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Thread: The Sake Thread

  1. #1
    One Marmot, Two Cups darby's Avatar




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    Default The Sake Thread

    Anybody around these parts knowledgeable when it comes to sake?


    I only ever have it when I'm at a sushi or teppan place, but I'd like to maybe have some sake around the house. It might also be interesting to take to a party some time.

    And if anyone knows where I might be able to get the hardware to warm up some sake, that'd be much appreciated, too.



    Thanks!


    "Only a numbskull thinks he knows things about things he knows nothing about."
    "It's understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself."

  2. #2
    Team LGK OTTo VoN BLoTTo's Avatar




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    Please indulge me, Darby. Sake is a subject very dear to my heart.

    Having a Japanese wife we eat their cuisine often, and I drink it once or twice a week - or more - whenever possible.

    What I've found is that with sake enjoyment it's all about the food pairing. Just as Italian wine with Italian food, French wine with French food, etc, the clean-sweet-savory-earthy-briny flavors of sake were born and raised over many hundreds of years to sing with Japanese ingredients and preparations. My favorite heavenly pairings (to name just a few) where I MUST have sake are:

    SUSHI of all types (and especially sushi rice, pickled ginger, wasabi, shoyu)
    Seaweed, and Japanese pickles
    Unagi (broiled eel)
    Ikura (salmon roe)
    broiled fish (salmon, squid, hamachi-kama, saba, etc.)
    Hiyayako tofu
    ****ake mushrooms (with shoyu or ponzu)
    Puffed rice crackers (Osembe)

    If eating heavy, rich, spicy, oily, or beef-meaty dishes (ramen; sukiyaki; tonkatsu) reach for a beer. The Japanese drink tons of it and would agree.

    There are many sake styles from feather-light, dry, and crisp (women tend to prefer); to thick, slightly sweet and full-bodied. Being a hedonistic male with a brutish American palate I enjoy more full-bodied and assertive styles that pack a flavor punch. My go-to-anytime house favorites (that are fairly easy to find) are:

    Hakkaisan (crowd-pleasing)
    Otokoyama (crowd-pleasing/great QPR)
    Yuki no bosha (rich and full-bodied)
    Dewazakura (anything by them)
    Kubota-manju (expensive, but awesome. crowd-pleasing)
    Okunomatsu brown-label (excellent QPR/crowd-pleasing)
    and last but not least, these little $5 cans:

    "Funaguchi" by Kikusui. 19% alcohol, and tastes SOOOOO dangerously good. Unfiltered, and unpasteurized. KILLER with sushi. Wife hates it. Man's drink for sure. Full bodied like a motherf****er and will kick your ass around the block if drink too many cans.

    All the above are best enjoyed chilled or even room temp. (like wine, to appreciate their complexities). That's the general rule amongst Japanese.

    Regarding warming your sake, you can certainly do it. I like it too - especially in winter or cooler weather, if you're sick, or with sushi sometimes. Snobs may scoff, but **** them. it's just comforting somehow. You'll want to choose a lower price and simpler sake though. If you want warm sake at a restaurant, Kikumasamune is widely available and sort-of the warmed sake standard. Pretty damn good IMHO. If you want to do it at home, you can buy those ceramic vessels at any asian or Japanese market and simply microwave it for a minute or two.

    Another thing about sake is the cool happy buzz. Different from wine, beer, or anything else. Love it. And if watching Japanese cinema (especially older stuff like Zatoichi, Ozu, or Kurosawa), NOTHING brings you into the story like sake. Or may be I'm just a dork.

    Damn.... now I wanna drink sake!!!

  3. #3
    fantastic hair. lunchbox's Avatar




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    mitsuwa is a good Japanese market to buy your wares. or little Tokyo...

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    Support the Fans SirJW's Avatar




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    Whole Foods has a pretty good selection and they can help you out.

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    Where is my mind? PuckMonkey's Avatar




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    Tokyo Table in Arcadia has really given me an education and appreciation of sake. (Great food too, btw)

    ...Tokyo Table offers a unique dining experience in a stylish and tasteful environment, featuring the freshest seasonal ingredients and one of Southern California’s largest selections of sake – all at affordable prices...

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    Team LGK OTTo VoN BLoTTo's Avatar




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    Darbs, look for those cans. They should be easy to find, and great to have a few stashed away in teh fridge. 180ml, so don't have to commit to opening a full bottle on a night when you just want a little.

  7. #7
    One Marmot, Two Cups darby's Avatar




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    This thread is going swimmingly!

    Thanks for all the info so far!


    "Only a numbskull thinks he knows things about things he knows nothing about."
    "It's understanding that makes it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself."

  8. #8
    at the bar Annapurna's Avatar




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    I like Yuki No Bosha and Suishin Shugetsu Junmai Daiginjo

    Your best bet for great sake is to make nicey nice with the owner or manager of a decent Japanese restaurant that has a sake list. They can purchase the most amazing bottles of sake that are not sold to the public here. I wish I can remember the names of the brands, but it is like drinking flowers.

  9. #9
    I'm Cultured, Bitch ianmonsta's Avatar




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    had this really good sake this weekend at origami in downtown la, it was a chilled sake and it was almost like a shake texture, ill have to find out the name, came in a plastic bottle that looked like a squirt soda bottle. easily the best sake ive ever had, inexpensive too.

  10. #10
    is watching you.... King Taco's Avatar




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    +1 for Matsuwa.

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