Other than tea, I've probably drunk more sake than anything else here in NYC this past week, from Tedorigawa Yamahai Junmai at Kyo-ya to Takenotsuyu Junmai at Ushiwakamaru to a whole boatload of things at Sakagura, including the crazy and unusually rich Born Muroka Nama Genshu Junmai Daiginjo. Not only junmai (no added alcohol), but nama (unpasteurized), muroka (unfiltered) and genshu (undiluted) as well. And daiginjo, to top it all off. Born's website says that "Drinking Born sake will bring you visions of the future." I sort of hope not, but it was intriguing to taste nevertheless.
Last night at the Spring Tasting of the Akita Sake Club I tasted about 30 sakes, some great, some not. There were plenty of things to like, in virtually all imaginable categories of sake, but the standout of the tasting for me was the daiginjo from Nanbu Bijin, which is actually not even from Akita Prefecture but rather from Iwate, just next door. Mouth-fillingly fragrant and fruity while retaining an elegant sense of complexity and grace, it seems to perfectly balance the finesse of daiginjo with the full, softly-textured Nanbu Bijin style.
It was so good that we almost drank Nanbu Bijin again later in the evening over a splendid meal at Aburiya Kinnosuke. Perhaps my favorite restaurant in all of NYC, Aburiya Kinnosuke always features many insanely delicious things to eat, and last night's delicacies included grilled sea eel, tiny baby sardines and this delightfully striking and terrifically tasty amberjack head. I saw Nanbu Bijin's Tokubetsu Junmai on the list and was tempted. But of course we found plenty of other sakes to drink.