Sake Summer - Top Ten Summer Sippin' Brews
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Yes it is the coldest summer on record for many across this great land. And yes I am freezing as I type this in the cold and fog of our summer in San Francisco. But yet! I spoke to no less than three folks around the country this week who called me lucky for freezing as they are melting and sweating to death in their own humid hells of summer. Are there any winners in this death match of who is the most uncomfortable this summer? Yes! We are all winners! Why? Because the sake is fresh - clean - and fabulous! (Has the statute of limitations run out on that show "Absolutely Fabulous" when you could not use that word for fear of sounding like a groupie?)
So take heat you frozen few - and take chill you gaggle of grilled friends - and enjoy this TOP TEN list of sakes that should touch your lips in the very near summer future - or what is left of it! We have complied a list of sakes that speak to the "drinkability" of a summer sippin' sake. Complexity be damned! Body be gone! Depth beware! This list focuses on the super clean and pristine brews that go down smooth and easy - without thought - without weight - without all the "stuff" that tastes better on colder nights or around a great dinner table.
Herewith are ten sakes that will remind you that at least 80% of the final product of sake is water - look for clean and water-like flavors that slide and glide rather than cling to the palate. These brews from Honjozo to Daiginjo represent a feeling as much as a flavor, and they all excel in bringing forth a coolness - a confident and collected coolness - of how gentle and relaxed well- made sake can taste and feel. Think more in terms of expressions - watery and smooth expressions that represent that chilled waterfall that feels so amazing when your overheated body jumps under the cascading shower. Aaaaahhhhhh! This is that cold waterfall for your pallet!
TOP TEN SUMMER SIPPIN' SAKES:
- Mineno Hakubai "White Plum Blossum"
From Niigata Prefecture, Junmai Ginjo SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.1
Single Pasteurized - Clean - Minerally - Gentle!
- Aramasa "Reformation"
From Akita Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo SMV: +5 Acidity: 1.3
Clean - Dry - Layered - Fresh
- Takenotsuyu Hakuro Suishu "Bamboo Water"
From Yamagata Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo SMV:+1 Acidity: 1.1
Milled to 35% - Watery - Clean - Bountiful
- Shirataki "Sara Wind"
Niigata Prefecture. Junmai. SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.5
Clean - Pristine - Neutral - Watery
- Akitabare Shunsetsu "Springtime Delight"
From Akita Prefecture. Honjozo. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.5
Watery - Transparent - Silky - Soft
- Taisetsu "Gardens of the Divine"
From Hokkaido Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo. SMV: +3 Acidity 1.3
Minerally - Clean - Gentle - Cool
- Hakkaisan "Hakkai Mountain"
From Niigata Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo. SMV: +5 Acidity 1.3
Clean - Phantom Finish - Easy - Elegant
- Tamanohikari Reishu "Sake Slush"
From Kyoto. Junmai Ginjo. SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.4
Frozen - Slushy - Clean - Neutral
$8/300ml Tetra Pak!
- Takenotsuyu Yuki Honoka "Gentle Snow"
From Yamagata Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo. SMV:1 Acidity: 1.1
Snow Melt - Clean - Watery - Pure
- Akitabare Suirakuten "Heaven of Tipsy Delight"
From Akita Prefecture. Dai Ginjo. SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.2
Gentle - Elegant - Clean - Shimmering