Kita Kirakucho "1996"
The nose on this “Koshu” or aged sake made with a table rice called Nihonbare milled to 60% is a killer collection of cedar, raisin, honey, molasses, cooked lemons, soy sauce, dark chocolate, honey baked ham, and horse saddle leather aromas. Round, smooth, soft, and both watery and velvety this koshu has a clean dry finish. The strength of this aged sake is that it is a Ginjo, which takes some of the bulk out of the fluid and lets it drink light and easy without losing complexity. Look for mushroom, cooked pear, honey, orange blossom, vanilla, crème brûlée, soy sauce, walnut, pickled bamboo, and egg custard flavors that end with a dry, smoky, and tingly finish. With an 18.5% ABV that is barely noticeable this sake oxidizes well, and rocks when warmed. WORD: Rich Light WINE: Complex Reds/Deep Burgundy BEER: Deep Ales FOODS: Smoked fish, meat, game and cheese, big pastas, steaks, chops, salami plates, Thanksgiving dinner.