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I direct your attention to this amazing article from the Los Angeles Times by Linda Burum. I have been a fan of her writing for many years. We should be so lucky to have a food journalist of her caliber in DC.

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...y?track=tottext

So, DC wine mavens. Where are the local sources for these (and other) cool sakes? Other than Tako Grill's sake bar, which I already know about. I'm particularly interested in retail, not just restaurants.

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I direct your attention to this amazing article from the Los Angeles Times by Linda Burum. I have been a fan of her writing for many years. We should be so lucky to have a food journalist of her caliber in DC.

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...y?track=tottext

So, DC wine mavens. Where are the local sources for these (and other) cool sakes? Other than Tako Grill's sake bar, which I already know about. I'm particularly interested in retail, not just restaurants.

Thanks for directing us to this article-the clean and complex taste of good sake is a great change from wine-I would also like to know if there are any shops out there in which to buy good sake. Some Japanese markets, maybe?

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I would also like to know if there are any shops out there in which to buy good sake.  Some Japanese markets, maybe?

Give me a call - we have several good sakés, some of which Daisuke at Sushi-Ko picked out for us. We also have Soju and the best plum wine I can imagine.

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Where can one get flavored soju, premium sake, and other exotic alcoholic beverages by the bottle(s)? I've been in search of fruit infused soju, and would really like to add a couple of bottles to my stash. I live close enough to Koreatown - anyone know if there are stores there that carry fruity bottles of deliciousness that I can purchase?

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Where can one get flavored soju, premium sake, and other exotic alcoholic beverages by the bottle(s)? I've been in search of fruit infused soju, and would really like to add a couple of bottles to my stash. I live close enough to Koreatown - anyone know if there are stores there that carry fruity bottles of deliciousness that I can purchase?

Well, we have several premium sakés, and some soju (2 from Korea, 1 from Japan) and access to many others. We stock enough alcohlic beverages that I consider "exotic" in some ways.

Can you tell me any specific brands that you are looking for?

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The following was sent to me via e-mail this morning:

Paul's of Chevy Chase

Saturday Tasting, 12:00-4:00 p.m.

March 24, 2007

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- A Very Special Saturday Tasting

We will be holding a special Saturday tasting of Sake on March 24th. Come join us for a chance to learn about these great Sakes in a relaxed and fun environment.

A Very Special Saturday Tasting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Koshino Omachi, Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: "Omachi" rice, one of the best sake rices and the hardest to grow, is cultivated by contract growers in the region only to produce this grade and polished to 40%.

Water: Underground water currents from the Shinano River and the Higashiyama mountains are pumped up from the 90 meter deep on-site well. Soft water.

Tasting Notes: Mild and rounded taste with fresh Ginjo flavor.

Regular Price 19.99 Sale Price 16.99

Hakuryu “White Dragon” Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice:Yamada Nishiki and Takanenishiki

Water: Uunderground water from agano- fukuryuusui

Tasting Notes: Fruity, soft, round and smooth

This sake has won the Grand Gold Medal and gold medals for the last 10 consecutive years at the Monde Selection in Brussels, Belgium.

Regular Price 59.99 Sale Price 49.99

Yukikage “Snow Shadow” Tokubetsu Junmai

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: Gohyaku-man-goku and koshi-ibuki. Rice polished to 58%.

Water: On-site well water, called Tengu's spring

Tasting Notes: Aroma shows apple marzipan. Soft, light bodied and long finish.

Regular Price 15.99 Sale Price 12.99

Manotsuru “Nature Island” Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: Gohyaku-man-goku. Polished to 50%

Water: On-site well water. Underground water from Ko-sado Mountains. Soft water.

Tasting Notes: A very flowery fruit-like fragrance which begins with a mild sweetness and hints of melon and apple on the nose. Well-balanced, light, and smooth taste with a clean finish stands out when served just a bit cooler.

