One of the nice things about writing a blog is that the authors can write about anything they choose. Try a new direction once in a while and if its no good, no harm no foul; but it keeps blog writing interesting. However; the new direction should at least be in the spirit of the overall blog content, which leads me to this wine review…
Yes, wine. Not some funky strained pond water home made back porch water lily wine, a real wine, totally legit BUT a wine in the true spirit of a pond and water garden blog. We’re going to take a look and taste of some sake, a Japanese rice wine. I chose this wine for the same reason many of the top sommeliers of the world choose their wines; I liked the label, which features a striking and bold Kohaku koi fish! On that merit alone each of you should be running out to get this wine to hand out to friends, family, and associates. You pond builders should be giving these to your customers as a thank you gift!
This sake is brewed in Japan by Daimon Shuzo and is named Tozai. It can be found on www.wine.com. The marketing department for the distributor of Tozai sake was nice enough to send me a sample, and even better 2 samples! There are 2 types of Tozai sake. First is Tozai “Snow Maiden”. Snow Maiden comes in a sleek nice looking bottle with frosted glass and a pink hue to it. The attractive label has a beautiful Kohaku koi, paying homage to Hanako, the legendary Japanese koi which lived in the waters that flowed from Japan’s Mt. Onake. Hanako is said to have lived 226 years in those cold mountain waters. The second type of sake is Tozai “Living Jewel” (aka nishikigoi) also featuring a bold Kohaku koi on the label and is ready to pour from a somewhat stouter wine bottle shape with frosted glass as well.
There are different grades of sake and Tozai is a high quality “junmai” variety. Like all sake it is brewed from rice. Snow Maiden is a nigori , or cloudy sake, with a milky appearance; while Living Jewel is very clear and looks a lot like a spirit, without color. Both of these sake are served chilled, instead of warmed like many other rice wines are served. Any koi pond owner should have a few bottles of these on hand for any pond side get togethers.
Since sake appreciation is something I am still discovering and developing I could tell you that Tozai Snow Maiden has a “bright, fresh and fruity aroma, with a creamy and fruity flavor, and a nice finish”; but those would not be my words. I did taste the fruitiness and cream of the sake and would compare the taste of Snow Maiden to a white wine like a chardonnay. The cloudy appearance gives the wine a milky, snowy, look. I happen to like the pleasantly dry quality of a chardonnay so Snow Maiden went down pretty well with me!
When I tried Tozai “Living Jewel” it was tempting to tell you that its “medium body had complex aromas of white grape, anise, and white pepper with a taste to match, and a long finish with herbal notes”; but that does not sound like me either. It is indeed a lighter bodied wine than Snow Maiden with a very nice fresh clarity to it when poured into the glass. The taste, to my developing palate, was something of a mix between a dry white wine and hint of vodka. Living Jewel has a very nice, smooth, “spirit-like” drinkability
Both Snow Maiden and Living Jewel went just fine with food; and it is simply a fun wine to drink. Tozai sake is a fun wine to share with friends. It is a great ice breaker wine as well, with a good story behind it, and a cool label. It is a gift that will bring a smile. Tozai sake is something different for the wine “aficionado” in your life. The best thing about Tozai Snow Maiden and Living Jewel is simply that it is fun. Drinking Tozai sake is an experience, it is a reason to have a party or get together; as much as it is a great wine to just sit tight with your squeeze and get comfy for a night.
So there’s the review! I give the Tozai sakes a rating of 4 out of 5 lily pads. What are you waiting for? Set the get together date, order your Tozai sake from www.wine.com, and tell them the LOVEYOURPOND Blog sent you!
Now,….about that water lily wine…hai!
All copyrights to this material is solely owned by Mike Gannon.