Sake Is the Best of All Medicines
The Japanese have a saying, "Sake wa hyaku yaku no chou," which translates to "Sake is the best of all medicines." In Italy, a similar sentiment is echoed in the proverb "good wine makes good blood." Far from advocating overindulgence, these proverbs emphasize the deep connection between these beverages and the cultural tapestry of Japan and Italy. Sake, in particular, is not just a drink; it's a reflection of Japanese identity, history, and the land itself—a taste that transcends the senses.
The origins of this profound proverb extend back to the Book of the Later Han, an ancient Chinese historical work from the 5th century. Intriguingly, it finds a counterpart in the saying "sake wa hyaku doku no chou," a notion that sake can be the worst poison, originating from Kenkou Yoshida's Essays in Idleness in the 14th century. This duality encapsulates the Japanese ethos of moderation, urging an appreciation that even life's most exquisite pleasures should be embraced in balance.
Sake Reflecting Japanese Philosophy
Enter Kinsen, an acclaimed sake brand that carries the weight of tradition and craftsmanship on its shoulders. Aihara Shuzo, the current brewer of Kinsen and also the creator of the renowned Ugonotsuki brand, inherited the name from the now-closed Horimoto Shuzo in Hiroshima Prefecture. When Horimoto Shuzo ceased operations, Aihara Shuzo sought the expertise of Atsushi Horimoto, a skilled toji (master brewer), seamlessly incorporating the brand into their distinguished lineup.
At the forefront of Kinsen's offerings stands the Kinsen Sake Wa Hyaku Yaku no Chou, a sake that not only embraces this philosophy but proudly carries its essence in the name. Exhibiting a rich ginjo aroma, it offers a sharp, clear taste that complements various dishes, from bonito tataki to Chinese delicacies like haposai and spring rolls. The journey of each sip begins with a soft, dry, and slightly grainy start, evolving into a lighter finish tinged with hints of bitterness and sweetness. Despite its complexity, Kinsen maintains a lasting thickness that lingers well into the finish—a remarkable interplay of flavors.
So, take a moment to savor the artistry in every bottle of Kinsen. It's not just a drink; it's a celebration of culture, a testament to craftsmanship, and a reminder that in the delicate dance of flavors, balance is key. Cheers to the elixir of life!