39 Sakes in 39 Days:  Day 13 Yukikage “Snow Shadow”

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39 Sakes in 39 Days:  Day 13 Yukikage “Snow Shadow”


We are celebrating Ten Thousand Waves’ 39th birthday with 39 sakes in 39 days at their phenomenal Japanese restaurant, Izanami.  Today we continue our discussion of the importance of yeast in the making of sake.

How does one strain of yeast physically differ from another, you may ask?  There are many ways, but not all are so obvious.  It is often not simply a matter of size or physical appearance.  In fact, when the cells of two yeast strains are set next to each other in a microscope, the average person is not likely to be able to see difference.  The differences are more evident in other things like the length of the life cycle of the yeast, how long will it work before becoming dormant, or how robust or fickle it is against alcohol and/or temperature.  Which alcohols, esters and other things it tends to give off as by-products of its life cycle during fermentation is of course, another important factor.  Tomorrow we will talk about the history of yeast in Japan- very interesting stuff.

Our 13th sake is Yukikage “Snow Shadow”, a junmail ginjo with a milling rate of 58%.  This is a crisp clean sake made in the deep snow country of Nigata.   A lot of what makes Snow Shadow tokubetsu, or special, is that it is made with apple yeast.  We thought this sake was soft, light-bodied with hints of green apple and paired beautifully with all of Chef Kiko’s kushiyaki menu (meat and vegetables on skewers grilled over a mesquite flame) especially the bacon wrapped enoki mushrooms and zucchini wrapped mozzarella.

And now you can taste Snow Shadow and the other fabulous sakes in this week’s flight.  In celebration of the 39th anniversary of the Waves, they bring you 39 sakes to enjoy each week featuring a different aspect of sake.  Taste the weekly flight from now until March 8th and get a stamp in your sake passport.  Collect stamps and win fantastic prizes!  On Fridays, go to santafe.com/contests/honeys-sake-symposium to enter our contest where you name all of the 5 sakes I’ve talked about that week (hint: you can read my blogs in case you missed hearing me talk about them).  On Mondays, we will draw one correct entry and that person will receive two $39 gift certificates to Izanami and a private hot tub for two at Ten Thousand Waves.  On March 9th we will draw our grand prize winner and that person will receive a complete therapeutic massage for two, a private hot tub for two, a multi-course dinner for two at Izanami and an overnight stay at Ten Thousand Waves.  We’re celebrating 39 years of Ten Thousand Waves- your passport to relaxation, from your friends at 98-1 Radio Free Santa Fe.