Konnichiwa! My name is Chika! I am from Iwate, Japan. And YES, Iwate is where the Nanbu Tojis are from, and they brew elegant, fine, rich and semi-sweet sake that win many awards and are beloved all over the world.
When I lived in Tokyo, people asked me where I was from and they always said, "Oh you are from Iwate, that means you must be a drinker!" When I was growing up, Iwate sake was everywhere for any occasion: wedding, farewell party, funeral, etc. You drink sake with company and share the moment and happiness/sadness together. Sake is something that unites friends and family and makes the bonds tighter. That's what I was taught and that's what I still believe.
My hobbies are cooking, checking out bars/restaurants, traveling, playing the piano and ukulele. I am a big sports fan. I used to be a ski instructor. I also like to play tennis and go disc golfing, as well as watch football and basketball games. Before True Sake, I worked at travel agencies and restaurants (mostly fine dining, including Japanese, French, and Chinese). I am a Certified International Kikizake-shi (Sommelier) SSI. I am excited to discuss about sake and food with you!
This store is filled with great sake, but if I have to chose, here are my picks (updated 6/26/21):
Akabu Junmai - From Iwate, my home! They are unfortunately one of the breweries that got destroyed by the tsunami about 10 years ago. I was a high schooler when that happened. However, thanks to their hard work and everyone's support, they came back few years ago. Ever since they've been brewing amazing sake. This Junmai definitely can break a lot of people's stereotypes of what Junmai sake can be. It's juicy and bright, with a lot going on.
Toko Junmai Daiginjo "Ultraluxe" - From Yamagata. I still remember when the very first sip of this sake, I said, "wow, WHAT IS THIS?" Juicy bright beginning takes you to a journey of flavors of pear, rice, then peppery finish. This is a kind of bottle that I would like to drink looking at sunset by itself before dinner. Such a fantastic luxurious bottle. Don't forget to treat yourself sometimes!
Noguchi Yamahai Honjozo Muroka Nama Genshu - From Ishikawa. This is the sake that I want to sip and enjoy just by itself. I've never tasted anything like this! Very complex and lively. Not a Yamahai fan? No worries. The flavors you normally get from Yamahai are subtle in this bottle, and it's also fruity.
Fukucho Junmai Sparkling "Seaside" - From Hiroshima. The fact that this is brewed by FEMALE brewmaster makes me like this bottle even more. Sparkling sake is a growing genre in Japan and I support it with passion. Just like we open Champagne on your special day, I like to open sparkling sake when I toast. Please give it a try with this refreshing, citrusy, crisp, brut-like sake.
Emishiki Kijoshu Monsoon - From Shiga. My dinner never ends until I get dessert... and sometimes I'd rather have dessert wine or sake instead of sweets. This is my new favorite sake for dessert! It's sweet and very aromatic with banana, melon, and watermelon on the nose.
Please stop by anytime to talk about anything, like your favorite restaurants and your plan for a trip to Japan etc. I share my stories with sake and food on @chika_loves_food!
The nose on this cult favorite sake has corn, steamed rice, persimmon, peach, sweet carrots, and citrus aromas. The brewer of this sake purposely d...View full details
Junmai Daiginjo Fukurotsuri$133.00
At long last Toko is available in the US and that is great news. The nose on this incredibly luxurious sake is a special collection of sweet rice, ...View full details
Yamahai Honjozo Muroka Nama Genshu$132.00
The nose on this unpasteurized and undiluted brew is an amazing array of citrus, seeds, straw, chestnuts, yogurt, and creamy aromas. So you think y...View full details
The nose on this secondary bottle fermented (not carbonated) sparkling brew is a tight collection of yogurt, cream, yeast, citrus, and Lemonhead Ca...View full details
The nose on this specially made aperitif/dessert sake is an amazing array of fruit sorbet, pineapple, honeydew, bubblegum, banana cream, and aloe v...View full details