Last March, Curtis and I had the good fortune to travel to Japan at the very end of the sake brewing season. I have long touted the beauty of sake from Niigata—a prefecture just Northwest of Tokyo on the Sea of Japan—and it was incredible to finally get there! This cold, snowy region has a mountain range running through it, which provides the soft, pure snow melt water that makes sake from this area special (or is one element, anyway). So in the spirit of an amazing trip filled with incredible sake and the lovely people that make it, all of our sakes for this offer are from Niigata!
Sake Holiday Gift Offer 1 – Niigata Mixed Selection, $85
Yuki Otoko Honjozo
One of the breweries we visited in Niigata was Aoki Shuzo,which was celebrating it’s 300th year of production while we were there.
The brewery’s Yuki Otoko bottling is a Honjozo made of Miyama Nishiki rice milled back to 60% remaining. The palate profile is clean and dry, with notes of steamed rice, white mushroom and macademia nut. This sake is extremely versatile with food and excellent warmed, at room temperature or chilled. The snow yeti on the bottle’s label is a character in local folklore that is said to help wary travelers through the local mountain trails.
Kirinzan Junmai Ginjo
This incredible brewery is named after it’s location at the base of Mount Kirin, and is flanked by beech trees and the Tokonami River. Their style epitomizes the classic Niigata style—delicate, dry and shimmering with soft, layered nuance. This Junmai Ginjo is composed of local Gohyakumangoku rice polished back to 55% remaining. The palate is clean and bright with golden cherries, white floral notes and preserved lemon.
Kirinzan Junmai Ginjo with Mizu
This is the same sake as described above, but for this offer it will come with a bottle of water (mizu) from the kura (brewery). Did you know that sake is composed of 80% water? This bottled water is the same the sake is made with—so drink alongside the sake for a parallel palate experience!
Katafune Tobintori Daiginjo
This gold medal award-winning sake is a limited production gem by a very highly regarded, small kura. The sake is composed of Yamada Nishiki rice (considered by many experts to be the “king of sake rice”) polished back to 45% of the rice grain remaining. Tobintori refers to a brewing practice sometimes used for sake meant for competition—where sake is separated from the lees by gravity into tobin (18L bottles), and cold stored in the smaller dimension bottles, rather than large tanks. The resulting sake has fresh and bright aromatics of Asian pear, hibiscus and wild strawberry. Delicate and clean umami offer balance to the fruit and floral tones. A truly elegant and refined beauty!
To order or inquire e-mail Jessica@miminashi.com.
Sake gift offers will be available for pick-up by December 10th.