SakeTrend January 2024 Newsletter

Visiting Shuen Kawashima (酒縁 川嶋)in Tokyo

My Sake Sensei, Kazu invited me over to Shuen Kawashima located in Musashi Koyama, Tokyo.

This Izakaya is like a secret hideaway. I could not make it there without my sensei's detail map direction even though I had a google map navigating me. This Izakaya takes mainly referral base customers and reservation only.  The family owned Izakaya, 88 year old mother, Mrs. Kawashima is a master chef after her husband passed away.  Her son is working as a Sake Sommelier and he is a quite well known as a ”Walking dictionary for Sake" among Sake Experts in Japan. 
Pre-Covid, Her son used to do sake seminar called "Shuen's Gathering - ”Shuen no Kai”” annually inviting over selected 30-40 kuras (sake breweries) around Japan. He is a well-known sake expert in sake field and has many connection to kuras, but He is a quite shy person and not in this photo. 
He selected over 10 different sake all over from Japan to pair with Mrs. Kawashima's pairing dinner course and all of them were really fun! My favorite was "Chiyomusubi Daiginjyo, 40 year aged Koshu" attached photo above.  Yes, this no labeled sake has golden light brown color, and fruity, herb, and caramel aroma. The multiple flavors are balanced.  Different from a typical aged sake, the light mellow sourness accentuated this multiple flavors koshu, and brought even more profound depth in the palate. This paired well with deep fried dish.

SakeTrend carries aged sake, and here is our aged sake from Fukugen Shuzo, and Tsuchida Shuzo.

Fukumimi Junmai Ginjyo Sake.

Tsuchida Kimoto Initial K

Wish 2024 brings you even more happiness and success!!

Shuen Kawashima

This year New Year's Taiko Event is coming up on Sunday February 4th! Sake Trend is supporting local communities and this is 3rd year we have been supporting them. Every year, we are inspired by all performers and this event always gives us positive energy! 
Hope you can come. Ticket is $30 at the door, Cash Only.  I would recommend coming in early so that you can find a parking spot. This year's location has changed to San Mateo.
For more details, please feel free to contact them below
Notes from The Sake Underground byTodd Eng 
Instagram @ToddEng 
Twitter/X @Toddthesakeman
The Enjoyment of Atsu-kan, Kanzake, or Warm Sake

The question among many new sake drinkers is What to make of Hot Sake? Is Warm Sake a good thing or a bad thing? Is it ok to like it Hot? Many people in the West, and novice sake drinkers, will assume either that all sake should be served warm, or they assume that only bad, cheap sake would be served warm. Both beliefs are untrue.

Though most premium sake is best tried chilled, sake can be quite versatile and expressive across a wide range of temperatures. Warm or hot sake is a very traditional way to enjoy sake. There are many sakes of the premium variety which shine best when warmed - honjozo, junmai, tokubetsu junmai or tokubetsu honjozo, especially Kimoto or Yamahai Junmai, even some junmai ginjo and higher.  Another truth is that drinking warm sake is more about the feeling it gives than the flavor; and when there’s a chill in the air, sometimes you just feel like drinking it warm.

There is only one real way to know, and that is to try. Now is the time of year to properly appreciate a proper hot tokkuri of Atsu-kan or Kanzake. The question is which kinds of sake, and what temperature to serve it at. 

Let’s cover some basics first. Having the proper equipment at home helps, a sturdy ceramic tokkuri (or a small vase or jar in a pinch) to warm the sake in a hot-water bath until the desired temperature. Use a thermometer until you get the timing, after a while you won’t need it. Start with Nuru-kan around 100-105F, then try it at a warmer temperature up to 120-125F for that truly hot experience. Pay attention to the balance of flavors, particularly the acidity and texture, and occasionally you will have quite a most different impression of the sake. But stop well short of boiling, and drink as quickly as you can, as the drop back down in temperature does not favor most sake. There’s no shame if you choose to use a microwave for warming, but be careful not to raise the temperature higher than desired.

Try any of these sakes warm, and enjoy the feeling -