Signs of Spring in Japan

Signs of Spring in Japan

Spring in Minnesota marks the end of what is often a brutally cold, snow-filled winter and we strain to find the signs. Dazed and confused (and chilly!) robins flitting about. Drippy, muddy puddles that are deeper than you could imagine. And the ability to smell spring in the air even if it’s only 45 degrees outside.
In Japan, spring marks the end of the traditional sake brewing season. In Chizu, located in the Tottori prefecture, you will find fresh Sugidama (cedar branch ball) placed outside of their premise at the start of the brewing season. As winter passes, the Sugidama’s bright green color fades to brown, and when spring arrives, the completely brown ornament signifies the sake is ready. A literal sign of spring.
Another is the release of Nama Sake (or namazake or 生酒). Where traditional sake goes through pasteurization twice in its process, Nama Sake is pasteurized once, if at all. This style of sake is bright, brash and fresh. The fruit notes are fruitier and bold compared to the subtleness of traditional Sake. Since all Sake is sulfite free, the process of pasteurization is what allows for shelf stability and age-ability. So, being unpasteurized, Nama Sake requires refrigeration and prompt consumption.

Nama Sake is in our sake cooler and new spring releases are here… just in time for spring.

AMA NO TO
HEAVEN’S DOOR (112758)
Grade: Junmai

Instead of big, fruity aromas, this shows the grain and the koji. Notes of toasted bread, roasted peanuts, with a rich rice texture

PREFECTURE: Akita
RICE: Ginnosei
SEIMAIBUAI: 55%

$37.99

 


FUKUCHO
MOON ON THE WATER (112759)
Grade: Junmai Ginjo

Intensely aromatic with notes of freshly cut pineapple, violet, and strawberry. Delicious with king crab and drawn butter, goat cheese and figs, citrus-tinged desserts.

PREFECTURE: Hiroshima
RICE: Yamada Nishiki
SEIMAIBUAI: 55%
$44.99

 


RIHAKU
ORIGIN OF PURITY (112760)
Grade: Junmai Ginjo

A robust, powerful expression of namazake. The complexity of flower yeast, omachi rice, and genshu result in layers of smoke, molasses, toast cereal, and candied nuts. Pair with steak, cured meats, charred onions.

PREFECTURE: Shimane
RICE: Omachi
SEIMAIBUAI: 55%
$44.99

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