Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ohyama Ginsuika Junmai Ginjo Sake

Sake with a touch of marshmallow?

During the Edo Period, from 1603-1868 A.D., when Japan was controlled by the Tokugawa shogunate, the town of Ōyama (which means "big mountain") was the locale for approximately 50 or so Sake breweries. Located in the Yamagata Prefecture, in the northwestern region of Japan, Ōyama was located near the coastal town of Tsuruoka. Eventually, Tsuruoka become a city (in 1924) and annexed Ōyama (in 1963).

Just after the end of the Edo Period, in 1872, a new Sake brewery, Kato Kahachiro Shuzo, was established in Ōyama, founded by members of a family which had been involved in Sake brewing during much of the Edo Period. The new brewery is located near Mt. Chokai, a massive, active volcano. Over time, the brewery has mechanized the brewing process, however, they have largely created their own machinery, enabling them to maintain a close connection to traditional brewing practices. It is said that Okayama Sake tends to have elegant aromas and smooth taste.

At my recent visit to Streetcar Wine & Beer in Jamaica Plain, I bought the Ohyama Ginsuika ("Silver Water") Junmai Ginjo ($26/500ml). The rice was polished down to 55% and the Sake has an Acidity of 1.1 and a SMV of +3. On the nose, the Sake presents with bright melon and pear aromas with floral accents. On the palate, it was light and elegant with juicy pear and melon flavors and a hint of marshmallow, though it generally presents as dry. The marshmallow note added a subtle hint of sweetness to the Sake, and it was very pleasant. I paired this Sake with Rappie Pie, a Nova Scotian specialty. The potatoes, chicken and bacon worked well with the Sake, especially the interplay of the saltiness of the bacon with the marshmallow of the Sake.

An intriguing and tasty Sake that will surprise and please you.

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