This time getting out of my comfort zone paid off! I would normally choose a sake with a more traditional-looking label, possibly kimoto or yamahai style, so a junmai ginjo with a graffiti-like label isn’t exactly my first choice. Totally pink, bottle included, on top of it.
Needless to say, my first reaction to this bottle was “pass”. But then I remembered my own advice to once in a while get out of the comfort zone to try new sake and keep curious. So I went back, grabbed it, and went to the register.
Once home, the more I stared at the bottle the more I thought about how I wasn’t going to like it. It screams ethyl caproate from kilometers away, not my style. Plus, having all the info that a sake geek would love on the label like nihonshudo, acidity, yeast, rice type etc. I thought I knew enough about what I was going to drink (was I going to drink it, really?).
And of course, sake proved me wrong, and trust me when I say it. There are times when I am so glad I was wrong, this being one of those times.
Because no matter how much you know, or you think you know about sake, sake is going to prove you wrong and will make you learn something new, unexpectedly. I love it!
Well, I wasn’t totally off as it is in fact a modern style sake with lots of extravagant aromatics like green apple and strawberry. But it also has a good balance of sweetness and acidity and mild umami that enriches its body.
It’s light on the nose with notes of Japanese pear, apple, vanilla, and cotton candy (am I being biased by the colour of the bottle?)
It is a good sake for summer: light, sharp, and refreshing with a short finish and a hint of bitterness in the back. Perfect to enjoy with finger food and bruschetta with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
Having so much information on a sake label can be useful but it can also be a bias. So I can understand both sides of the industry with some breweries wanting to share all possible information with their customers so they can make an informed decision, and also other breweries which on purpose write little information about their products so customers can’t be biased by numbers or rice type, etc. Let’s not forget that the most important factor in making sake is the human component and how each Toji perceives his/her own sake. That is something that is too deep to go on a sake label.