Tasting – Wakamusume Botan Nama

Wakamusume is a perennial favorite in this house. Not only does little Shintani Shuzo (Japanese link) make great sake, but the couple making it are simply lovely people. And with times as they are, I want to do everything I can to support local business like them: and that means buying sake! I saw on... Continue Reading →

In With The New

The first Monday of 2020 has already passed me by, but I thought I'd make this first post of the year something more meta than another tasting. Because this year promises to be something different from last in many ways, including this sake habit of mine. Good Old Shintani Shuzo To begin with, I'm reaching... Continue Reading →

The Closing of the Year

Rather than do a regular old tasting note, review, or event update, I thought I'd take a look back at what this year was like for me in my sake journey. 2019 was a fairly big sake year for me. I led my first tasting class back in January, and did my first work translating... Continue Reading →

Event – Hiyaoroshi no Kai

After a long hiatus, I am back, and I have oh so much to share! Autumn has come to Japan, finally, and with it the opposite end of spring's Shinshu events. This is the season of Hiyaoroshi (aka Akiagare, etc.), which is sake that has been left to age over the summer after the spring... Continue Reading →

Bun bun Junmai Ginjo – Tasting

As mentioned in my last post, Bun bun is the first sake developed by Shintani Shuzo toji Fumiko Shintani. The label features a rather cute drawing of Fumiko in a cat-motif kimono on one side, and a cartoon of her actual cat on the other side. Wakamusume Bun bun Junmai Ginjo. Yamada Nishiki at 60%... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Shintani Shuzo

Shintani Shuzo Location: Tokuji, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi PrefectureOpen to the Public: NoProduction: 50 Koku (9,000 liters), Shiki Jozo (year-round production) On January 19th, I had the pleasure of visiting Wakamusume maker Shintani Shuzo, and talking with Toji Fumiko Shintani. It was mostly a business meeting, but I did get to see the kura and talk... Continue Reading →

Jizake Yokocho – Event

Saturday, October 27th was Shunan city's 2nd annual Jizake Yokocho local sake Fair. 16 sakagura from all over Yamagata were there offering their wares, including some rarities I've never seen anywhere locally. A group of friends and I went to give our lovers a workout, and it was pure fun. None of the kura were... Continue Reading →

Wakamusume Koshu – Tasting

Today's sake is a rarity: Koshu, aka Aged Sake! I picked this bottle up at tiny Ikedaya Liquor shop in Hofu, Yamaguchi, the only place you can get Takeuchi sake these days. It was just hanging out in their cooler, and it stood out because I've seen a lot of Wakamusume sake before, but never... Continue Reading →

Wakamusume Kakitsubata – Tasting

  Wakamusume is the prime label for a local small kura, Shintani Shuzo, that is making some waves with their own "revival narrative." Shintani is a venerable local kura that was on the verge of closing after its Toji retired, but the label founder's grandson Yoshinao Shintani decided to make a go of it alone,... Continue Reading →

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