// Sake of the week #021: Kamekameha Sumeragi Junmai Daiginjo

At a rowdy sake evening with friends, I thought I heard someone talking about sipping some aged Mekishiko sake. When I tried to ask about it, I was very embarrassed to learn that the whole conversation was actually about Akishika from Osaka–no mention of Mexico.

During the first week of August, at a tasting event planned by the Nomu Rangerswe invited Uehara-san from Uehara Shuzo, Shiga, who is famous for the very robust Furosen brand, as our special guest. As we were getting ready for the tasting, I almost had another “oops” moment. I was putting the 12 bottles up for display, when I heard that the second one was called Kamehameha. “Uehara-san is going Hawaian!”, I thought. I looked at the label carefully before I said anything and saw no picture of King Kamehameha. Instead, three very square kanji read, Kamekameha.

Kamekameha is made from Kame no O rice and that’s where the name comes from. Kame no O is often written with the characters for tortoise tail in kanji. Sumeragi can also mean emperor. So, Kamekameha Sumeragi means something like Best of the Kame no O or King of Kame no O! So, I was right, it is a king after all! I still think someone should convince Uehara-san to make another label for Hawaii!

This particular sake we tried was from the last brewing season and had very fresh, clean, yet with full body to stand up to the food such as basashi or thinly sliced horse meat with lot of garlic and soy sauce, anago-no-nikogori, or reba sashi. So, you can imagine how much this tortoise king can hold up to any food. Kamekameha Junmai Daiginjo will be available in Japan after September 1st.

Kamekameha and Furosen are produced by Uehara Shuzo, Shiga Prefecture.
Uehara Shzuo’s Web site in Japanese: http://www.ex.biwa.ne.jp/~furo-sen/index.html

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