Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vast and Wine (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

As regular readers of this blog (including certain participants of Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts) will know, I definitely love certain kinds of tipple -- particularly beer and sake.  And to give those of you who didn't know some idea: I consider my visits to the beery Sapporo Summer Festival among the highlights of my visit to Hokkaido last July (along with the crab feasts I had there and the visit to the Furano lavender fields), and hope to attend Munich's Oktoberfest one of these days.

But as far as I'm concerned, there's a vast difference between my alcoholic drinks of choice and wine.  Put another way: I really don't care much for that alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes.  Thus it was that when I visited Germany back in 2010, I tended to favor the excellent local beers.  

So even though my non-beer-drinking German friend who I spent time with did get me to try a glass of Riesling (that did have, as she said it would, some lychee notes to it!) and also some Schnapps while I was in her home country, I had the beer in the second photo from the top of this blog entry while she had the wine!  And there is absolutely no way that I could ever drink as a vast a quantity of wine as is (was?) contained in Heidelberg Tun, the huge vat of wine housed in the cellars of Heidelberg Castle.

Oh, and for those who wondered: sake is often described as a rice wine but it actually is more of a rice beer if you consider that, like beer, it's brewed.  In any case, I definitely prefer the sparkling sake that was served at the New Year's Eve party at Sake Bar Ginn than champagne -- not least because, unlike champagne and red wine, I don't get a headache after drinking it!  


Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, that is one big barrel of wine. I'm not sure if I have had Sake before. I'm thinking I might have to try it now.

Great photos and take on the dual themes. Have a wonderful weekend.

Carver said...

Great take on the themes. I like dark beer and some ales but I'm more of a wine drinker. Actually, at this point I rarely drink but when I do it's wine.

The shot on mine isn't on the outer banks but it's close by. I also enjoy the outer banks.

Photo Cache said...

Very nice take on the theme. Personally I don't care much for beer or sake, although I've done a sake tasting. We're opposites :)

Frankly My Dear (aka Ewok)

EastCoastLife said...

The only wine I have tried and can drink a glass of it - red wine.

I have always wanted to visit Hokkaido. I didn't know about your Hokkaido posts which I will now read to get tips for a planned trip there. Thanks!!

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

When you try sake, try some junmai (or, better, junmai ginjo or junmai daiginjo). There's a world of difference between that and the ordinary sake that can put people off the drink!

Hi Carver --

I like many kinds of beer -- including imperial stouts, pale ales and kolsch. For wine, I'm okay with a drink of cava or prosecco with tapas or such like -- but it's really not my drink.

Re your entry: I really enjoyed my visit to the Carolinas and wish that I had gone more than once!

Hi Photo Cache (aka Frankly My Dear, aka Ewok ;b) --

With the sake, did you have junmai? I don't care much for honjozo sake myself. But ya, maybe we're opposites when it comes to alcohol!

Hi EastCoastLife --

Red wines are the ones I tend to avoid!

Re Hokkaido: I do hope my posts help as I had a really enjoyable time on both my visits to that Japanese island. :)

Anne said...

I've never had sake...I'll have to try it sometime. Beer, on the other hand, I'm rather fond of! (Although not in such huge quantities as that vat!)

Annie said...

I love your photos. And sparkling sake is now on my "want to try" list! Happy weekend.

magiceye said...


Sue St Clair said...

I do like Sake too, and did not know it was actually a beer. Cool! Great pics the castle must have been fun to visit :)

Gattina said...

Riesling I know very well, and sake I don't like at all !

YTSL said...

Hi Anne --

I don't think either of us can drink any alcohol in our lifetime that's equivalent to what that vat can contain! ;b

Hi Annie --

Hope you get to try sparkling sake -- it's rarer than still sake for sure -- and will like it when you do. :)

Hi magiceye --

Kampai! ;b

Hi Sue --

Oh yay, another person who likes sake! And yes, Heidelberg was wonderful to visit. The grounds are extensive and the views from the castle are grand indeed. :)

Hi Gattina --

I didn't like sake for a long time because I only had been given the not so good stuff. But I've grown to love it a lot after discovering junmai sake. Maybe you would too...

Team Tabby said...

You have combined the themes very well!

Our VAST contribution:

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

We recently went to a sake tasting- much like a wine tasting. I was amazed at all the flavors!
A Vast collection for sure!

YTSL said...

Hi Team Tabby --


Hi Sandi --

Sake has quite a bit of variety, doesn't it? Recently, I tasted one that tasted almost like alcoholic soda water -- definitely not my favorite. In fact, I wondered if it was off, only to be told it's really meant to taste that way! ;D

Bing said...

i would love to try sake one day!

i am not a beer fan. i prefer brandy more than any alcoholic drink.

YTSL said...

Hi Bing --

Wow re your liking brandy! In view of this revelation, sake may taste too weak for you!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I agree it would be unlikely to have a hang over if you go for Junmai/Junmai Ginjo/Junmai Daiginjo. My favourite so far is 獺祭 純米大吟醸 磨き二割三分 & 司牡丹 槽搾り純米大吟醸


YTSL said...

Hi T --

It helps too with hangover avoidance to drink slowly (sip as opposed to gulp or, even worse, chug!)!

Re your favorite sake: alas, I can't read Chinese or Japanese characters on my home computer! Can you romanize the name for me please?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

If you are using Windows, you can just add the languages into your browsers. I am uncertain about MacOS, however.

As for the two Brands and the particular products:

獺祭 = Dassai. I believe the Sake bar you mention in Soho has a tasting package of three of them. The one I mentioned was the most expensive of the three;

司牡丹 = Tsukasabotan. The one that I have had a few bottles was one of their Junmai Daiginjo in sort of a rectangular bottle. (photo link =

Hope this helps. Or just look up their brand names. Google Translate should be able to translate partially.


YTSL said...

Hi again T --

Aaah, Dassai. I do like that sake but my favorite is Wataribune Junmai Ginjo. (I'd like the Wataribune Junmai Daiginjo more if it were cheaper!)

Haven't tried the Tsukasabotan -- or, at least, not that I remember. Must try to put that on my list. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Tsukasabotan is a bit rare these days. I got my last bottle from Sogo CWB store about three to four years ago. Surprisingly this Junmai Daiginjo was very good after keeping in storage for a few years despite sake don't usually age after bottling.

May you should ask the Sake Bar about it next time you go there and see if they carry this brand.

My 2 cents,

YTSL said...

Hi once more T --

Thanks, I've made a note of the name of the sake -- and will ask about it the next time I visit!

YTSL said...

To T --

An update: I asked the owner of Sake Bar Ginn about the Tsukasabotan Junmai Daiginjo. She confirmed that it's no longer imported to Hong Kong -- and that it's a very nice sake, describing its taste as somewhere between a Dassai Junmai Daiginjo and Wataribune Junmai Daiginjo (which puts it squarely in a zone that I like)!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Strange enough, Tsukasabotan was still a participent in the spring sake fair of Sogo last year.......

Maybe you should consider bringing some back in your next trip to Japan. I just remember I still have a bottle of their Shizuku Junmai Daiginjo, bought in Sogo's Saka Fair.

Thanks & Best Regards,

YTSL said...

Hi once again T --

Wah, sounds like I just missed getting it then! But ya, okay, guess I should keep a look out for it when I visit Japan -- though I've never been to its home island of Shikoku!