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'Tis The Season To Give The Perfect Gift - 10 Sake Gifts To Cheer About

sake season dec 2006We all need a slam-dunk in the game of life once in a while. We need that easy 8-letter word for "coastal property depletion." And of course we all could use that newly opened check-out counter when you are sixth in line and they point to you to come on over! Easy is good! There I said it.

Sure, we have heard all of Dad's moral messages about nothing worthwhile comes easy in life, or the lower fruit isn't as sweet, or you'll appreciate the difficult struggle more. Phooey! Who needs a difficult struggle this time of year? Who would rather reach up and grab that low hanging fruit instead of getting the ladder out, checking on the personal liability coverage, and asking the guy with the eye patch and cane to hold your ladder steady for your ascent?

The holidays are struggle enough! With this in mind, we at True Sake wanted to remind you about the gift that keeps on giving! (Well to us it does!) The gift of sake is as easy and classy as it gets! Who wants another bottle of Scotch? "Ohhhhh wine again - Great!" "Hey thanks so much for my 4 pears in a box!" Or how about my all-time favorite, "Wow, a can with 3 types of popcorn - whoooohoooo!"

Herewith are 10 sake presents that cannot get any easier on the "just get it over with" scale:

10) Wakaebisu Junmai Ginjo Kinpaku $32/720ml. 
Talk about a celebration sake. This tasty Ginjo has pounded gold flake floating throughout, and tastes 1 million times better than the often- stated "Goldschlagger." It comes in a really stylish box as well, and just so happens to be Beau's father's favorite brew.
9) Takenotsuyu Honjozo $40/720ml. 
This amazingly soft and layered Honjozo comes in a traditional sake jug and also has an O'choko (sake cup) for a cap! Once the really yummy Honjozo is gone the traditional ceramic jug will live on! This also comes in a really cool box!
8) Shirataki "Sara Wind" Junmai $25/500ml. 
Yes, this is one of the top "eye-catching" gift giving sakes! Sara Wind comes in a really cool frosted clear bottle and also has a glass sake cup as a cap. But when you tie this entire package in a bandana, look out! The sake is extremely user-friendly and is a cannot miss Junmai brew that appeals to all. A very cool stocking stuffer.
7) Umenishiki "Red Box" Junmai Dai Ginjo $65/720ml. 
This is one of the tried and true gift giving sakes in Japan. In fact the brew is known as "The Red Box" because it comes in a really fine massive red velvet box. The best part about this sake is that it is superb! It's not just another pretty sake face. It is the real deal and those who know sake know this gift!
6) Hatsuhana "First Flower Nap" Junmai $25/500ml. 
Yet another beautifully packaged sake that comes in an almost grappa looking pounded blue bottle with a cork top. Don't stop there as the see-through box has a special card in it that you can sign To and From. Plus the sake is easy going and great for beginners.
5) Kotsuzumi "Rojohanaari" Junmai Dai Ginjo $150/720ml 
If you are looking to make a serious "statement" this holiday season than give the gift of pure class! "Rojo" is a damn-near perfect sake that blows drinkers of all backgrounds away. It is a connoisseur's brew, but drinks like water for those who do not know sake. The bottle is cobalt and is hand blown in Italy. There is a cork and an accompanying corkscrew. And the box is silver and blue and is as cool as boxes get!
4) Kizakura Sake Sampler $16/3x180ml. 
This little sake sampler is quite popular on account of the packaging! Stylish little bottles make up a 3-pack in a blue box with windows that allows you to see the sakes. There is a Junmai, Junmai Dai Ginjo, and Nigori. Simple and easy stuff!
3) Yuki no Bosha "Cabin in the Snow" Junmai Ginjo $16/$300ml 
This is the perfect sake stuffing! A very clean small frosted square bottle is filled with some kick-ass Ginjo sake that speaks to those who love big fruit! A great "little" gift that keeps you under the "Kris Kringle" limit of $20.
2) Tamanohikari Reishu "Adult Juice Box" $8/300ml. 
Come on! Who wouldn't love to get a juice-box looking sake in a Tetra- pak that is perfect to sneak into movies or concerts? This "box" sake is delicious chilled and is also made for freezing into a sake slush. When you get caught (which you won't) you can blame True Sake for selling you an "Energy Drink."
1) Kamenokou 14 Ultra Junmai Dai Ginjo $500/720ml 
This is THE ONE for any sake drinker of note. There are only 200 bottles in existence and True Sake has the only offerings outside of Japan. A sake that is milled to 14%. Either you get it or you don't. One of a kind sake. Comes in a huge wood box and is pure style! For those who have everything - well almost!

Oh and I almost forgot - the New York Times came out with their Holiday Gift Guide and they mentioned "Sake - A Modern Guide" as one of three books to give this festive season. Pretty cool!

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