Imayo Tsukasa "Koi"
The nose on this award-winning packaged sake is a terrific collection of steamed rice, tamago, Rice Krispies, soy sauce, forest floor, and cocoa aromas. Wow! What a bottle and box! Yes it’s a Koi fish, which is said to have originated in Niigata prefecture, so they actually hid an image of Niigata in the pattern on the bottle. Can you find it? If you can’t, then focus on finding short bread, wheat toast, dried rice, cashew, nougat, milk chocolate, and marshmallow flavors that swim on a dry, round, crisp, and tannin-like fluid that drinks best in a wine glass. Clean, light, dry, but slippery. The sweet hints come forth as the fluid warms in the glass. With an alcohol content of 17% and made with Gohyakumangoku sake brewing rice milled to 50%, this Koi drinks full-flavored with tropical fruit whispers, but dry with an excellent cocoa finish. It is a very utilitarian Junmai Daiginjo, which means it pairs excellently with a variety of cuisine types. WORD: Balanced WINE: Tannin Reds/Crisp Whites BEER: Creamy Belgians FOODS: Sashimi, shellfish, Wagyu beef, savory mousses, grilled chicken and fish.