Sake Talk Anyone?

The black bottle Kaze No Mori nama junmai muroka nama genshu should be appearing on the market in California soon (depending on who ordered it). Still waiting for KNM Alpha 3…

Den Sake Brewery #9 is out. It’s very good, although still drinking rather young. Some grape notes and aromas, and finishing like a dry Yamagata sake, although not a sake you want to let sit out too long in your glass. Might be interesting to see how it evolves with some aging.

Denshu (Tokubetsu Junmai)…I’m very disturbed at the change in quality last few bottles I had this past year. More astringency, tartness, and bitterness…and what made it brilliant for its earthy/grassy aromas is missing…and instead a bit more fruit on the front which is very unusual… really sad.


Interesting about Denshu…

I don’t know why I have never mentioned them, but Bar Uerukamu (“Welcome”) in Lake Balboa should be on every Valley-based sake lover’s radar. They just posted a shot of the Kaze no Mori Black Label that @beefnoguy mentioned.

Bar Uerukamu is owned by husband & wife team, Chiaki and Jun. Chiaki oversees front of house on most nights and is a sake expert and even a sake documentary film maker! She produced Kampai! For the Love of Sake ( and its follow-up Kampai! Sake Sisters ( Let her guide you through their menu and pairings and you are sure to have a great time while enjoying Jun’s home-y, comforting dishes.


I just saw that Ototo received the Alpha 3

That’s awesome! Thanks for spotlighting this place. Never heard of it and im 15 min away.

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Very cool thanks for the update! SF True Sake doesn’t have Alpha 3 yet, but is expecting the KNM black.

I’m thinking of doing a tasting between all three variants of the Kazu no Mori between 5 people.
Would you recommend pairing food or would that make it harder to notice the differences between each sake?

I always do my own sake themed tastings at a local favorite izakaya, so I could try pairing each one with a wider variety of food to see what the best matches are. It’s trial and error…and also you won’t get hammered (or buzzed) as quickly and can pace yourselves. If you are referring to the two Kaze No Mori and the KNM Alpha 3, I would suggest KNM Alpha 3 first, and taste in the order of light to heavy, but you don’t have to strictly follow that.

I would order appetizers like salad, nibbles that go great with sake, sashimi (fatty fish, chutoro, and lighter flavored white fish if available) maybe some cheese or cheese based food (some strong cheese is always fun), salt grilled fish, yakitori (both salt and sauce/tare), and some other grilled protein (beef tongue, pork or pork cheeks or braised pork belly), something stewed or braised, shellfish (any prep, even oysters), maybe fried chicken or tempura of some sort, and feel free to order heavier flavored American sushi rolls for fun. That covers a lot of pairing ground already.

Or it doesn’t have to be Japanese. You could go for American BBQ, Korean BBQ (actually quite a splendid idea as you have similar preps and profiles to izakaya in those soon dubu’s, kalbi BBQ, seafood pancake, and maybe even something spicy as those muroka nama genshu’s could take a bit of heat).


Just saw this on the Horus IG feed


I’ve tried several times… Arizona Sake is delicious! Not a huge fan of the label design, but it doesn’t mean much when the liquid is so good.



True Sake has re-opened for restricted limited hours, online mail order (all orders shipped UPS), and for those living in San Francisco Bay Area, online ordering and scheduled pickup in person.

Discounts offered for local brews by Den Sake Brewery as well as Sequoia


Courtney from Tsubaki/Ototo adapted her regular Sunday Sake School that is usually held at the Ototo counter to a digital format. For anyone interested in sake or wine, this is a super fun way to get some human interaction and education while enjoying great sake.

The idea is that you go and pickup the sakes and some food, go home, and enjoy the Virtual Sake School.

This week was a trio of Chiyomusubi cup sakes.

She posted her “Virtual Sake School” on @tsubakila Instagram Stories:

They should be up for the next 6 hours or so?


Den Sake Brewery is also offering a curbside pickup for those that live in the Oakland area, with limited delivery options (the furtherest they will deliver in SF). They are currently selling batch #9.


For mail order, please buy via True Sake/


Paul Willenberg is hosting a Zoom “taste & chat” focused on namazake with Monica Samuels (Sake Samurai) on Saturday April 25, 3:30 Pacific time. Check out his IG account (namazakepaul) to get the link/RSVP.

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Cool thanks!

I bought this bottle at Tokyo Central. It was on sale and we paired it with shrimp tempura, broiled yellowtail collar and a bunch of sushi on Saturday we picnic up from Noguchi in Yorba Linda. There was no date on the bottle or box. We enjoyed it and would buy it again.


That’s their winter seasonal, so it’s probably been on the shelf a while, but if they kept it cold, I’m sure it was still good! Haven’t had it for a few years, so I forget how it tastes exactly, but I remember liking it. Sounds like a lovely picnic!

I’ve been MIA for awhile. Moved to Long Beach, and started working at a craft beer brewery, but I loved catching up on everyone’s posts!

Wanted to share this link: there’s a Zoom meeting with Miho Imada on May 6th at 6pm Pacific time (I believe). Sign up here:


It was in the refrigerated section and I bought the sake a month back and kept it refrigerated the whole time, thanks to advice from @beefnoguy.

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