Jan 27, 2010

Home Sake Party with Ice Wine

I like to invite friends to my place and have a party. One good point is that drink and food we need do not cost so much compared with when we drink at a restaurant. I can ask each member to bring some food and drink, and we can share food, drink, and a good time.

Several bottles of sake I had purchased were stored in my refrigerator. So, this time, I took all of these bottles out of my refrigerator and put them on the table to treat my friends. In addition, I also wanted to drink some namazake, so I went to a liquor shop and bought two bottles of namazake.

Five people attended the party, and four were women. I didn't intentionally tell only women to come, but in reality only women came to my place on this day. Anyway, I drink sake happily when many women are around me.

A party attended by many women is lively and merry, isn't it? Women talk like machine guns without interruption, and it is very difficult to interrupt them with my words.

Well, as to sake on that day, I prepared these bottles shown in the photo below. Besides them, there was another bottle of aged junmai ginjo sake, which was brought by one of my friends.

In the figure above, did you notice a bottle of ice wine, the second one from the left? I was given this bottle by a Canadian friend of mine. She is also a great sake lover and came to Japan to explore the world of sake last year.

We poured this ice wine to small glasses and started our drinking party with it. The wine has made from grapes that had repeatedly been frozen and thawed over cold days in a severe winter of Canada to concentrate sugar inside them. The wine tasted sweetish and had fresh acidity. The taste reminded me that of umeshu, or plum wine.

Whether it is sake or wine, what is made with loving care tastes good. Thanks to the friend who brought this wine to me, thanks to those who made it.

In addition to the ice wine, we enjoyed some bottles of sake, which were as follows:

Shinpi-no-Benizake by Buko Syuzo: purplish sake brewed from kodai-mai, an ancient rice variety. The brewery generally makes dry sake, but this one was sweetish.

Kasen Junmai Sake (gold foils added): This bottle seemed to be intended for the last year's "New Year" season but was left unsold on a shelf. I purchased it at a bargain price. The brewery of this sake makes nice dry sake, and this sake also exhibited characteristics that well representing the taste of the brewery. Whether gold foils were added or not had nothing to do with the taste.

Garyubai Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu: As I expected, this was the most popular among those who were at the party. Personally, I like it better if it has more dynamism of namazake. I usually seek dynamism rather than gracefulness in namazake.

Niwa-no-Uguisu Tokubetsu Junmai: I purchased this sake when I traveled to Fukuoka prefecture last year. By the time we drank this sake, I had drunk quite much and I was so tipsy that I could not understand details of the taste of this sake. Nonetheless, I understood this was good sake with rich rice flavor.

Sawanoi Junmai Ginjo Koshu (brewed in 2000): 10-year old sake. This golden yellow sake has rich bouquet of aging. When warmed, it increased its mildness in taste.

Kisho Honjozo Shiboritake Namazake: This sake has a forceful flavor with full of liveliness, which is difficult to find in sake from a brewery other than this brewery.

Kijoshu of Toshimaya Syuzou: Kijoshu is a type of sake brewed with a special method; they use sake instead of some part of the mother water to prepare fermenting mash. We wound up the party with vanilla ice cream topped with this kijoshu. Sweet ice cream with bitterness of sake was nice for dessert!

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Dr. Christian G.E. Schiller said...

Great Posting. Can you write something about Koshu wine?


Christian G.E. Schiller

Ichibay said...

Dr. Christian G.E. Schiller,
Thank you for your comment. I wish I could write something also about Koshu wine. Unfortunately, I am not at home with wine.

takui said...

Ichiro san,
I see my bottle of icewine in the picture!
And you are gloating about how many women love drinking sake with you! Too funny!

I miss Japan! Went to the liquor store here in Canada, poor selection of sake. I gave up, I needed some good shipment to Canada.