Regular Price 17.99 Sale Price 14.99

Contact Information

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

email: info@paulsdc.com

phone: 202.537.1900

web: http://www.paulsdc.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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As I can't seem to access the other articles about sake any longer... I really love this one by Bill Addison, who is doing an amazing job down in Dallas. Boo to Hot Sake
I'd be interested to know which areas the restaurants have gotten their sakes from. Much like wine or spirits, sakes from each of the prefectures have different characteristics with some being renowned for their quality. Sake from Akita Prefecture in the northeast of Japan is quite famous within Japan for its purity of flavor -- both the rice and the water in Akita are generally very good. From my admittedly limited experience searching for sake in the DC area, I don't recall seeing many sakes from the northeastern part of Honshu, except at Kaz Sushi Bistro, which had listings from Miyagi and Fukushima.
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I'd be interested to know which areas the restaurants have gotten their sakes from. Much like wine or spirits, sakes from each of the prefectures have different characteristics with some being renowned for their quality. Sake from Akita Prefecture in the northeast of Japan is quite famous within Japan for its purity of flavor -- both the rice and the water in Akita are generally very good. From my admittedly limited experience searching for sake in the DC area, I don't recall seeing many sakes from the northeastern part of Honshu, except at Kaz Sushi Bistro, which had listings from Miyagi and Fukushima.

ver have any sake that is done by way of the "shizuku" process (free run) where the Moromi is allowed to drip fro mteh bags, like the way of nigori but more pure.

i always liek the sakes from the Prefecture of Nigita, and Akita.. huge mineral=dry.

the one of Shuki Hon Yari is nice, but always on the search for others :angry:

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I have never been much of a fan of sake myself, more of a plum wine fan, but I used to work at a restaurant in alexandria named finn & porter and we had 13 or so different sakes. 4 flavored ones, 2 warm and one unfiltered. I myself liked the unfiltered and the lime sakes. It is worth checking out if you want a variety at one sitting.

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As will quickly become abundantly apparent to any regulars to this site, I am a donrockwell newbie and a retailer. Forgive me if I am posting out of turn (and if I appear to be boasting), but I am a sake FANATIC, and by this virtue we have what is likely one of the largest, most constantly changing retail selections of sake, soju and plum wine on the eastern seaboard! Also, in addition to our regular weekly wine and beer tastings I host the occasional sake tasting featuring new and notable selections. Though there are none currently scheduled I plan to set one up for the near future, for which you may find info here, or feel to email me, as I keep a personal list of sake-savvy persons to whom I send (private!) emails as a reminder.

Have any sake/soju/umeshu queries? Send me an email, or reply to this post! Though, forgive me ahead of time, as I will babble on endlessly about the stuff :angry:.

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As will quickly become abundantly apparent to any regulars to this site, I am a donrockwell newbie and a retailer. Forgive me if I am posting out of turn (and if I appear to be boasting), but I am a sake FANATIC, and by this virtue we have what is likely one of the largest, most constantly changing retail selections of sake, soju and plum wine on the eastern seaboard!

[it's perfectly fine, Rob. There's a big difference between coming onto this website, openly disclosing your affilliations, and mentioning what it is that you do; and constant, blatant, shilling which you have absolutely not done.]

Do you guys still have any of that Divine Droplets sake, the stuff that's made in a quasi-igloo? If so, then I may be overdue for a visit.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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[it's perfectly fine, Rob. There's a big difference between coming onto this website, openly disclosing your affilliations, and mentioning what it is that you do; and constant, blatant, shilling which you have absolutely not done.]

Do you guys still have any of that Divine Droplets sake, the stuff that's made in a quasi-igloo? If so, then I may be overdue for a visit.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Thank you for the reassurance and the warm welcome! We sure do still have the "Divine Droplets" (as of yesterday, anyhow), but we also have any number of other Junmai Daiginjos of which I am equally fond. I'd love for you (or anyone else, for that matter!) to come by talk about 'em! Thank you again for the reception; I look forward to some great conversation.

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Thank you for the reassurance and the warm welcome! We sure do still have the "Divine Droplets" (as of yesterday, anyhow), but we also have any number of other Junmai Daiginjos of which I am equally fond. I'd love for you (or anyone else, for that matter!) to come by talk about 'em! Thank you again for the reception; I look forward to some great conversation.

looks like a few of us are do for a visit

i love this site for more info on sake.... sake site

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looks like a few of us are do for a visit

i love this site for more info on sake.... sake site

Cool website, thanks for the link. The problem with sake in this country, though, is that no matter how familiar one might be with his own area's offerings, they are bound to be TOTALLY DIFFERENT from what one may fine a couple hundred miles away. Looking over his site, Timothy obviously knows his stuff, but I recognized but few of the sakes featured in his database, and by that virtue both he and I (and all of us!) are missing out on some great stuff. In that vein I hope he runs afoul of the sakes of Kasumi Tsuru-- I've just recently become acquainted with these neat, traditionally made sakes, and consider my mind properly blown (Ever considered sake and barbecue? Their Yamahai Junmai works, I swear!).

