Man, I always feel like I'll have a chance to write a really long blog entry on the weekends, but I always find myself up to my eyeballs in stuff to do - most of it self-imposed (like brewing and bottling beer in the same evening). So, I'm going to keep this as a short one as well.
Recently, I've taken a liking to sake. There's an Oriental Foods grocery store near me, and every now and then I check it out to get some Thai curry paste, seaweed for sushi, and various hot sauces. One weekend, when I was going to be making some sushi for myself, I checked out the liquor department and noticed all of the varieties of sake that they had. I had never tried it before, because as you all know, I'm more of a beer man.
Why am I a beer man? It's not so much that I don't like wine, it's that wine doesn't agree with me. I get really flushed and start to sweat almost immediately after drinking it. I enjoy the taste, but I've never been able to have enough of it to really appreciate it on the level that I do beer. Of course, there's still a stigma about beer, where many people think that there's something better or more sophisticated about wine. Well, that's horse-crap, but whattayagonnado?
So, I thought I'd try the Japanese "rice wine," even though since it's made with rice, and rice is a grain, it's technically "rice beer" if you think about it. I bought a small bottle - not the cheapest one, but not the most expensive. I enjoyed it - enough to buy it the next time I was at that supermarket.
In fact, the last time, I liked the one that I got so much that I started to seek out some sake at my local Trader Joe's. They had a sparkling variety that was pretty darned good (and relatively low in alchohol) and a regular variety that's pretty enjoyable as well.
I'm liking sake so much (particularly with my home-made sushi) that I'm looking into making my own. Turns out that it's not so tough to do, and the initial set-up kit (including the ingredients for my first batch) only runs about $25. I also like the idea that you only make the batches one gallon at a time. I like it, but it's not an every day kind of drink for me, and I don't know what I'd do with five gallons of sake lying around the house.
Perhaps if I get enough gift cards from Beer, Beer and More Beer (HINT, HINT) for my birthday (November 24!) and Christmas, I'll be giving out some Holiday Sake along with my Holiday Beer. (That's right, Bill O'Reilly - HOLIDAY Beer! Suck it, Santa!)