Today our sake from Ten Thousand Waves' new restaurant, Izanami, is Chokaisan from the Chokaisan Brewery located in the foothills of the beautiful Mt. Chokai which sits in the shadows of the so-called "Fuji of Akita." The mountain is not only a source of wonder and inspiration to the local people, but also of incredibly pure water which can be used in brewing. Now if you recall from our earlier Sake 101 Symposium, all sake is made from only three ingredients: rice, water and yeast. But what distinguishes one sake from the next is that there are so many different types of rice, water and yeast. At Chokaisan Brewery, the president of the brewery has pioneered research into a new strand of sake yeast derived from flowers. This unique ingredient provides the wonderfully perfumed bouquet for which their sake is known.
When we tasted the Chokaisan sake, Duke and Kaz both added their summations of it by saying that it is like "the girl who goes to the gym" and as Kaz said, "metrosexual". I knew exactly what they meant when I tasted it! Compared to the two other sakes we tasted, this one was not as masculine as the Shichi Hon Yari, probably because of the hint of licorice and pear. This was actually my favorite sake of all the ones we sampled the other night at Izanami. This sake pairs really well with oysters and cheese and can also be enjoyed as an apertif. The yeast derived from flowers gives it an exceptionally elegant taste.
Be sure to take your notes and enter our contest to win fabulous prizes from Ten Thousand Waves by logging onto santafe.com keyword sake on Fridays for our Monday drawings. You'll have to name all five of the sakes I will have tasted each week. Good luck, young sake students!