September 2011

Ask Beau - "So what is in your glass these days?"

Posted by Beau Timken in 2011, Ask Beau, Newsletter, September
I recently received an email from a self-described "wine guy" (John R.) who is not only a wine educator but also owns a wine store in the Midwest. As he put it:

"I get asked all the time what wines I drink when I am not working. I think people do it to see what good wines they should try. Using this logic I'll try it on you Mr. Timken. What is in your glass these days?"


Et Tu Brute? (Said in my best dying Caesar voice!)

A very long time ago I coined the phrase - I drink a lot of bad sake so you don't have to! This was an effort to show that I drink almost anything and everything for the success of the store, and I do not simply chug $120 bottles of over the top Junmai Daiginjo at home on my time. Meaning my glass is always an experiment. It is always filled with sakes that are trying to become a part of our inventory, sakes that have grown a little too old for our store's standards, or sakes that have been given to me by friends or associates to taste their "favorites" etc.

I also drink sakes that I need to become familiar with again. This re- introduction is necessary for the reviews that we display for each brew. With an inventory of over 200 sakes at any one time, it is important that I pace or stagger my re-introductions. Rare is the day that I say "Hmmmmm I feel like drinking (not tasting) this or that sake." Even going to a party I will subordinate my own likes to bring a sake that I can test on people to see how they receive it.

Likewise, when I go out to a restaurant I will order sakes that I have not tasted for quite some time, or I will look to order a sake that I know well to see if I can tell how long the bottle has been open for. And of course if I have never tasted a particular sake, I will always order that. Yes, I'm always on the job.

That said every now and again I feel the need to not work/experiment/dabble with what is in my glass. I simply want to sip a comfort sake, a brew that I have "grown up with." Thus to answer your question specifically I will name some of sakes that on occasion find themselves in my glass if the time is right and I have no work to do!
  • Ban Ryu Futsushu
  • Gasanryu Honjozo
  • Ichishima Honjozo
  • Akitabare Honjozo
  • Urakasumi Honjozo
  • Takenotsuyu Junmai
  • Sawanoi Kioke Junmai
  • Sougen Junmai
  • Hoyo Junmai
  • Gokyo (Tanuki) Junmai
  • Aramasa Junmai
  • Koshinotousetsuka Junmai Ginjo
  • Shoutendouji Junmai Ginjo
  • Kokuryu Junmai Ginjo
  • Kariho Junmai Ginjo
  • Kouro Junmai Ginjo
  • Kikuhime Daiginjo
  • Taiheizan Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kiminoi Junmai Daiginjo
  • Shirataki Jozen Junmai Daiginjo
  • Tomio Junmai Daiginjo
  • Azen Ai Junmai Koshu
This is by no means my "faves" list of sakes. They are all like old books that I enjoying re-reading. Each sake is unique and those qualities speak to me.

And finally a list of sakes that have been in my glass of late for one reason or another:
  • Denshin Natsu Nama Daiginjo
  • Harushika Umakuchi Yondan Junmai
  • Bandai Junmai
  • Hikami Masamune Tokubetsu Junmai
  • Gokujyo Miyanoyuki Honjozo
  • Yuki no Bosha Daiginjo dated 11.05 (my stash)
  • Yuki no Bosha Junmai Daiginjo dated 11.05 (my stash)
  • Kikuhime Kinken Junmai
  • Soma no Tengu Muroka Nama Genshu
Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ truesake.com. (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All other correspondence should use info @ truesake.com.)

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