When Sake Smells Fishy

dreamstime_s_12998724.jpg Something unusual happened recently. Or rather several somethings in the world of sake. For the first time since 1998, the august publication the Wine Advocate reviewed a bunch of Japanese sake. And, as my friend and colleague Blake Gray discovered, a web site called The Taste of Sake was published the very same day as those scores came out, and listed every single sake that rated 90 points or higher, and nothing else. That's right. The Wine Advocate rated 78 sakes over 90 points, and The Taste of Sake sold those, and only those 78 sakes. And it put them up for sale at the same moment the scores were being released. Which would seem to imply that someone behind The Taste of Sake had inside information. And why would this matter? Because the top rated sake in the publication, which, according to Blake, used to sell for $45 ...

Sake Day Celebration and Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

sake_barrels.jpgJapan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that gives me the excuse to celebrate them. Every October first, along with sake lovers all over Japan and around the world, I get to observe Nihonshu no Hi, also known as Sake Day. Like wine, no one knows exactly when sake first made an appearance. In a similar fashion to grape wine, the knowledge that fermented rice eventually yields an alcoholic beverage was probably discovered in accidental and then later deliberate stages, as innovative and curious folks explored ways of getting drunk. Sake production and demand is likely to have peaked in Japan the mid 19th century when a law was passed allowing anyone to become a brewer. As many as 30,000 breweries were opened in the year of the law's passing, though that number dwindled as taxes on ...

Sake Day Celebration and Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

sake_barrels.jpgJapan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that gives me the excuse to celebrate them. Every October first, along with sake lovers all over Japan and around the world, I get to observe Nihonshu no Hi, also known as Sake Day. Like wine, no one knows exactly when sake first made an appearance. In a similar fashion to grape wine, the knowledge that fermented rice eventually yields an alcoholic beverage was probably discovered in accidental and then later deliberate stages, as innovative and curious folks explored ways of getting drunk. Sake production and demand is likely to have peaked in Japan the mid 19th century when a law was passed allowing anyone to become a brewer. As many as 30,000 breweries were opened in the year of the law's passing, though that number dwindled as taxes on ...

Wine of the Day, No. 179

Here’s the wine you want with your red sauce pasta or pizza, roasted pork loin, braised short 2014ribs, even a burger. The Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2014 is a fairly traditional interpretation of the style, composed of 90 percent sangiovese grapes and 10 percent canaiolo, ciliegiolo and colorino, old-fashioned grapes nowadays somewhat neglected in Tuscany in favor of “international” varieties. The wine aged one year in French and Austrian oak barrels of various sizes, meaning that the emphasis was not on the lordly and ubiquitous small French barrique. (Producers, please, putting your wine in French barriques does not automatically make it a better wine! Or “better” wine.) The Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2014 offers a lovely medium ruby hue and pungent aromas and flavors of red and black cherries with some cherry pit astringency, cloves and orange rind, oolong tea and loam. It’s as dry and spare ...

A Quick Visit to Temecula Valley Wine Country

During our craft beer centric stay in San Diego, we did allocate one afternoon to visit wine country - choosing Temecula Valley or Southern California's Wine Country as they refer to themselves. This wine region is located 90 minutes south of Los Angeles and 60 minutes north of San Diego off I-15. The community boasts 35 wineries - all situated due east of Old Town Temecula - and grows over 50 grape varieties. The first modern winery, Callaway Vineyard & Winery, opened in 1974 and the region gained its AVA designation in 2004. The landscape is very scenic, dry rolling hills interspersed with lush green vineyards. And the wineries are tightly packed making a wine excursion quite simple to navigate. And as always, theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator Mobile App helps.

Our first stop was at South Coast Winery, prehaps the most prolific producer in the region. ...

Vinography Images: Platt Sunrise

vinography_desktop_sonoma_coast_sunrise_platt.jpg Platt Sunrise
OCCIDENTAL, CA: Sunrise at the famed Platt Vineyard near Occidental, California. Once a land of redwoods, apple orchards, and ranches, western Sonoma County has become one of the hottest growing regions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the country. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. PRINTS:
Fine art prints of this image and others are available at George Rose's web site: www.georgerose.com. EDITORIAL USE:
To purchase copies of George's photos for editorial, web, or advertising use, please contact Getty Images. ...

Fish rice #2


I'm still trying to recreate the magic, this one closer than before. . .

Firstly the rice - a tomato based risotto but cooked like a paella - add all the stock at once and don't stir. Specifically - in a large paella - add 30 grams of butter and fry 4-5 cloves of chopped garlic, after a minute or so add one tin of diced tomatoes (400g), a pinch of saffron and 400g of arborio rice. Mix well to evenly coat the rice and then add 4-5 cups of fish stock (the rice should be well covered). Cook at high heat till simmering, then turn down to a moderate heat. The total cooking time should be about 20 minutes (the stock should be mostly absorbed at this point). Previously.

For the fish - I had the luxury of 500g of tooth fish offcuts, which is almost impossible to ruin - sprinkle ...