Feb 10, 2009

Wind Brings Money to Sake Brewers?

On our way home from a sightseeing trip to Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, last weekend, my friend and I had to wait for our Shinkansen bullet train to leave Sendai Station for a while due to strong wind, which greatly affected the service schedules of trains.

The announcement at the station around four o'clock told that local trains and Shinkansen bullet trains was stalled because of strong wind. The entrance gate of Shinkansen was crowded with passengers seeking information from Japan Railway officials.

Soon, the service was resumed, and the 4:58 Max Yamabiko train for Tokyo came into the track on time. It seemed we could leave soon. We got on the train, got seated, and waited for it to leave. Then, another announcement told that wind again intensified, the train would stay at the station for an another 30 minutes, and then they would determine whether to leave.

We wasted no time to go to the nearby kiosk on the platform to get food and drink just in case that we needed to spend a long time in the train. By the way, as to sake and snack to eat with sake, there is no problem because we always have something when we go by train.

In the train, a guy was talking over the phone worrying about what time he could reach Tokyo. There was also a woman who almost lost her tempter against another woman who seemed to be her mother. There were somehow awkward moods around us. However, we did not mind the delay of the train because we could drink sake at leisure in the train. We might have to be thankful for the delay because we were able to spend a longer time for drinking more sake.

(With eating oxtongue jerked meat, we enjoyed Ichi-no-kura Shiboritake.)

Finally, we reached Tokyo about two hours behind the schedule, but we could drink sake.

There is a Japanese saying that strong wind brings money to coopers, while I would say, "Strong wind brings money to sake brewers," because we drink a lot of sake in a stopped train:-)

(Oxtangue lunch box was very nice.)

Today's Sake
Tokubetsu Junmai Yamatoden (Ichi-no-kura)
Thanks for tasty sake also today!
Rice used: Kura no Hana
Seimaibuai: 50%
Alcohol: 15 - 16%
Sake meter value: (+)1 - (+)3
Acidity: 1.4 - 1.6

Feb 5, 2009

Let's Gulp Down Local Low-priced Sake!

Of course, premium sakes like ginjo and daiginjo sakes taste nice, but regular sakes, which are not tokuteimeishoshu (special designation sake), go well with daily dinner. You can gulp such sake with your food.

It is fun to feel easy, watching TV, and chat with your family, while shoveling food into your mouth and washing it down with cheap sake. It doesn't sound elegant? Maybe. However, this is my style of drinking cheap sake, and I think this is quite a good way to enjoy regular sake. No, in this case, I am enjoying something other than sake, which is a second fiddle.

I drink almost everyday, and can't afford expensive special designation sakes. If you want to drink much, I recommend you to drink sakes that are priced at 1,800 yen or lower for 1.8-litter bottle. I think eating dinner with watching TV and drinking cheap sake is fun. When I get slightly drunk, I feel sleepy and fall into a doze, and the TV is broadcasting a popular samurai drama, of which I usually miss a large part since I wake up before five minutes it ends. Well, it's OK.

Lately, I often drink sakes below. These are sold in nearby liquor shops and are from sake breweries in the cities in my vicinity.

-- Left: Kasen Josen (Tamura Shuzoujou); Right: Sawanoi Godanjikomi (Ozawa Brewery) --

I think this is a kind of happiness to drink cheap sake from local breweries laughing with having no worries without mentioning the seimaibuai, sake meter value, acidity, or other parameters.

One guy from a brewery once said:
"I am aiming at making sake which people can enjoy it in a relaxed atmosphere without paying attention to details of flavor and aroma. It is like such sake that people will suddenly find its bottle being laid in front of them because they have been enjoying too much to think of how much they have drunk."
Lately, I often ponder the meaning of these significantly meaningful words.

Today's Sake
Juemon Junmai Muroka Genshu (Toshimaya Syuzou)
This sake is slightly acid and having a trace of astringent taste. It gives me strong impression.
Rice used: Hattan-nishiki
Seimaibuai: koji 55%、kake 60%
Alcohol: 17 - 18%
Sake meter value: (+)3.5
Acidity: 1.6