SAKE SOMMELIER SELECTS ...
Melissa Mills | Sake Connect
Refinement & Purity
A vista of stars in the winter night sky as she crossed the foothills on her way to night brewing work inspired master brewer Nobuko Inaba to call this sake Stella. Images of the glistening intensity but cold purity filling her imagination. The washi paper label depicting the southern slopes of Mount Tsukuba and the myriad of stars over her hometown.
As the sixth generation of her family and now in her twentieth year of sake brewing, she carries forward the passion of generations past without regret. The small production, limited edition Stella Junmai Daiginjo a window into her world.
Silky smooth, refined with superb balance; textures shared by both sake and cup, sensed on the lip and tongue. The edge of this celadon ware a taut precipice from which enticing aromas of white flowers and lush blueberry spill as you raise this vessel to sip. Experience the harmony of sake handcrafted from highly polished grains of rice which merge with the delicate turquoise velvet of this ceramic.
A Study Of Contrast
A sake that speaks to the duality of life. It appears clear in the bottle yet a rich, creamy rice lees remains within. Invert to mix the bottle before opening then watch the cloudy white sake as it swirls into the dark depths of the guinomi. The cloudiness or nigori defining and yet obscuring the limits of the sake cup.
Two images, one smiling, one frowning; gaze at us from the bottle’s label inspired by the woodblock and sumi ink prints of Shodo Iwagaki, a Soto-Zen Buddhist monk of the Mairai-ji temple near the brewery in Okayama Prefecture. These contrasting images are perhaps a clue to the delicious sweet and sour flavours that characterise this sake.
Maiko Tsuji, 7th generation of the brewing family and current Master Brewer works alongside her brother and small team, crafting their Gozenshu brand sake using an ancient starter technique known as Bodaimoto. Her focus is on striving to make the best sake without compromise, acknowledging their tradition but creating a smooth path into the modern world.
Ohmine 3grain Junmai
Deceptive minimalism is the link between this sake and a cup with a white glaze that seems to be evolving as we hold it in hand. The sake bottle’s modern aesthetic expresses the purity of the rice and water ferment resulting in a crystal-clear liquid that fills the mouth with delicious fruitiness then traverses confidently through a spectrum of sweet, sour, umami and spicy flavours.
Undeniable texture and body in this sake means that it drinks well from this cup which has a full, curved contour on the lip. The weight and body of the smooth ceramic adds to our appreciation of the umami backbone of this sake.
Crafted from Yamaguchi’s cobalt blue Benten-water spring known as ‘Water for the Gods’ and locally grown rice, this sake is made at Ohmine brewery, purpose-built to resurrect a family’s sake brewing roots after 50 years in the wilderness. A grandson translating his grandfather’s craft with a new energy and a contemporary outlook.
SAKE FUN FACTS
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NAMES FOR SAKE X OCCASION
There are names for situations where you drink sake.Drink it under a sakura tree during the hanami season and it's called Hanami Zake (花見酒). Drink it with a Sakazuki during the New Year and it is called Toso (屠蘇). Drink it while admiring the full moon during the autumn and it is called Tsukimi Zake (月見酒). Drink it indoors while watching the snow fall and it is called Yukimi Zake (雪見酒).
Unlike wine, which is categorized by its grape variety, sake is not distinguished by the type of rice used. Instead, it’s classified by how much of the outer layer of each grain is milled away. Generally, the more the rice is milled, the more refined the flavor.
Forget everything you know about vintage wines. Sake is meant to be polished off sooner rather than later. While some sake connoisseurs are experimenting with aging techniques, the fresher and younger the sake, the better it tastes. Once opened, keep in the fridge.
8 x temperatures for sake
see doc temp x type x name of tempaerature
- occupy or attract (someone's interest or attention)
- participate or become involved in
- establish a meaningful contact or connection with
- allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of
- become involved in (an activity, typically one that is undesirable or disapproved of)
- satisfy or yield freely to (a desire or interest)