THE JOY OF SAKE is a sake event where sake exhibited at the "US National Sake Appraisal" held every July to August is open to the public. It was first held in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2001, and is now regularly held in New York and Tokyo. In addition to tasting all the sake exhibited at the reception, special menus from popular restaurants at each venue are also offered. It is an event where you can enjoy both "good sake" and "gourmet food".
At the council, 10 experts invited from Japan and the United States will conduct a blind examination. The categories are divided into four categories: Daiginjo A (rice polishing rate of 40% or less), Daiginjo B (rice polishing rate of 50% or less), Ginjo, and Junmai. That's it. This year, 370 stocks from 159 companies were exhibited, and 95 gold prizes and 88 silver prizes were selected.
This Tokyo tournament was held after the Honolulu tournament in July and the New York tournament in September. When I arrived at the venue in Gotanda, Tokyo, I was given a pamphlet with all the liquor exhibited and restaurants, disposable chopsticks, and a chopstick. It comes in a drawstring purse with a string so that it can be hung from the neck. I chose a simple pattern, but there are many colorful drawstring purses such as pink, green, and yellow. I hang it around my neck and head to the floor.
At 18:00, the event started with the opening of the mirror. You can freely drink sake and eat food until 21:00.
The venue is divided into two, with Daiginjo B and Ginjo in the main hall, and Daiginjo A, Junmai, and Namamoto in the special hall. In addition to the exhibited sake, there is also a corner where you can sample sake recommended by the brewery.
The exhibited sake is lined up on the table on the floor, but there is a sake cup in front of each bottle and a dropper is inserted. Use this to taste little by little. However, drinking all kinds seems to be a ridiculous amount ...
Let's hold down at least the award-winning stocks. This year, Daiginjo A category "Shizuku Harihara Sake Daiginjo Meito Tsukiyama Maru" (Wada Sake Brewery / Yamagata Prefecture), Daiginjo B Category "Sakura Daiginjo" (Okumatsu Sake Brewery / Fukushima Prefecture), Ginjo Category "Dewazakura Sakuraka" "Ginjo Sake Yamada Nishiki" "Dewazakura Sakuraka Ginjo Sake" (Dewazakura Sake Brewery / Yamagata Prefecture) and "Chateau Myoko" (Myoko Sake Brewery / Niigata Prefecture) in the pure rice category won the Grand Prix. Famous breweries are listed, but all of them have a good balance of aroma, taste and taste, and the deep taste was impressive.
In addition, sake brewed in the United States is also exhibited at the reception. This year, it was exhibited by breweries such as New York, Oregon, and Minnesota. In fact, it seems that the first overseas sake brewing company was built in Honolulu. It was 1908, more than 100 years ago. Currently, some major Japanese manufacturers have breweries in the United States, and some are "reimported."
At the Joy of Salmon, you can't miss the food. You can enjoy the limited menu of 14 restaurants in various Japanese, Western and Chinese restaurants with delicious sake.
The most popular was the popular steak restaurant "BLT STEAK TOKYO" (Roppongi, Tokyo). In a blink of an eye, it was out of stock and I missed eating it. The popular tempura specialty store "Tsunahachi" (Shinjuku, Tokyo) brings in a large pot and offers freshly fried food. Chongqing Hotel (Yokohama City) "Chinese style ratatuye of scallops and century egg mousse", local sake Yuraku Ura and (Ikebukuro, Tokyo) "Autumn", rooster ball (Tokyo, Shirokane Takanawa) "Misaki and dried tofu", etc. You will be distracted by the limited menus made by popular stores. IL GHIOTTONE (Marunouchi, Tokyo)'s "Salmon and root vegetable sake lees risotto with yuzu flavor" was lined up until the closing.
On the stage, there were live hula dances and live performances, as well as an experience corner for making "drunk books" and "moss gardens". Three hours passed in no time.
It has been a long time since people have been calling for a decrease in sake consumption. On the other hand, the export volume is increasing, and it is spreading overseas along with "Japanese food". At the Joy of Salmon venue, I saw foreigners vacating one after another with their faces bright red.
Maxim (1st year living in Japan) from France who participated with a friend said, "I took a lot of pictures with my smartphone, so I'll show them to my friends." My favorite brand is "Bishonen Sage" (Bishonen / Kumamoto Prefecture). I wondered if he liked the name, but he said, "I don't know what it says because I can't read kanji, but it was the most delicious."
As a sake fan, I'm happy that more people will like sake. I would like to go to the home tournament in the United States someday.