In this time of challenge and unpredictability, when uniformity and the recognizable would presumably bring comfort, we continue to see a draw into the sake cooler, many looking to try something new. With the popularity, great price point, and value of the Tozai line at Surdyk’s, I did not hesitate to look closer at Tozai Snow Maiden Nigori when it made its way across my desk. Brand new to Surdyk’s, Snow Maiden is named after Hanako, or “Flower Maiden,” the most famous Japanese koi fish that lived for 226 years in the snowy, icy waters at the foot of Japan’s Mt. Ontake. It comes from the prefecture of Kyoto, known as one of the best places for brewing sake due to pure soft water that runs from the surrounding “purple” mountains. This loosely filtered nigori style sake is luscious and creamy, with crisp notes of honeydew and savory buttery pumpkin – a sake sure to bring welcomed comfort this fall. Enjoy Snow Maiden as a sake novice or sake connoisseur. A favorite pairing is with spicy dishes! Perfect for spicy ramen and stews this fall.