Wandering Poet Rihaku 李白

June 27th, 2012

The wandering poet Rihaku also known as Li Bai, was a 7th century chinese poet. Li Bai was as famous for his love of wine as his gift of poetry. Wondering Poet is a Junmai Ginjyo made in Shinmane Prefecture,  Japan. It has a very crisp and clean favor with no after taste.  This sake has a wholeness to it.  No one taste stands out by itself.  All the tastes blend together nicely to produce a crisp clean drinking experience.     Always serve it cold.

300ml   $16.00

Sake in Review : 熱燗 Atsukan / Hot Sake

July 16th, 2011

Atsukan (Hot Sake) has three basic qualities, its hot, alcoholic and cheap.  In the world of hot sake it is volume over quality.  In America if you order hot sake it will likely be from one of these three labels.  Sake at this level, if served cold will taste flat, bitter, and almost stale. That is because much of the time consuming process to produce a premium sake is left out in order to produce a large quantity at a low price. Heating the sake smooths out the bitterness of the taste. When drank hot, you will get a semi-smooth, acidic taste with varying degrees of aftertaste. The easiest way to prepare hot sake is to buy a microwave-safe sake set like the one in the picture below. I bought this set in Asakusa, Japan.  Pour the sake in the container and microwave for 2 minutes.  Enjoy with friends. Also, this level of sake is what you would use for other drinks like ‘sake bombs’.

      720 ml Bottles
      Ozeki  $4.50
      Gekkeikan $6.00
      Sho Chiku Bai  $8.00

Sake in Review : 伊丹鬼ごろし Itami Onigoroshi

July 15th, 2011

Itami Onigoroshi, The demon killer from Itami, Japan, is a junmai sake.  This entry is a light and very dry sake.    It is pleasantly sweet without being fruity with a crisp clean dry taste that is slightly acidic.   It has no after-taste to speak of and would go well with other light food.    Unfortunately it is very difficult to find the 720ml bottle,  so you may only find the 1.8L bottle.   Even, with a large bottle this fine sake will not last long.   Should always be served chilled.

1.8L  $25.50

Sake in Review : 白鶴 Hakutsuru

June 28th, 2011

Hakutsuru (White Crane) is a Junmai Sake made in Kobe, Japan.    I  have sampled many different sakes from very cheap to very expensive, and Hakutsuru is I think the best value within the USA.   It can be served both hot and cold without losing it’s character.   It is a clean, slightly sweet without being a fruity sake.  It also has an acidity to wake up the senses with only a slight tail on the back end.   Because of it’s price per volume value, this is my standard drinking sake.

1.8 Liter  $16.00

Sake in Review : 愛燦々 Ai San San

June 7th, 2011

A few nights ago, I sampled a recently purchased sake called Ai San San (“Love Brilliant”).  This sake is a Junmai from the Seiryo Shuzo Co. in Ehime Prefecture,  Shikoku Japan.    Upon opening it I could smell apple aromas coming from the bottle.   First sip revealed a smooth sweet drink with no tail.   The drink contained fruity and slightly sour flavors which mixed together give the drink an overall tangy flavor.  Unfortunately this was not at all to my liking so the bottle was left unfinished.

300ml $13.00

Sake in Review : 路上有花 Bloom on the Path

June 7th, 2011

Recently, I was invited to a private sake tasting to sample a rather expensive sake bought by the renowned Sushi Club of Houston President, Mr. Carl Rosa. The sake was a Junmai Daiginjyo from Tamba, Hyogo Japan and came in a beautiful container befitting it’s expense. As everyone gather around and toasted, I could smell a very pleasing mint aroma from the glasses. The first drink revealed a very smooth and slightly dry drink with pleasant mint ascents. However, there was an acidity and harness on the back end that had no place in this style or level of sake. Therefore, I was somewhat disappointed in the overall performance of this entry. This is proof that price is not a guarantor of quality and that sake tasting is an adventure. The prices of the bottle excluding shipping was $160 for 720ml.

Sake in Review : 紅麹にごり酒 Blush Nigori Sake

June 1st, 2011

I had the good fortune to be invited to a dinner party where one of the events was the tasting of a nigori (unfiltered) sake from Miyajima, Japan. After dinner, everyone gather around the table to sip this fine sake. The sake was smooth, creamy, sweet, fruity, and the acidity made it taste like it was lightly carbonated. It had a rich creamy desert taste with no after taste to spoil the effect. This is a perfect after dinner drink and should always be served chilled. I did some research and found the shop in Miyajima that sells this sake. The shop is called “参匠” (SanSyou). I have included in this article the website links to this shop. However, because of the odd formatting of the website it can only be viewed correctly in Internet Explorer.  Hope you have a chance to enjoy this fine sake.

SanSyou Store Links    Main Page    Sake Page      300ml   $22.00

Origami : 銀鶴 Silver Crane

May 17th, 2011

This is what you can do with two pieces of Japanese chewing gum, a dime, and a few minutes.

Sake in Review : 松竹梅 Sho Chiku Bai Nama

May 17th, 2011

Sho Chiku Bai which means Pine, Bamboo, and Plum is a Jumai Sake from Berkeley, California.    American made sakes are becoming more widely known but this is only the second one that I thought was worth drinking.   This is Nama (unpasteurized) sake made from certified organically grown rice.   Pouring the first glass I could smell a slight mint aroma.   The first tastes revealed a clean, dry, and slight acidic experience.   It is slightly sweet without being fruity and has a slight tail on the back end.   This sake can be served with a wide range of food and should always be served chilled.

300 ml  $7.00   +5.0 (dry)

Origami : Dragon Family

May 5th, 2011

What can you do with three pieces of paper, a toothpick and 2 hours of time? Answer, Do a entire origami exhibit, complete with photos and article. I used 6″, 4″, and 3″ square colored paper for this project. What is the toothpick for you may ask? Toothpicks are great tools when you are dealing with very small origami figures, because most of the time your fingers will be too big. Tooth picks work wonders for small figures.  Enjoy the pictures.  (click pictures for full size)