Wine Blogging Wednesday #72: Helping Japan.
As you will recall, on Friday, March 11, a massive earthquake, one of the largest in recorded history, struck northern Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami that has affected millions of people. Over 3,000 people have lost their lives and thousands more have remained unaccounted. The destruction has been so extensive that millions of families have been displaced in search of water, food and shelter far from damaged nuclear reactors. Obviously, this has been a terrible tragedy, pulling at every one of our heartstrings with the innate desire to help, to give something that might make their lives easier.
For this WBW theme, participants had two options, to either drink and review a Sake or drink and review wine that pairs well with Japanese cuisine. You could earn bonus points by reviewing multiple Sakés, pairing Saké with food, or drinking wine with Japanese food.
Unfortunately, we had a very low turnout for this event. So even more kudos go out to those who did participate. It is interesting too that most of the participants were from outside of the U.S., including three from Canada, one from Finland and one from Kenya. It is very pleasing to me that the participants largely seemed to enjoy the sakes they tasted.
Holly, of Wine Out Loud, is a first timer to WBW and tasted three sakes, earning bonus points. All three were from the Hakutsuru Brewery, and included a Junmai Ginjo, an organic Junmai Ginjo and a Nigori. She enjoyed these three sakes with some sushi and teriyaki chicken, earning even more bonus points. I am pleased she enjoyed the sake, as well as the fact she shared them with some friends.
Todd, of Vermont Wine Press, also earned plenty of bonus points and kudos for drinking multiple sakes, paired with food, and with friends. He tasted the Nanbu Bijin "Southern Beauty" Junmai Ginjo, Tentaka Kuni "Hawk in the Heavens" Junmai, Kaguyahime "Radiant-night Princess" Junmai and Hakushika "White Deer" Junmai Ginjo. Their homemade dinner included brown rice miso soup, smoked salmon and avocado maki, squid and vegetable fried rice, and teriyaki chicken legs. Todd earns even more kudos though for reviewing the sakes in haiku, my favorite type of Japanese poetry.
Bob, of 2001 Bottles - A Wine Odyssey, tasted a sake from Oregon, the Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo. He earns bonus points for pairing the sake with Japanese cuisine, and he enjoyed the Momokawa. Though not a sake, Bob also reviewed a Shochu. Though Bob's was from Vietnam, plenty of Shochu is made in Japan and kudos still go to Bob for trying something different for WBW.
Mshamba, of The Kenyan Wine Blog, posted an interesting video review of a sake, the Black Bottle Junmai. He really enjoyed this sake, and it was amusing to hear him talk about a sake he has previously tasted which was just terrible. I would not have expected sake to be available in Kenya, but I am glad that it can be found there.
Aleksi, of Aleksi Mehtonen, also did an extensive video review of a number of sakes at a restaurant in Helsinki. He earns bonus points for tasting many different sakes, and kudos for interviewing the sommelier who led the sake tasting. Aleksi really gave his all to this tasting and you should watch his video.
Bethany, of Second Ferment, chose to review a wine, Oroya, that pairs well with Japanese cuisine. Oroya is a Spanish white wine, a blend of Airen, Macabeo, and Moscatel, and was specifically produced to be paired with sushi. Bethany found it to work great with a variety of Japanese dishes, and her description of the wine makes it sound very appealing.
Matthew, of A Good Time With Wine, was another person with a video for WBW, which has an informative interview with Tara Fougner of Ty Ku. Ty Ku produces sake in the U.S. and Japan, as well as soju and a soju-based liqeuer. Matthew seemed very excited to learn more about sake, and will even be posting more sake-related posts in the future. Keep an eye on his blog.
Finally, you can check out my own WBW #72 post, a review of the first 100% organic Japanese sake.
Thanks very much to everyone who participated in WBW #72, and thanks very much to everyone who donated to help Japan through the links on these WBW posts. You can still give to this worthy cause by clicking on the American Red Cross site and donate whatever you can.