February 19, 2014 at 8:49 AM

33 Sakes in 33 Days: #33 Mutemuka

Honey's Sake Symposium from Ten Thousand Waves

By Honey Harris

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The sad day has finally arrived today as we talk about our final sake in our "33 Sakes in 33 Days" celebration of Ten Thousand Waves' 33rd birthday and their new restaurant, Izanami.  But while this might be the final sake I will be blogging about, the good news is that there are at least 20 more sakes to taste at Izanami.  Today we are talking about the Mutemuka sake, which is Muroka, (no charcoal filtration), Nama, (unpasteurized), and Genshu, (undiluted), resulting in a beautifully full-bodied sake.  Here's another interesting story behind the sake, Mutamuka brewery is located close to the source of the Shimantogawa, Japan's purest river.  Founded in 1893, Mutamuka's owner became a pioneer of organic farming when he refused to spray chemicals even against strong opposition from his neighboring farmers.  The Japanese regulations governing organic sake are extremely complicated.  Each rice field must be certified organic which is a 3-year process of analysis and random inspections.  Organic rice paddies are generally less than half the density of regular fields so yields are about 50% lower and the production costs are generally 25% higher, so it takes a dedicated brewery to make organic sake.  The result of all this hard work, Mutamuka is a very earthy, dry sake with an aroma and aftertaste like no other.  Aged for half a year at room temperature, super high in umami, with a nutty quality much like an Italian hazelnut liquor.  This sake has great food-pairing ability and we think it paired delightfully with everything we tried from Chef Kim Muller's fine menu at Izanami.  This might be my favorite sake of all the 33 sakes I've tasted.  On another note, I believe Kaz actually called this sake the "playboy of sakes."

So what have I learned from our Sake Symposium?  Well, I've learned that there is probably always something new to learn about sake and that it is at least as complex as learning about wine.  I've also learned that sake pairs well with any kind of food, not just Japanese.  More important, I've learned that drinking sake chilled is the ONLY way to drink sake.  My highest thanks to Duke, Deborah, Linda, Kaz, Derek and everyone at Izanami for making this such an amazing experience.  And to think, you can experience 50 fantastic sakes and Chef Kim Muller's exquisite food at Izanami anytime.  Lucky you.

At Izanami, they are celebrating the 33rd birthday of Ten Thousand Waves' with a happy hour through the end of the month.   Every evening after 9pm, all food and non-alcoholic beverages at Izanami are 33% off the regular menu price. And all day today you can taste the "Mutamuka" at a special price. Just mention that you heard about it on The Big Show. Be sure to take your notes and enter our contest this Friday to win the big Grand Prize- an overnight stay for two at Ten Thousand Waves, a premium hot tub for two, complete therapeutic massages for two and a fantastic dinner for two at Izanami.  We'll announce the winner next Monday morning on The Big Show.

Enter the contest here.