January 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM

33 Sakes in 33 Days:  #20 Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo

Honey's Sake Symposium from Ten Thousand Waves

By Honey Harris

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We are already on our 20th sake today as we help celebrate Ten Thousand Waves' 33rd birthday with "33 Sakes in 33 Days".  Today we are talking about the Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo, and this sake is the bomb!  Linda and Derrick were practically gushing over this sake and believe me, they had every reason.  The Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo actually has a cult following, they told me.  Watari Bune is a story of passion, dedication and joy.  Watari Bune is the name of the rice varietal used to make this sake.  It is a rice strain that was used with great enthusiasm in the 1920's and 30's, but was difficult to grow and harvest and eventually became extinct.  Some 60 years later, Takaaki Yamauchi, 7th generation president and brewer of Huchu Homare Brewery learned of this great rice.  He tracked down seedlings that had been preserved, freeze-dried, by the Japanese government.  Starting with 14 grams of seedlings it took three seasons to be able to brew the first batch of Watari Bune brand.  Now you can see why the Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo is such a cult favorite among aficionados.  This sake is soft, round and luscious.  It is elegant, complex and well-balanced with deep, rich notes of honeydew and pineapple.  We thought this sake paired really well cheese and poached pear.   By the end of the evening, we were ALL gushing over this sake.  Derrick told me that for this weekend, you can get an incredible deal on a bottle of the Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo, so take my word for it and try this sake- you'll thank me later.  

All weekend at Izanami they are featuring the Watari Bune Junmai Daiginjo, so you can drive up to Ten Thousand Waves and sample this delicious sake yourself. And of course, Chef Kim Muller's out-of-this-world menu will taste so spectacular with this sake, too. Speaking of Izanami, now through the end of February they are having happy hour every evening after 9 pm, and all food is 33% off. Don't forget that today you can log onto santafe.com keyword sake and register to win dinner for two at Izanami and a private hot tub for two. You just have to name all 5 of the sakes I've tasted this week. On Monday, we'll announce the winner. Stay tuned in the 10 a.m. hour every weekday to hear me talking about the sake of the day from the fine folks at Ten Thousand Waves and Izanami.

Enter the contest here: