酒 Saké

Week 13 in the Year of Drinking Adventurously.  Saké.

Saké, the traditional potent potable of Japan, is not a spirit, not a wine -like many believe (the term rice wine is a misnomer) and not exactly a beer either.  It is made from rice in a brewing process better described by Jeff’s book (which I hope you have all purchased by now!):

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I will try to synopsize:  Rice is polished to remove the bran, the rice is used to make the fermentable mash from which the saké is distilled.  The amount of polishing of the rice determines the type of saké that results.  This is a ridiculous oversimplification.

The finished product is a clear beverage weighing in at about 15% alcohol.  So here’s my saké story…  I invested in a premium bottle, a Japanese import.  Drank a glass with a lovely Asian dish prepared at home, on Saturday evening.  I was not impressed.  I didn’t think it tasted… well, like anything, actually.  It was very mild -so much so that I couldn’t even pick up any of the subtleties one might taste in a wine or beer, for example.  Just to make sure I wasn’t missing something, I actually contacted Jeff about it.  He told me the flavors are often delicate.  But, he also informed me the brand I bought sucks!  Ha!  My bad!  Should’ve asked before I spent $45. C’est la vie…

I went back to the liquor store for another go, this time, armed with a recommendation from the author.  Turns out about $15 will buy a nice domestic sakè:  Momokawa Organic Sakè made in Oregon.  Man, what a difference!  It actually tasted like stuff!  I’m still having a hard time describing it.  It’s more like wine (maybe sherry, but lighter) than anything else, but not quite.  I drank it slightly cooler than room temperature, not cold.  Because I literally came home, unscrewed the cap and drank it straight from the bottle.  Yeah, I know….  But in my defense, I was pressed for time.  It warms on the way down!  Sakè may be served heated, too.  That did not appeal.  I am pleasantly surprised.  I am so glad I went back and tried again.  Or else I would have been left with the wrong impression.  And since it might be easy to forget you’re drinking a potent potable because of the light and delicate flavor, I’ve included some Japanese wisdom –  don’t be the nail that sticks out! 😀

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Oh, and Godzilla’s excited for you to try it.  (You really didn’t think I could go to Japan and not include Godzilla, now did you?)  Go visit Lula to see how she drank her sakè!72mZjUk.gif

 

30 thoughts on “酒 Saké

  1. Mid way through your post I was about to go all indignant on you, but as I read on that Momokawa was Jeff’s suggestion for the good stuff put my hackles down. I love Momokawa sakes. They have several different and were responsible for my first sake cocktail years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your stories. I have often found that cheaper can be so much better than expensive. But it’s sort of instinctive to assume the pricier option will be better… because it should be, right?!

    I think I tried sakè once years ago… But I don’t remember what I thought of it. So maybe that’s the answer. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sake is really great! I feel it kick in about 2-3 hours after, though. It tastes better warm to me, goes down easier. 😀

    Like

  4. I eat Japanese food quite often, but have never tried sake. Even more ironic is that my favorite local Japanese restaurant is called Sake Sushi! I usually go for a Kirin or Sopporo, but I will have to give it a try next time.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really? That’s odd. I think all of them around here do – except for the fast food/carry out type places. I’m really curious to try sake now. For some reason I’ve always thought it was something very strong tasting that would get me hammered with a few sips – like ouzo. (BTW – your inclusion of Godzilla made me laugh. :-))

        Liked by 1 person

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