Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tasting aromatic Japanese sake at the Joy of Sake's Aftertaste

Katana's scenic outdoor patio was the sunset hour setting for Joy of Sake's Aftertaste--I tasted 35 out of the 37 sakes presented (I did not drive home). After the blind tasting, conducted in the same manner as an official sake judging--a few drops of each sake and then rating them from outstanding (1) to noticeably flawed (5)--there was some free range tasting, which made the crowd very friendly. Honolulu-based, the Joy of Sake organization is a non-profit that hosts several tastings a year on both coasts and in Honolulu. This tasting centered on aromatic sakes--a style developed in the last 25 years. Among those I found well balanced and pleasingly aromatic were two available only in Japan: the Shindo Shuzoten "Gasanryu Gokugetsu" Daiginjo from Yamagata and from Niigata (a style I seem to always like) a junmai from Yoshikawa Tojinosato "Tenkeiraku." The group will be doing another tasting in San Francisco on September 10th featuring 140 sakes and appetizers. Good news for sake distributors, lots of younger drinkers were at the Katana event including the lead singer of Powedertrain, a band out of San Jose.

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