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Sake of the week #036: Juji Asahi Orochi no Mai 15BY

Back home, I started a pot of polenta going and layered some in a dish with gorgonzola to finish in the toaster oven. Then, I put the fennel, carrots, kabu, leeks, daikon, and onion in the roaster to get started. Two of the pork steaks got a little black pepper but that was about it before a searing in the pan and then deglazing with calvados and Heering cherry liqueur. The steaks went in the roaster with all the juices and some bits of dried fig too.

At this point I had posed myself a problem without giving it any thought. What sake was going to go with a roasted dinner like this?

Please join the Sake World Sake Brewery Tour to San-in!

The destinations are totally off the beaten track, but I am sure you will find the slow pace of life there, the welcoming people, and the green scenery dotted with red gorgeous roof tiles very heartwarming. On our tour, you will experience the San-in region through sake, by going right to the best sources and by really getting an understanding of the brew from the world’s best expert!

San’in Trip: Day Five-Yubaaba in Yunotsu

A tale from Yunotsu … Somehow, one of the ladies started to tell me stories from her childhood–how she thinks of her father who died from over-working and how she wanted to give back to her mom great things her mom had given her, but her mom passed away a long time ago. I still have a vivid picture of this lady with totally gray hair bundled up soaking in the tub, sitting in front the frog as hot water dripped down with a soothing sound. When she broke into tears, I felt empathy, but at the same time my mind drifted off to a kind of ‘Spirited Away’ feeling as if I was being put under a spell by Yubaaba!

San’in Trip: Day Five-Historical Silver Town-Iwami Ginzan

Downtown was surprisingly quiet with more historical sites, a few shops, and a captured glimpse into people’s daily back in the good old days.

San’in Trip: Day Four-Izumo-Land of Myth and Faith

Then, we were off to the Izumo Grand Shrine which is believed to be the oldest shrine in Japan. And, it is rich with myths and legends. In October, all gods from throughout Japan gather at this central location. What do they do? They hold conferences and discuss various topics such as liquor production, marriage ties, and the yield of grain during the previous year. Where do they stay? There are special guest houses on the premises to host gods while they visit the shrine! Even today people believe in the uber-power of the kamisama here and pay a special visit.

San’in Trip: Day Four-A Glimpse of Samurai Culture in Matsue

Tucking our feet under the comfortably warm table, we listened to the boatman singing old rowing songs and looked out at the the moss-covered walls or an elegant white heron resting in the middle of the still, green water. Time seemed to slow. Then, the skipper said “now we are coming up to a series of low bridges and make sure you duck”.

San’in Trip: Day Three-Fished out! And Monsters Too!

After the crabfest at Gyosantei, we started our third day at a hotel which also serves as a dormitory for sailors by the port of Sakaiminato. Although not a soul besides us seemed to be wandering the harbor or the streets on that sunny spring morning, the clear sky at this working port town was filled with the “clang, clang, clang” from the shipyard echoing through an otherwise very peaceful neighborhood.

Sake of the week #020: Juji Asahi Junmai Ginjo Revisited

Many lines here are aged in the tank for a year to a year-and-a-half or longer without any special refrigeration. Something is different about letting the currents and flows of the sake find their own way in that large tank in the corner. For some kura, trusting their brew, a large investment in time and resources, to the vagaries of less controlled aging would be unacceptable, but here something makes it work; creating a rich complexity of fragrance and flavor that is unique. When we asked for details about the aging process, Terada-san just showed her real faith in the traditions of her kura. There is some magic in these tanks, in these old rooms, that just can’t be replicated.

Sake of the week #013: Juji Asahi Junmai Ginjo

Juji Asahi Junmai Ginjo Te-chan got me Juji Asahi Junmai Ginjo a few month ago as a gift. He knows Juji Asahi always gives me a big energy boost, so when I was a bit tired, he went to Shimanekan in Nihonbashi to pick up a bottle. I saved it until this week, but with […]

Taste of Shimane

Back in October 2007, I went to a Shimane Sake Tasting that featured 13 brewers from this part of San’in presenting their best in Tokyo. Melinda and I were both really impressed by what these Shimane brewers offered and I went home thinking about a trip to the source to visit some of the kura […]

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