Our Sake Symposium with Ten Thousand Waves continues with our 8th sake, Evoluzione Junmai Ginjo. This sake was produced in the same prefecture as yesterday's sake, Jokigen Junmai Ginjo, in Yamagata. The Junmai Ginjo has a smooth and pleasant taste, with delicious flavors of pear and melon. Easy drinking, but with plenty of flavor and an earthy taste. We thought the Junmai Ginjo paired well with the kinpira gobo, which is burdock root, carrot and sesame soy dressing- yum! The Junmai Ginjo is best served slightly chilled. To be honest, before we began our sake experiment, I had some reservations about chilled sake, specifically if I would even like the taste. And now I can't even imagine ever drinking hot sake again. With 8 sakes tasted so far, I still have 25 more to taste and I couldn't be happier. Did I mention that at Izanami they are celebrating the 33rd birthday of Ten Thousand Waves' with a happy hour now through February? Every evening after 9pm, all food at Izanami is 33% off the regular menu price. Also at Izanami, they have 50 different sakes on the menu. Hmm... I guess I'll be going up to Izanami throughout the year to finish sampling all of the sakes! Do you remember yesterday when I was talking about Evoluzione using blue bottles for their sake? Not only do they use the blue bottles to look more like a wine bottle, but it is also to protect the sake from sunlight, which can negatively impact the taste if subjected to too much sun. Different colored labels are used for each sake type, and each label also has a stylized and slightly scary Oni mask, including a skull, horns and fangs. An oni is a supernatural creature from Japanese folklore, sometimes called a demon or ogre. Though they are often malicious, there are some benevolent oni in Japanese folklore. Another interesting footnote to the Evoluzione sake.
Be sure to take your notes and enter our contest to win dinner for two at Izanami and a private hot tub for two from Ten Thousand Waves by logging onto santafe.com keyword sake on Fridays and on Monday we will draw a winner. Good luck, Sake students!