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Sake Gifting - Top Ten Xmas and Chanukah Sakes That Don't Need Wrapping

This one is official. It's not even close. In Vegas terms it's a "lock." Without a doubt I am the worst wrapper in the history of wrapping paper and Scotch tape. (I'm also in the running for the worst "rapper" in the history of mics and turntables. FYI) Thus, I dread birthdays, Mother's Days, Father's Days, and especially the Holidays.

It's truly a gift from the gods what a horrible mess I can turn a present into. Creased paper, uneven folds, too much tape, paper not large enough, I have learned to embrace my disability. I am also the founder and charter member of HWA - Hopeless Wrappers Association - which is basically a support group that provides emotional unity for those with wrapping issues.

In this spirit of simply pathetic wrapping capabilities I wanted to assure others out there who may suffer from CHWS - Chronic Horrible Wrapping Syndrome - that you have a home in the sake market. As you know the Japanese are as I say "Packaging Champion" and the sake industry is no exception. Personally I feel that sake bottles and labels blow all other boozes away! They are superb, and best of all some are so awesome that they don't need what? Wait for it! Gift wrapping. No way! Yes way.

Herewith are the Top 10 Christmas and Chanukah Sakes that do not need gift wrapping: (The sakes in the picture are lined up in the order as they are written below)

Top 10 Christmas Sakes:
True Sake
  1. Umenshiki Junmai Daiginjo
    Come on! Are you kidding me? A sake that comes nestled in a red velvet box is pure holiday magic. Did you hear me? A red velvet box!
  2. Otokoyama Junmai Daiginjo
    Same as the above but this "Man's Mountain" sake comes in a beautiful gold box that is larger than typical sake boxes. It's as solid as gold!
  3. Tamagawa Junmai Daiginjo
    No box but stellar label that seasonally compliments the green bottle. I love the look of the red embossed logo. Truly an Xmas winner!
  4. Tenzan Junmai Genshu
    Yup! This baby is always on the list. For good reason as it's already wrapped in a sheaf, but the kicker is the bold sideways red label. So "green"!
  5. Urakasumi Honjozo Genshu
    Bingo! This baby is also pre-wrapped in a really cool gold foil. Gold foil do you hear? The label is a funny retro label that looks like a scene from Miami Vice. So good to go!
  6. Ichinokura "Suzune" Sparkling Sake
    Hard to see from the pic but the bottle is embossed with what looks like garland. So pretty and so tasty - a great stocking stuffer.
  7. A-zen "Ai" Junmai Koshu
    A great red box holds this aged sake that is very appealing to port and sherry fans. The dark fluid in the bottle also looks seasonally warm. Old is new!
  8. Takenotsuyu "Yuzuki" Dai Koshu
    This amazing aged Junmai Daiginjo sake named after the owner's daughter is housed in a clear box. Clean and simple, but definitely an eye catcher.
  9. Tsukinokatsura "Heiankyo" Junmai Daiginjo
    Always on the list as well, this Kyoto sake has a very cheerful red box and red kanji on the rice paper label. Very classy!
  10. Kaiun Junmai Ginjo
    1.8L bottle that is awesomely wrapped in white paper that looks very festive and seasonal. And as a bonus there is a very traditional tie on the top that is used for New Year's wishes. A two-fer!

Top 10 Chanukah Sakes:
True Sake
  1. Shirataki Junmai Daiginjo
    An amazing blue and gold huge box houses a stunning beveled cobalt bottle with a blue and gold label. Super clean and cool!
  2. Born "Wing of Japan" Junmai Daiginjo
    A massive solid white box plays host to a beautiful cobalt bottle with a very special white rice paper label. This baby epitomizes classy celebration.
  3. Meibo "Midnight Moon"
    This 500ml cobalt blue bottle has a very cool wrap-around label that has a nice full moon image. No wrapping paper necessary for this moon shot!
  4. Wakatake Onigoroshi "Demon Slayer" Junmai Nigori
    Also a 500ml bottle, this unfiltered sake has a nice blue tone that comes before the fluffy white fluid hidden within. Blue and white all night!
  5. Kirin Zan Tokubetsu Junmai
    This is one of the most distinctive bottles in the sake industry. Frosted blue and plump. It would be rather difficult to wrap this baby, but there is no need!
  6. Sawa Sawa Sparkling Sake
    Bubbly on the inside and cobalt cute on the outside. Talk about good things coming in small packages!
  7. Hou Hous Shu Sparkling Sake
    This great looking 300ml bottles has a plastic colored wrap around the blue bottle that looks so festive. So festive it sparkles!
  8. Shirakawago Junmai Nigori
    Another nigori sake that is white on the inside, but has a nice frosted blue bottle on the outside. The label is really stunning as it depicts a traditional Japanese farm house with snow on it in blue and white.
  9. Kikusui Junmai Ginjo
    Always a player for having the pounded light blue bottle and that killer retro looking box. Simply a gift that needs nothing!
  10. Ken Daiginjo
    This sake called the "Sword' is housed in a big blue box. It has a blue distinguished label and looks "professional." Ken is clean and sharp!
So there you have it folks! Twenty sakes that all look great but taste even better. So do your part for the "green" planet. Don't use wrapping paper when you don't have to! These sakes scream eco-friendly and palate tasty. Just two more reasons why sake is the perfect gift to give this holiday season.

That's a wrap!

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January 1st 2nd & 3rd 2013
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