I wonder if things are different on the left coast, being so close to the point of origin?

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I wonder if things are different on the left coast, being so close to the point of origin?
Possibly, although I won't claim any experience looking for sake on the West Coast. Methinks a lot of the really good stuff never makes it out of the country. Many jizakes, or local sakes, are produced by small breweries that only sell to the local area. Hokushika, in Akita Prefecture, produces some fantastic sakes . . . that I've never seen outside of Akita Prefecture.
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Possibly, although I won't claim any experience looking for sake on the West Coast. Methinks a lot of the really good stuff never makes it out of the country. Many jizakes, or local sakes, are produced by small breweries that only sell to the local area. Hokushika, in Akita Prefecture, produces some fantastic sakes . . . that I've never seen outside of Akita Prefecture.

Sadly, this is very true, and is bound to become MORE true as more and more small kura (sake breweries) shut down every year. Given your glowing review I have excercised all my resources looking for Hokushika and have sadly garnered no results-- as you say, many great nihonshu are available only onsite. On that note, though given my limited experience I can agree that there is a certain something about Akita prefacture sakes that is quite magnificent. I can't guess how it might match up to your favorite, but Yuki No Bosha makes some fantastic sake in said region, one of which we now carry. Their Cabin in the Snow Junmai Ginjo has a certain purity of fruit and an all important high acidity that so as to make it one of my favorite food sakes to date.

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Sadly, this is very true, and is bound to become MORE true as more and more small kura (sake breweries) shut down every year. Given your glowing review I have excercised all my resources looking for Hokushika and have sadly garnered no results-- as you say, many great nihonshu are available only onsite. On that note, though given my limited experience I can agree that there is a certain something about Akita prefacture sakes that is quite magnificent. I can't guess how it might match up to your favorite, but Yuki No Bosha makes some fantastic sake in said region, one of which we now carry. Their Cabin in the Snow Junmai Ginjo has a certain purity of fruit and an all important high acidity that so as to make it one of my favorite food sakes to date.

and new to come is the GLOW-in- the- CLUB, green glow sake. OOOHHHH, AAAHHH, guess it is a god marketing ploy to the youth of today to enter into something new besides the darn VC yellow crud, and learn alittle after a night of a lot of loss :blink:

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and new to come is the GLOW-in- the- CLUB, green glow sake. OOOHHHH, AAAHHH, guess it is a god marketing ploy to the youth of today to enter into something new besides the darn VC yellow crud, and learn alittle after a night of a lot of loss :P

Boy was that a letdown. I thought that maybe they had concocted some sort of food-safe luminescent chemical but no, it's just a gimmicky bottle with a tilt-activated green light built-in. One look, or more precisely one listen at their website makes everything clear: this is sake for the Zima crowd. Probably pairs well with Pop-Rocks :blink:

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Boy was that a letdown. I thought that maybe they had concocted some sort of food-safe luminescent chemical but no, it's just a gimmicky bottle with a tilt-activated green light built-in. One look, or more precisely one listen at their website makes everything clear: this is sake for the Zima crowd. Probably pairs well with Pop-Rocks :blink:

and what ever those little rounds candys are that they hand out :P

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Cool website, thanks for the link. The problem with sake in this country, though, is that no matter how familiar one might be with his own area's offerings, they are bound to be TOTALLY DIFFERENT from what one may fine a couple hundred miles away. Looking over his site, Timothy obviously knows his stuff, but I recognized but few of the sakes featured in his database, and by that virtue both he and I (and all of us!) are missing out on some great stuff. In that vein I hope he runs afoul of the sakes of Kasumi Tsuru-- I've just recently become acquainted with these neat, traditionally made sakes, and consider my mind properly blown (Ever considered sake and barbecue? Their Yamahai Junmai works, I swear!).

I wonder if things are different on the left coast, being so close to the point of origin?

Ive been trying to find some GoShu blue (made under the Sun-Masamune label which is owned by Konishi Brewing Co.). Its a Junmai Ginjo / SMV+4. Doesnt help I live so far from any large city. I didnt recognise many in his directory either from what I was used to in England and Australia.

