Apr 11, 2011

Sake season: Hanami zake / 日本酒の季節:花見酒


また桜の咲く季節がやってきました。
ZUMAでは、淡く、果敢なく、しかし艶やかに咲き誇る
桜の花に良く似た生酒5種を用意いたしました。
震災から一ヶ月。今でも余震が続き、被災地の方々に関わらず
気持ちが休まらずにいる方も多いかと察します。
毎季の季節限定の日本酒メニューは、季節の訪れに感謝して飲むお酒なんだよ、と
普段当店のスタッフやお客様に伝えています。
今回のシーズナルメニューはそれだけではなく、被災地にいる方々、
そして不安な夜を過ごされている日本の全ての方々のことを想って、
飲んで頂きたいと思っています。

イギリスでも、東北のお酒を支援したい!と願っているのですが、
EU協定で決まった放射能検査の規定が予想以上に厳しく、
日本からの輸入が夏までは安定しない見通しです。
私たちにできる形で、できる支援をしたい思っています。


Hanami” (花見; literally: "flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, "flower" in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (=Sakura,桜). From the end of March to early May with the sakura in bloom, this is one of the best times for experiencing Japan's wonderful knack for tying just about everything in to the seasons. Clothing, food, drink, etc; everything seems to resonate with the Sakura this time of the year.
The sake world's seasonal equivalent of blooming cherry blossom buds is un-pasteurized (=Nama-zake,生酒) Sake which is widely available in this season. Hanami Zake selection this year at Zuma is all Nama-zake, which is great for Hanami for several reasons. One reason is - like the beautiful, fragile and ephemeral sakura - delicate Nama-zake only blooms for a short time.



1) O-yama, Hatsushibori Shinshu, Honjozo 大山 初しぼり新酒本醸造生
Origin: Yamagata
Rice:  Haenuki / Polished ratio: 65%  / AVB: 16-16.9%
Description:
Oyama area in Yamagata prefecture used to be the biggest Sake producing city in eastern Japan. This small brewery that only produces 7K bottles per year uses very clean soft water from Gassan mountain, where has the snow throughout the year.
Note:
Very soft and gentle texture, lovely cucumber and young pear followed by pungent spicy finish.


2) Sawanoi, Niishibori, Ginjo 澤の井 吟醸新しぼり
Origin: Tokyo
Rice: standard rice   /  Rice polished ratio: 55%  /  AVB: 15-16%
Descpriction:
Sawanoi brewery locates in the southern end of Tokyo border to Saitama prefecture, and has abundant natural resources. The water spring from the cave gives sharp and clean dry finish to its sake.
Note:
This soft and easy-drinking sake would be nice for the sake beginners. It has delicate strawberries and peaches on the nose, with a hint of vanilla pod and white flower on the palate followed by fresh and crisp acidity.


3) Aramasa, Junmai Ginjo, Nama Genshu 新政 立春朝搾り 純米吟醸生原酒
Origin: Akita
Rice:  Akita Sakekomachi / Polished ratio: 55% / AVB: 17%
Description:
“Aramasa” means “Revolution”;reflecting the fact that Akita was the only prefecture in T_hoku region to support the Meiji Restoration. After the young son recently joined the company, this brewery is becoming one of the leading breweries by its dramatic change of its sake making to “new generation sake”.
Note:
This delicate and feminine style of medium bodied sake has aromas of blackcurrant & mint, with flavours of lychee, lime and a touch of olives.


4) Nishinoseki, Junmai, Nama Genshu 西の関 立春朝搾り 特別純米生原酒
Origin: Oita
Rice:  Yamadanishiki / Polished ratio: 60% / AVB: 17-18%
Description:
Kayashima brewery is located in the North-east tip of Kyushu, the third biggest island in Japan. The brand name Nishinoseki means "Champion of the West". The sake brewing method of the old days can still be seen in the main brewery.
Note:
Very livery beautiful sake with juicy pears and ripe stone fruits, with a hint of fresh herbs.


5) Nanbu Bijin, Shiboritate, Tokubetsu Junmai 南部美人 絞りたて特別純米
Origin: Iwate
Rice:  Gin-otome/  Rice polished ratio: 55%  /  AVB: 15.5%
Description:
The brewery of Nanbu Bijin, translates as Southern Beauty, located in northern Japan's Ninohe City, an area long referred to as "Nanbu no Kuni." It is an area blessed with lush and beautiful natural reserves, fine water, two national parks, and a lake. They are one of the first breweries who introduced premium sake to overseas, and their sake is imported to 25 different countries world wide.
Note:
White musk and subtle eucalypts on the nose, you will enjoy the very long finish of  melon and chestnut.

2 comments:

Yasuyo said...

初めまして。いつも、ひっそりと楽しみに見ているTommyさんのブログから以前こちらのブログを知り、またまたひっそりと楽しみに拝見しておりました。
日本の文化を紹介する、素敵なお仕事ですね。日本酒を通して、海外の方達が日本に寄り添ってくれること、心から願います。早く、東北を初め、日本の地酒がイギリスにたくさん入って来る日が訪れるといいですね。お仕事頑張ってください!
コメントのIDがよくわからなかったので、、、。
http://netherbury.exblog.jp/

pimienta ぴみえんた said...

はじめまして!嬉しいコメント残して頂きありがとうございます。やすよさんのブログも拝見させてもらいました。
とっても穏やかで、素敵な暮らし、羨ましいです!
これから少しずつ、出来る限りで被災地の支援ができればと思って過ごしています。