33 Sakes in 33 Days: #30 Inemankai “Ine’s Full Bloom” Red Rice Junmai Genshu

Honey's Sake Symposium from Ten Thousand Waves

February 14, 2014 • Honey Harris

Today we will be talking about the perfect sake for Valentine's Day,  Inemankai "Ine's Full Bloom" Red Rice Junmai Genshu, as we celebrate Ten Thousand Waves' 33 birthday with 33 Sakes in 33 Days. The Toji (master brewer) of this sake is Kuniko, who is the eldest daughter of the brewery owner, Yoshihisa Mukai.  Kuniko became the first women Toji in Japan when she became a professional sake brewer after she graduated from agricultural university.  Kuniko constantly experiments with unusual rice and yeast combinations producing new and unique types of sake, most of which are made in miniscule amounts.  Inemankai utilizes an ancient variety of red rice in part of its fermentation.  In Japan, red rice has been cultivated and used for traditional celebrations in provincial villages and towns for centuries, but it is extremely rare to see red rice used commercially.  So there's a little history behind this fabulous sake and of course, leave it to a woman to create the perfect Valentine's Day sake.  We thought "Ine's Full Bloom" was very delicious and tasted almost like a port.  Linda told us that this red rice sake is totally unique and one of its kind.  We also thought it was slightly fruity and offset by a superb acid balance.  It had an intense smoky nose with sweet fresh acidity and a long finish.  We agreed with Linda that a hint of bitterness made this lower alcohol sake (14%) the perfect and refreshing aperitif.  The unusual red rice lends the sake its beautiful hue.  This sake is perfect for a romantic dinner tonight at Izanami.

All day today they are featuring the Inemankai "Ine's Full Bloom" Red Rice Junmai Genshu at Izanami, 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 this month they are having happy hour every evening after 9 pm, and all food and non-alcoholic beverages are 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.