and shochu!
As for the Japanese sake I chose two brews from Negami Brewery In Gotemba City this year.: Tokubetsu Junmai Nama (unpasteurized)

2) The shochu:
I use only shochu made in Shizuoka Prefecture, more expensive, but certainly extravagant quality:
Acha no Tsubome/阿茶の局/ rice shochu ’25 degrees) made by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu (1 full bottle9
En/円/rice shochu matured for two years in a Spanish Sherry barrel by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City (1/4 bottle)
Fuji no Tsuyu/富の露/rice shochu brwed by Fujinishiki Brewery in Fujinomya City (2/3 bottle)
I finally spiked the lot with 1/3 of vodka bottle which had lost half of its acohol through long storage!

That’s it!
No need to stir it yet!
I will keep it in dark place at a constant temperature and start stirring it around in about 4 months for uniformity of tatse.
The umeshu will turn a nice woody color.
We shall be able to drink and eat it in about 8~10 months!

CHA-O (Director, Ms. Asami Itoh)
420-0006 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Wakamatsu Cho, 94
Tel: 054-253-8421
Fax: 054-253-8413
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

Umeshu Season in Shizuoka (2010)!

June is not only a month for the brides but the right time for making umeshu/梅酒 in Shizuoka, and in the whole of Japan!
Ume/Japanese plums hav appeared since the last week of May as this is also the season for makeing umeboshi/梅干/pickled Japanese plums.

First of all one has to buy his/her plums green, clean and firm. Choose a batch with no scars on the skin.
Lay them in a dry place (no need to put them under the sun) on a piece of cloth until they ripen to a nice yellow/red.
Gently clean them under running cold water. Pick off the stem petal part and wipe them dry. If you want your ume wrinkled and small, use them as they are. Now if you want your plums fat and juicy to eat out of the umshu as dessert, prickle them with a clean toothpick in 5 or 6 spots. That will allow the plums to soak in the umeshu!

As for sugar, buy some good koorizato/ice-sugar/氷砂糖 if you are in Japan. Abroad, choose a clean white sugar, although brown sugar could prove very interesting, but I cannot guarantee the colour!

As for the proportions, this is my personal preference (experiment!):
-Sugar: 1 kg
-Plums: 1 kg
-Shochu: 2 bottles (720ml each/4 “go” in Japanese)
-Japanese sake: 2 bottles (720ml each/4 “go” in Japanese)

If you live in Japan, try to keep it local as much as you can!
Cheap umeshu is made with “white liqueur”. I avoid it like the plagure for two reasons: 1) very low alcohol contents, 2) it is nothing less than “reprocessed alcohol” and simply doesn’t know how, when and with what it is made!
Be a bit extravagant and create a potent and sweet nectar with the accompanying dessert (the plums!)!

Above is what I used this time (from left to right):
-Tokubetsu Honjyozo sake, Kikuyoi, by Aoshima Brewery in Fujieda City.
-Tokubetsu Honjyozo sake, Suginishiki, by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City.
-Shochu (rice), En, by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City. This shochu is made with the white lees of premium sake and then matured for 2 years inside sherry casks imported from Spain!
-Shochu (rice), Acha no Tsubome, by Hana no Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City.

RECIPE:

-Drop the sugar in the glass “jug”.

-Place all the plums delicately on top. Don’t throw them in!

-First pour all the shochu.

-Top with all the sake.

-Tighly close the jug.

-Store the umeshu in a dark place away from high temperature sources. Do not leave in the fridge. Ambient temperature of 15~25 degrees Celsius is best (in my opinion!).

The sugar will take at least 6 months to completely dissolve.
The plums will slowly sink to the bottom.
Move the contents around gently once a month by swirling the jug (do not open it!).
Once the sugar is completely dissolved, the plums have all sunk to the bottom and have become the same colour as the liqueur (about 8~10 months), it is then ready to be savoured although one could wait even longer for better maturity!

Enjoy on plenty of ice.
Naturally it can be used in many recipes from sauces to desserts!
I have a special fondness for fat and juicy umeshu plums!
Bazooka Gourmet will most feel compelled to comment! LOL

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Umeshu: Sanwa Brewery


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umeshu-sanwa

Umeshu comes under different guises in Japan, but if you buy one instead of making it yourself make sure you buy one brewed by a reputable Brewery!
In Shizuoka Prefecture, umeshu is an extravagant affair when made by the local breweries.
Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City is no exception!

Sanwa Brewery Garyubai Umeshu

Alcohol: 12 degrees (fairly low for Shizuoka but still high when compared with cheap stuff!)
Ingredients: Japanese Plum (“Ume”), Sake. Sugar.

Clarity: Very clear at rest. Smoky if stirred beforehand
Colour: Orange/sepia
Aroma: Ver fragrant and sweet plums.
Body: Velvety~fluid
Taste: Dry attack, turns sweet later. Shortish tail. Very pleasant impression. Elegant.

Overall: Very enjoyable and easy to drink.
Fine at room temperature.
Makes for a great aperitif when chilled.
Great with cheese at room temperature.
Elegant beverage. Should please both ladies and gentlemen!