Skip to main content

Hakkaisan Sparkling Nigori

There are only four ingredients needed to make sake: rice, water, koji rice mold, and yeast. Similar to both wine and beer, sake is made via a process of fermentation sometimes followed by filtration but sake is not a wine, spirit or beer. It is its own unique category.

Nigori is a type of sake that is typically referred to as unfiltered although it has been coarsely filtered to retain rice particles and the lees or yeast which is meant to enhance both the flavor and the texture. The name Nigori means cloudy and is a reference to its appearance. For still versions, shaking before serving, is recommended. For sparkling versions, it can be a bit trickier as the drink can effusively exit the bottle just like with sparkling wine or Champagne if it is not handled gently.

The taste of Nigori sake is more rich and slightly sweet so the still version is sometimes recommended with dessert, the sparkling version is more often served as an aperitif due to its more crisp and refreshing nature. 

I ordered this bottle of Hakkaisan Sparkling Nigori at Kata Robata in Houston. It was excellent with the entire meal which included Madai with Kaluga caviar, Yuzu marinated Salmon Sashimi, and four rolls, the Longhorn, Tropical Spicy Tuna, Ocean Picante, and the Rising Sun which is not pictured. The fattier fish worked well with the richness of the wine and the slight sweet note was an excellent contrast with the spicy notes in our chosen rolls, and the wine's fresh nature was enjoyable throughout.

Kata Robata is run by one of Houston's top chefs, four-time James Beard Award nominee Chef Manabu Horiuchi, aka Chef Hori. His menu features components of both traditional and modern Japanese cuisine with the fish flown in from Japan to Houston multiple times a week. The dishes are complemented by an excellent selection of sake and wine.

Both the Hakkaisan Sparkling Sake and this restaurant are highly recommended. 


Popular posts from this blog

Sculpted in Steel - A Luxury Automobile Showcase from the Art Deco Era

Whether you are visiting the city of Houston or live here full time, if you are a car lover, there is one thing to do this spring that is a must-do.  Visit the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to check out the temporary luxury art deco automobile exhibit, Sculpted in Steel .  I toured the display recently and was impressed by the array.  This collection is   a showcase of seventeen cars and motorcycles designed between 1929 -1940. These vehicles are more than art cars or show cars, they are true art deco masterpieces. The museum has great information about the period and designers throughout the exhibit.  Go sooner rather than later, they will only be on display until May 30, 2016.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows - Santa Monica

Refreshment on the patio of the Lobby Lounge My husband and I stayed at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows with our adult daughter this summer after her graduation from a Masters program at Claremont Graduate University. We wanted to be near the beach but still be able to easily get into Los Angeles to visit some of the tourist attractions. This was our first time to stay at a Fairmont Hotel . I chose the Miramar for its ocean views and its proximity to the Santa Monica Pier and the beach. It has a long history with a Hollywood connection, it has been a destination of the stars for almost a century. After looking over the various room options, I decided that the Palisade King Suite would easily accommodate us. My husband and I shared a private bedroom and our daughter got the fold out couch in the living room. The six story Palisades wing which housed our room is a historic part of the property that was built in 1924. For a more luxe experience, you can also book a pool

A Noble Taste - Crown Royal Whisky

  I met Stephen Wilson, Director of Whisky Engagement for Crown Royal in Houston last month. We sat down for a tasting of some of the brand's more popular offerings including the recently released Texas Mesquite Whisky.   Wilson shared the the story of how the brand was created in 1939 when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came to Canada to tour the provinces. The whisky was stocked on their train for them to enjoy throughout their travels. The name, the shape of the bottle, and the bag were all designed to showcase the whisky as a royal gift. The popularity of the brand increased immediately after entering the American market. It is still the top selling Canadian whisky in North America.   This original flagship blend set the standard for Crown Royal, it is comprised of five different styles of whisky blended together from many different years aged in many different barrels both new and seasoned to create the consistent taste and texture that aficionados have always enjoyed