Good sake from Niigata and drinking snacks 越の誉 純米大吟醸 槽搾り

japanese cake

Somehow I forgot to post this.  One evening in the first week of the new year (which is called “Matsu-no-uchi” 松の内 and considered to be still within a period of official New Year’s cerebration in Japan) we still had some good stuff from the New Year’s Osechi Box and other New Year items I made and I opened a special sake which was kept in the back of the refrigerator and I almost forgot that we had. This sake is called  “Koshi no Homare” (Pride of Niigata) Junmai daiginjo, funa-shibori 越の誉 純米大吟醸 槽搾りfrom Hara Brewery in Niigata 新潟原酒造.

I don’t recall how I happen to have this sake. In any case, this was a good “daigin” with nice fruity and clean daigin flavors plus more depth to it from (?) a pleasant “umami” component. According to the brewery, this was pressed in the old traditional way in which fermented rice or “moromi” もろみ is put into cloth bags and pressed in a wooden vessel called “fune” 槽. The first sake that comes out without pressure is called “arabashiri” 荒走り. This sake is made from the middle of pressing called “nakabashiri” 中走りwhich is supposedly the best balanced sake you can have.

Anyway, good sake deserves good drinking snacks. The below was the first appetizers or otoshi I served. The left is a combination of daikon namasu (bottom), ikura salmon roe, Russian marinated salmon, boiled octopus leg, and kazunoko herring roe.

I also broiled tarako cod roe 焼きたらこ (only surface is cooked).

With these, we could have had quite a good amount of sake but since we had so much good food, I served this “Hassun” 八寸 assorted appetizers from the Osechi box. The marinated and grilled fish pieces were warmed up in a toaster oven which made them 100% better than stone-cold.

In this assortment, there are so many good snacks and everything went so well with the sake. Enjoying small morsels of different flavors and textures with good sake is by far our most favorite way of enjoying food and sake. We thought we were not a great fan of Niigata sake but this one was excellent and we really liked it.

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