With the help of Portland's burgeoning saké market, Ben and I recently started enjoying saké. Growing up in Hawaii, I distinctly remember being introduced to saké on many occasions and I have equally distinct memories that it tasted like dirt. I think that we once bought a cheap convenience store bottle in Vegas and that absolutely didn't help my impression of the liquor. Cue Ben's eternal alcohol curiosity and a nice dinner at American Local where the waitress brought around samples of Momokawa saké. Momokawa is a local saké maker in Portland that produces some delicious and well-priced alcohol and we were blown away by our sample. We went home and purchased some immediately (you can get it at Safeway here in Portland or any liquor store) and were surprised at how good it was, again. The second time we tried Momokawa's nigori saké, Pearl, which is unfiltered and cloudy and a bit sweet.
Fast forward to an asian-inspired meal night with some friends and they brought out their saké set and served us some Momokawa Ruby, a bright, delicious sake. We've been drinking Momokawa since and have ventured forth into their three primary saké offerings - Ruby, Pearl, and Diamond. Diamond is my favorite and insanely drinkable. Perfect for a sushi night!
Like all things sort of weird and out of place, Portland's actually becoming a great spot for saké. We currently have a festival dedicated to the alcohol in June, Momokawa being brewed here in PDX, and a whole host of restaurants serving both local and non-local saké.
We have been whole-heartedly jumping on that bandwagon with our love for all things Japanese and recently themed a day around Japanese food, drink, and Hayao Miyazaki films. My three favorite things bundled into one day! In order to further our obsession with both alcohol and glassware, we decided to finally buy a saké set and settled on the one you see above - perfect for serving chilled sake (the little blue insert is an "ice pocket" to keep your sake chilled). You can purchase the carafe at a bunch of stores, but here's a link if you're intrigued.
*The photo above is not of Momokawa, it's of a little bottle of nigori sake called "Sayuri" that we picked up at Uwajimaya (an asian deli/grocery/home-goods store in the PNW). It was also really delicious but not local.