Sep 17, 2011

Ge-ge-ge no Nemurizake

Recently, when I went to Yamanashi Prefecture for picking grape in a grape farm, I dropped in Sasaichi, a sake brewery in Ohtsuki City. There, I bought a bottle of sake named "Ge-ge-ge no
Nemurizake" (the bottle has a label on which a picture of the Japan's cartoon or anime hero Ge-ge-ge no Kitaro is drawn). Sasaichi is selling several types of sake that have characters from anime, movies, TV programs, etc. on their labels. For example, there are Ken-oh (an alias name of Raoh from the action anime "Fist of North Star"), Alien Baltan (an alien who has a head resembling a cicada and big claws like a lobster from Ultraman, an SF TV drama), and others. It is interesting to me that I can see such characters on sake labels.

Well, "Nemurizake" literally means sleeping sake, so will I get sleepy if I drink this? Or, was this named so because it had been sleeping? Actually, this junmai ginjo sake had been sleeping in a wine barrel for aging (Sasaichi is also producing wine and they used their wine barrels for aging sake).

By the way, one of my problems is that I often get sleepy when I drink sake, even when I was with a good-looking lady. It doesn't mean I drink too much and get sick. I am just having a doze for a short break. Usually, I will get awake in 30 minutes to an hour, and become able to continue drinking normally. I remember my grandfather, who was a heavy drinker, also had a similar drinking style, often having a doze when drinking, and starting drinking after a while. So, maybe, I inherit my grandfather's drinking style.

Now, I will write about my experiences that somewhat troubled me due to my being prone to have a doze while drinking.

The first story I am telling you occurred when my friends and I were drinking in an izakaya. At that time, I got sleepy as usual, while the others were enjoying chat over sake. I was sleeping comfortably with my head in my arms at the table, faintly hearing the friends enjoying sake.

According to my friend, the izakaya mistress came to our table while I was sleeping and said,
"Oh, this man is sleeping."
One of my friends answered,
"He is all right, just having a short break, and we will continue drinking here and order other foods and sake." (She was suggesting that we did not intend to use this restaurant just as a sleeping place and were willing to order additional foods and sake.)
Then, this mistress insisted,
"A person who falls into a doze while drinking tends to get sick badly, so you should leave this place with him now."
In this way, we were driven out of this izakaya, although we had not drunk enough. I feel sorry for those who were with me at that time. Anyway, the izakaya had to be more generous to allow me to have just a short doze, hadn't they?

At another time, I went to another izakaya for some sake with a lady. We sat at the counter and started drinking. Then, I got sleepy as usual. Although I felt sorry for her, I had just a short doze.

It seemed that she, being bored having no one to speak with, ordered various foods and sake, and drank and ate and drank and drank.

When I woke up, I knew she had completely got drunk and couldn't make even a step. It took maybe more than 20 minutes to reach the station dragging her while it would take just a minute or so under normal conditions. So, I had such a hard time then. And, I learned I should never make a lady drink alone in some ways.

Anyway, as to this Ge-ge-ge no Nemurizake, in my personal opinion, I felt it was somewhat gaudy in taste and not easy to drink. Maybe, there is a good food pairing or good way of drinking for this sake.

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