Archive for December, 2012

Shizuoka Sake: “Homare Fuji” Sake Rice Actively Promoted Locally and Nationally!

December 16, 2012

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Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun

Shizuoka sake brewed with Homare Fuji Rice being tasted at “Shizuoka Green Tea Plaza, Tokyo Prefectural Tokyo Tourism Office in Yuraku-Cho, Tokyo.

On the 13th of December no less than 20 Shizuoka Breweries, including internationally famous Doi (Kaiun) and Hatsukame Breweries, organised a tasting feast in Tokyo at the “Shizuoka Green Tea Plaza, Tokyo Prefectural Tokyo Tourism Office in Yuraku-Cho, to actively promote sake made exclusively with Homare Fuji Sake Rice first developped and grown in Shizuoka Prefecture, a feat noteworthy for its uniqueness in the very traditional world of sake brewing in Japan!

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Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun.

On the Prefectural scene many breweries are active promoting sake made with Homare Fuji rice such as Kanzawagawa Brewery (Shosetsu) which has been organizes brewery viewing and sake seminars since 2005 on a regular basis! This year no less than 49 sake lovers participated to the latest seminar! Knowing the brewery well, the establishment must have been really crowded!

At least the future of Japanese sake is quite rosy here in Shizuoka Prefecture!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake: A New” Brewery Born: Hiraki Shizuoka Brewery!

December 15, 2012

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Courtesy of Shizuoka Shinbun,

A”New” sake brewery is born in Shizuoka City!

Why “New” then?

Actually, by Japanese law you cannot/may not obtain a new brewery license. The only way to create/establish a new brewery is to acquire the license from a brewery which has decided to cease business before they give their license back to the government. In fact such a license can be kept indefinitely although the Tax & Excise Bureau do all it can to get it back as soon as possible. Strangely enough, such a rule applies only to sake breweries, brewers and owners…

Hiraki Company in Shizuoka City, a company with roots back in Edo Period, the biggest distributor of large spirits and drinks companies in Shizuoka Prefecture had momentarily moved from Kakegawa City in Shizuoka Prefecture to Okayama Prefecture in 1956 to acquire Hiraki Brewery while the law permitted it. They consequently moved back to Shizuoka City in 1967 to expand their business as the local distributor for big corporate companies producing drinks and spirits. Naturally, they sold their sake brand called Kihei (and still do. “Kihei” actually is the inverted name of “Hiraki”!) in Shizuoka Prefecture and were also very active in offering contracts between the local sake breweries and the big companies in Nada (Kobe area) to produce sake to the latter according to their requirements.

According to them they decided to produce sake again in Shizuoka Prefecture after a 45-year lapse (I think dates are manipulated there, but who am I to say?) after the new sake rice brand, namely “Homare Fuji” was recognized as such by the Shizuoka Prefecture and the Ministry of Agricultre and Forestry.
In 2009 they applied to the Japanese Tax & Excise Bureau after acquiring the license of Sogatsuru Brewery in Kakegawa City which had kept it (they had actually lent it to Hagi No Kura Brewery, presently Suruga Brewery for a while) ever since they stopped all activities more than 10 years ago.
Although you are not supposed to buy it, but just acquire it, I know from reliable sources that Hiraki Company obtained the license for 30,000,000 yen….

On the 1st of November 2012 they obtained permission from the Tax & excise Bureau and starting making sake end of November. They have moreover announced they are brewing real “Shizuoka sake” (although they have admitted they will also produce sake from other brands of sake rice from other Prefectures) with Shizuoka-grown Hoamre Fuji rice, Shizuoka yeast and Shizuoka water from the Abe River basin.

They have officially become members of The Shizuoka Prefecture Brewers Association and their sake will be on display at the next Shizuoka Sake Tasting Fair in March.
I was assured by the Shizuoka Prefecture Brewers Association that they were serious and did not plan to use their new brewery to facilitate sales of their Okayama Brewery sake…

Time will tell…

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Shidaizumi Brewery-”Midoshi” Honjozo

December 12, 2012

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Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City holds this great tradtion to @roduce a honjozo with a beautiful label every year for the coming Japanese New Year!
Next year will be the year of the Serpent (Snake), that is Midshi/巳歳 in Japanese as you can see on the label!

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Rice milled down to 60 %
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in December 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Fruity, slightly sirupy
Taste: Dry and very fruity attack.
Alcohol pleasantly warming up back of the palate.
Lots of nuts including almonds and macadamia nuts. Banan.
Lingers only for a little while with a very pleasant aftermath.
Drinks easily and insistently calls for the “next cup”.
Take a drier turn with food with strong hints of coffee beans.
Makes a quick comeback to fruity, almost sweetish attack back with plenty of nuts and stronger banana once away from food.

Overall: A sake designed to be enjoyed at length. Although obviously conceived to accompany food, I enjoyed it best slightly chilled on its own. Would make for a great nightcap! Or even an afternoon drink in summer in spite of its being designed for the cold weather at the turn of the year.
Personally I would be very willing to drink it with very strong cheese!
On the Japanese Gastronomic theater it perfectly marries with o-shinko/pickles and heavy izakaya cuisine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Senju Brewery-Senju Junmai Ginjyo Genshu Shiboritate

December 11, 2012

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Senju is a small but remarkable brewery in Iwata City, Western Shizuoka Prefecture, and it is not always easy to get their brews here in Shizuoka City, but for fortunately Matsuzakya Department Store has endeavored to make them known recently!

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Since I found this junmai ginjo genshu, meaning it went through through no moderation, be it pure water or pure alcohol, I had the occasion to taste the original sake of the brewery!
Moreover, since the rice was grown in Shizuoka Prefecture, it makes for a truly local sake!

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Rice: Shizuoka-groen Gohyakumangoku
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 17~18 degrees
Bottled in November 2012

Clarity: Very clear
Color: Light golden hue
Aroma: Strong and pleasant. Alcohol. Chestnuts. Grilled nuts.
Body: Fluid
Tasting: Very dry attack backed by puissant junmai petillant.
Very pleasant first impression in spite of the high alcohol content warming up the back of the palate.
Complex and fruity. Very difficult to “catch”.
Nutty, dry roasted nuts, yoghurt.
Disappears very quickly on a drier note.
Varies little with food, although tends to take a slight turn to sweetness then.
Very unexpected taste and flavors for a Shizuoka sake.

Overall: An unusual sake for Shizuoka Prefecture, both in approach and taste.
Dry but complex, puissant but elegant, very difficult to catch. Fleetingg, mysterious.
Although macho in approach, will attract ladies in particular for its fleeting character.
Although eminently enjoyable with food it will probably best appreciated on its own slightly chilled.
Could be served as a beautiful aperitif, too!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City


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