Monday, November 16, 2009

Trader Joe-san's Selected Sake from Japan

Price: $10.99 (720 ml, 15% ABV)
Features: Better served cold than hot (unfortunately for me); blessings of God

Found in: Desert wine section...not sure where else it would go I suppose.

"Ahh, a nice cup of warm sake would be just the thing to relax with on this awful stormy evening, and a nice excuse to review another TJ's product" I think to myself. Enter Trader Joe-san's Selected Sake from Japan. The bottle looks fancy with its foil top and tuxedo-vest-like label. Below it states:
Junmai Ginjo Sake is a specially reserved connoisseur class of sake using certified sake rice that has been polished away to 45% of it's original size. This is a supplement-free product of which only "Koji", the blessings of God has been added. May it bring happiness to you.

 Wow, good times. I eagerly heated up a cup of the sake. I'm no connoisseur class of sake drinker, so maybe my tastes are just not refined, but once warm this sake has some serious alcohol fumes coming off it. Far more than others I have tried if, memory serves me correctly. I found it difficult to get my nose close enough to the cup with all the fumes rising up to be able to take a sip, and then I got mostly an alcohol taste as well. So, that was a disappointing experience. Now there is such strong wind outside I'm afraid the house will blow down, so maybe the strong sake isn't all a bust.

Ok, the bottle does say to serve it cold, but it seems like all sakes say that. And yes, I had a few sips of it slightly chilled and it is much smoother and has that soft sake flavor I was seeking. It is enjoyable when cool, but I wish it could be served warm on cold nights as well, and I feel like TJ's should have a decent sake for less than $11.00 per bottle. If you are into sake and you have an opinion on this Junmai Ginjo, let's hear it in the comments!

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