Monday, October 29, 2007

Trader Joe-san's Sake

Sake at Trader Joe's...who knew? On a recent trip I found two varieties, a junmai ginjo and a sparkling sake. Here are the specs and my tasting notes on each:

Junmai Ginjo Premium Sake
Alcohol 14-15%
SMV +3 (medium dry)
Serving suggestion: Chilled
Texture: Soft and smooth
Pairing food: seafood and lightly grilled meats
Produced and bottled by Oimatsu Shuzo Co., Hita
Tasting notes: The scent is very pleasant, yeasty, and full of butterscotch. Taste is light and earthy, no fruits or sweetness at all.

Sparkling Sake
Alcohol 7%
Produced and bottled by Ume no Yado Brewery Co., Nara
Tasting notes: The aroma out of the bottle is ricey and fruity. The color is a creamy yellow and the bubbles are tiny and abundant. This was less sweet than the other sparkling sakes that I've had. I think I could confidently serve this to a skeptical champagne lover, while with something like Hou Hou Shu (which I love) I'd be worried it would be too sweet.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

An aside...

I was in Washington D.C. last week for the Rare Book School class Japanese Illustrated Books in the Edo Period, and I had the opportunity to have dinner at Citronelle. There was no sake served with my tasting menu (why not?!), but I thought the meal was worth mentioning here because it was so ridiculously delicious. I had the Promenade Gourmande tasting menu with the wine pairing:


AMUSE BOUCHE, egg surprise, tuna sausage, escargot crumble

Champagne A. Margaine, “Brut Premier Cru” Villers-Marmery

"A NEW VICHYSSOISE", potato flakes, leek milk

SOFT SHELL CRAB, corn risotto

Riesling Grand Cru “Rosacker”, Domaine Sipp-Mack 2004

ROCKFISH, vegetable pearls, lemon verbena emulsion

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, “Les Gallimardes,” Domaine Giraud 2004


Meursault, Domaine Sylvain Dussort 2004

VEAL, black angus steak, sweetbreads, morel sauce, asparagus

Gevrey-Chambertin, “Cuvee Pere Galland,” Domaine Jean-Michel Guillon 2003


Shiraz, Mollydooker Wines, “The Boxer”, South Australia 2006



Banyuls, “Helyos”, Domaine Alain Reynaud 2002


Well, the cost was quite shocking, but I have to say, I'm often disappointed by expensive, extravagant meals, but it wasn't the case with Citronelle. The food really was fantasy-like as was the service. I was dining alone and they gave me a wonderful table with a great view of the kitchen and I felt like they treated me like a princess. Maybe it's time to start saving up for my next trip to D.C., because I absolutely want to go back!