Archive for November, 2008

New at SAKAYA: This Can be Great Sake!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

narutotai ginjo nama genshu

Ever since we first tasted Narutotai Ginjo Nama Genshu, we have been trying to get this sake for our customers to try.  Finally, after a year of pleading with the importer, we have succeeded! It is now available EXCLUSIVELY at SAKAYA as an early First Anniversary present from our good friends at Japan Prestige Sake.  Come visit us to taste this bold, lively, flavorful brew in the distinctive protective package.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Thanksgiving With Sake

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Thanksgiving sake

For many, choosing a wine to match the diversity of dishes associated with the traditional Thanksgiving meal  poses a challenge as imposing as finding a tie/pair of shoes that matches every suit/outfit in your closet and gaining the agreement of your friends and family on the decision.  Impossible? Insane? Absolutely.  With the big day close at hand, and facing the annual beverage selection conundrum, why not take a new tack entirely?  You know what we’re about to suggest don’t you?  That’s right…

Drinking sake with Thanksgiving isn’t as unorthodox an idea as you might think.  The flavors of roast turkey, cranberry relish, and sweet potatoes all have components that pair incredibly well with a number of sake.  Kimoto and yamahai sake’s creamy, earthy notes  are a perfect complement to the roast turkey. We drank Hiraizumi Junmai Yamahai last year and still haven’t found a wine that was as enjoyable with this Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Likewise, a complex, compact Ginjo from Okunomatsu or a slightly rich, fruity Junmai such as Urakasumi would be perfect partners for the Sweet Potatoes in Mirin recipe that we’ve included here.   If you’re a cranberry relish fan, try the recipe below with your meal and either Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo or Kudoki Jozu Junmai Ginjo with their clean, apple-tinged flavors.

Come visit us at SAKAYA and tell us what you’re planning to make.  We’ll be happy to offer some sake suggestions.  Make this the year  that brings the change we need to the Thanksgiving table, the change from the same old beverage of the last eight years (or so), the change to Thanksgiving with sake!

Cranberry Orange Relish  adapted from New York Times

1 cups fresh cranberries
1 oranges, pitted, peel removed from one orange
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

1. Wash the fresh cranberries, and grind them in a meat grinder using a fine blade or process in a food processor until the cranberries are finely chopped.
2. Cut the oranges into eighths, and grind or process until finely chopped.
3. Combine fresh cranberries, oranges, maple syrup, Grand Marnier, sugar and nutmeg; stir well, and refrigerate at least an hour but up to 3 or 4 days.

Yield: 2 cups.

Sweet Potatoes in Mirin
2  Sweet Potatoes or yams, wash well and cut into 3/4 slices
1/4 cups mirin
1/4 cups sake
1 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cups water

1. Combine the sweet potatoes or yam, mirin, sake, sugar, 1 tablespoons of soy sauce and water in a small sauce pan.
2. Cover and cook over medium heat until the sweet potato is tender, about15 minute. Add a little more water if necessary.
3. Taste it and adjust seasonings.  (If it needs sauce sauce, add more.  If it needs more sugar, add more.)

Time to Give Thanks…

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

November is a time to give thanks for the many things that we’ve been fortunate enough to have in our lives.  Along with family, friends, and health, we always include some of the pleasures that come from inspired creations like…SAKE!  And while that probably comes as no surprise, this month we also wanted to introduce our SAKAYA friends to another of Japan’s enjoyable indigenous beverages.  And so, after nearly a year since we opened, we’ve scheduled our first tasting of Shochu, a distilled spirit popular in Kyushu region.  As always, we have a full schedule of sake tastings too.  If you haven’t tried shochu before, now’s your chance.

And in case you thought we forgot an important item on our list of things to be thankful for, we saved the best for last….YOU!

We look forward to seeing you soon and thank you so very much for your enthusiastic support!


Rick & Hiroko

Saturday, November 1:  3 to 6PM

Hiyaoroshi Tasting
Wakatake Onikoroshi (Shizuoka), Urakasumi (Miyagi), & Tsuki no Katsura (Kyoto)

Friday, November 7:  6 to 8PM & Saturday, November 8:  4 to 6PM

Shochu Tasting from Fukiage Distiller in Kagoshima
Fukiage Mugi Shochu & Kaikouzu Imo Shochu

Saturday, November 15:  3 to 6PM

Sake Samurai Tim Sullivan (
Kubota Senju (Niigata), Hakkaisan Ginjo (Niigata), Kikusui Junmai Ginjo (Niigata)

Friday, November 21:  6 to 8PM

Nishimoto Trading Sake Tasting
Okunomatsu Ginjo (Fukushima) & Kudoki Jozu Junmai Ginjo (Yamagata)

Saturday, November 22:  3 to 6PM

Akita Sake Promotion & Export Council Sake Tasting
Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo (Akita)