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God knows I know enough sources of wine (retailers/inventories) to get what I'm looking for, but if I am ever in the mood for sake, I'm left pretty much helpless staring at bunch of Kanji-riddled labels that don't tell me anything except that this is a "Warrior Poet" or "Spring Essence drifting through the Valley" - do you guys know of any good sources for Sake, and more importantly a retailer who knows his stuff in the DC or NOVA area?

Thanks!

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Thanks for digging up this link - a lot of information here. Rob, how did I forget that you had an awesome sake selection? I'll drop by sometime to say hello!

James, formerly of Elite Wines

Hah! James, good to hear from you! Look forward to seeing you-- we have a few new things since last you've showed your face, and I actually hope to set up a sake tasting for sometime in February. Send me a PM when you think you might swing by.

Sorry, everyone else. You guys are welcome, too-- once I have the tasting set it will be posted here. Carry on. :mellow:

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Did a little sake tasting last night with two bottles from two well-regarded sake producing regions. A friend brought a bottle of Hakkaisan, which is brewed near and named for the mountain nearest her small town/university in Niigata Prefecture. It was nice and a bit sweet, almost fruity, without much rice flavor. We followed it with a bottle of Hinomaru Jozo "Manabito" from Akita Prefecture, which we picked up at a surprisingly fabulous liquor store in Pojoaque, NM. Akita sakes are known for their clean flavors and purity, and the Manabito was no exception. It was drier than the Hakkaisan (we prefer drier sakes) and had the slightly mineral, rice-y flavor that many Akita sakes have. They were both good, and the comparison was educational, but I was reminded that I will almost always prefer the Akita sake to any other.

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The following was sent to me via e-mail this morning:

Paul's of Chevy Chase

Saturday Tasting, 12:00-4:00 p.m.

March 24, 2007

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- A Very Special Saturday Tasting

We will be holding a special Saturday tasting of Sake on March 24th. Come join us for a chance to learn about these great Sakes in a relaxed and fun environment.

A Very Special Saturday Tasting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Koshino Omachi, Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: "Omachi" rice, one of the best sake rices and the hardest to grow, is cultivated by contract growers in the region only to produce this grade and polished to 40%.

Water: Underground water currents from the Shinano River and the Higashiyama mountains are pumped up from the 90 meter deep on-site well. Soft water.

Tasting Notes: Mild and rounded taste with fresh Ginjo flavor.

Regular Price 19.99 Sale Price 16.99

Hakuryu “White Dragon” Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice:Yamada Nishiki and Takanenishiki

Water: Uunderground water from agano- fukuryuusui

Tasting Notes: Fruity, soft, round and smooth

This sake has won the Grand Gold Medal and gold medals for the last 10 consecutive years at the Monde Selection in Brussels, Belgium.

Regular Price 59.99 Sale Price 49.99

Yukikage “Snow Shadow” Tokubetsu Junmai

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: Gohyaku-man-goku and koshi-ibuki. Rice polished to 58%.

Water: On-site well water, called Tengu's spring

Tasting Notes: Aroma shows apple marzipan. Soft, light bodied and long finish.

Regular Price 15.99 Sale Price 12.99

Manotsuru “Nature Island” Daiginjo

(Niigata, Japan)

Rice: Gohyaku-man-goku. Polished to 50%

Water: On-site well water. Underground water from Ko-sado Mountains. Soft water.

Tasting Notes: A very flowery fruit-like fragrance which begins with a mild sweetness and hints of melon and apple on the nose. Well-balanced, light, and smooth taste with a clean finish stands out when served just a bit cooler.

Regular Price 17.99 Sale Price 14.99

This thread is remarkable. I just found this post from 2007 and naturally felt compelled to mention that if you missed this sake tasting opportunity at Paul's, we carry all of these sakes (except for the Manotsuru) at Izakaya Seki (www.sekidc.com). My dad is originally from Niigata and we have a strong preference for sakes from our area (holla!) -- although we also carry a much wider selection too.

I can't compete with these Wal-mart prices though. They are, frankly, well-below current wholesale so I'm assuming (and will do research to confirm) that the yen-dollar exchange rate was a big factor.

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i found a really nice video on sake making. it's romantic and moody but it looks about right from my experience visiting breweries.

i can't seem to hotlink this so here's the actual site:

http://higashikara.jp/?p=246

it's taped at the Tomihisa Sendai Brewery in Saga Prefecture in the island of Kyushu. They produce "Nabeshima" sake, which we occasionally carry.

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