Sake Season - Valentine's Day and Sake
In years past I have constructed very dynamic and racy V-day sake expressions, which keyed on unique and "sexy" ways to use sake in your hearty celebration. (See past Feb issues in our newsletter archive:2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) This year I will focus on Valentine's Day gifts that work! (Hmmmm what do you mean work? Ummmmm wink wink - nudge nudge - they will help get you what you are looking for! What am I "looking" for? Ahhhhh - love! - shnogging! - snuggling! - smootching! - that sort of stuff. Oooh Okay!)
So what follows is a list of 10 sakes that make great lovey-dovey Valentine's gifts, and two angry brews to give yourself if love is not your thing this year!
- Ozeki Hana-Awaka "Sparkling Flower"
This $6/300ml sparkling sake has one of "THE CUTEST" frosted pink bottles in the business. Add a cheap champagne glass to the gift and you are talking all action without much blood out of the wallet.
- Kudoki Jozu "Pick-Up Artist"
This superbly named Junmai Ginjo comes in two sizes - $9/300ml and $26/720ml with box - and makes the perfect gift for that guy or gal who is good at the dating game!
- Shutendouji Mitaiken "Vulnerable Virgin"
This sexy beast has a bottle with a little longer neck - the brewers say that it makes the pour sound better but by looking at the $42/720ml you'd swear that they had sex on their minds when designing it.
- Shirataki Jozen Mizunogotoshi "Pure Flavor"
Okay - for 6 years people have been buying this sake on looks alone! The creamy pink box and bottle label just screams "V-Day" and at $16/300ml with box and $31/720ml with box this sake will ride Cupid's arrow straight to the bedroom.
- Kamotsuru Kinpaku "Tokusei Gold"
This $12/300ml and $35/720ml with box Daiginjo sake has two gold flakes in each bottle. Why? Because crane's (the brewery's name) mate for life! Yup - for those truly successful couples celebrating Valentine's Day this brew is for you!
- Jokigen "Sweet Dreams"
This sweet sweet sake speaks to all of the gooshy and mooshy elements of a sweet Valentine's Day. The $25/500ml bottle is also very sweet to look at with a label that is dreamy!
- Harushika Tokimeki "Palpatation of Sake"
This sparkling sake is actually named after that feeling of falling in love for the first time - when the heart flitters and palpitates! At $14/300ml you cannot go wrong giving the "feeling" of Valentine's Day!
- Hanahato Kijoshu "Gorgeous Bird"
Okay so maybe you need that sake to "go with" your other gift - let's say chocolate! This incredibly dynamic and exotic aged sake - $34/500ml with box - is one of the only reliable chocolate pairing brews in the business. Sake and chocolate - how cool is that!
- Hakutsuru Sayuri "Little Lilly"
Yes Nigori (unfiltered sake) lovers like giving the white stuff on "Love Day" too! Why not give a really cute frosted pink bottle - $9/300ml and $16/720ml - filled with the smoothest and yummiest creamy Nigori around?
- A-Zen "Ai"
This is the "Owner's Selection" for two reasons: firstly the sake name "ai" translates into "love" and secondly the price for the 720ml bottle with an amazing red box with the word "love" on it is $70. Oh and thirdly it is really really great aged sake that uses brown rice in its production. Superb!
- Kariho Namahage "Devil's Mask"
Soooooo for those of you who DO NOT WANT LOVE or lovey dovey things on Valentine's Day then this super dry (driest sake in the store) Yamahai should speak to you! The label on this brew - $23/720ml - has a very profound looking scary mask that should tell all of those love birds to beware!
- Hourisen Gin "Angry Fish"
What can I say? You are alone on Valentine's Day and you are pissed! Why not by yourself a truly amazing sake $120/720ml that captures the essence of anger in a fluid. Well the sake is not angry, but the fish on the label and the box looks quite perturbed. Why blow a ton of dough on a date when you can get your anger out swimming with this pissed fish!