Thursday, March 12, 2009

Serenading a Hong Kong saké shop

Elvis! I can't read most of this blog, but I know it's another reason to get back to Hong Kong!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Notes from the saké and cheese tasting

*The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that cherry blossoms will open earlier than usual this year. Check here for the forecast.*

The saké and cheese tasting at Cooks of Crocus Hill was a great success. Ken Liss of Premier Cheese Market and Mark Hamer of Vino Source led the group through the tasting with 6 cheeses and 5 sakés. I thought that we would try each saké with one of the cheeses, but we tried each saké with each cheese. Of course, that made a lot more sense and it was amazing to try all the combinations.

1. Greek Kiss, Alabama, goat's milk
2. Brie de Meaux, France, cow's milk
3. Patacabra, Spain, goat's milk
4. Prairie Breeze, Iowa, cow's milk
5. Cereta alt Urgell, Spain, cow's milk
6. Shropshire Blue, England, cow's milk
Bonus cheese: Ewephoria, Sheepsmilk gouda

Sakés with some notes on the pairings
1. Nanbu Bijin (Southern Beauty), junmai ginjo
No notes...was this the last saké we tasted???

2. Mukune (Shadows of Katano), nigori junmai ginjo
People tasted mushrooms with the Brie de Meaux, a candy taste with the Prairie Breeze and "turned butter" with the Cereta alt Urgell. I actually liked the Cereta alt Urgell pairing.

3. Mukune (Root of Innocence), junmai ginjo
Chocolate was noted with the Greek Kiss. The class favorite seemed to be the Shropshire Blue. Again, I liked the Cereta alt Urgell. Do I have bad taste? Others found it bitter.

4. Sato no Homare (Pride of the Village), junmai ginjo
This saké, when combined with the Certa alt Urgell, made for a strong chocolate taste. My favorite pairing with this was the Patacabbra.

5. Chiyonosono (Sacred Power), junmai ginjo
I liked the Greek Kiss with this. Interestingly, it cut the aftertaste of the saké.

The differences in the pairings were pretty amazing, especially considering that all the saké were junmai ginjo. It would be fun to try pairing cheese with other saké, such as a koshu, honjozo, even a junmai daiginjo (would the cheese overpower the most delicate saké?) I guess that's a homework project!

I want to mention that Ken Liss knows cheese...I'm really looking forward to visiting the shop. They are taking part in "Ladies' night out" on March 12th at 50th and France and offering 10% off all purchases from 4-9 pm and men can get in on the deal too.