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Aug 14, 2007 07:32 AM

Good sake

I had a lovely dinner at Blowfish the other night and tried some of the amazing Momokawa sake they have. Previously I've only had the Hakutsuru stuff that your average sushi place has and it's like discovering Belgian beer after living on Budweiser.

After a round of digging it looks like the LCBO doesn't carry any of the Momokawa stuff except for a couple of fruit sakes at Vintages. Short of going out to Oregon can anyone mention any other sakes in that class or where one might find them around...?


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  1. Ozawa Canada imports the sake for the lcbo. I would give them a call and see if they have exactly what you are looking for.

    9 Replies
    1. re: professor plum

      Ozawa only sells by the case to civilians.

      1. re: Kagemusha

        A case might be too much sake for me, alas.
        Too bad - Ozawa is right near where I work and I've gone there a couple of times.
        The sakes I tried were from Oregon, not Japan, so I don't know if they would have them anyway...

        Is there anything on the LBCO list that's unfiltered or otherwise superior to the standard stuff?

        1. re: fleisch

          The LCBO (through Ozawa?) occasionally brings in better sakes in their vintages collection. They keep one un-filtered (or nigori) sake in their general list, but its not very good. I recall seeing nigori-sake a few times in vintages, but its rare.

          Your best bet is to go the the lcbo site, search on sake, and see what pops up. Indeed a quick search shows that they DO sell Momokawa Asian Pear sake, but supply is very limited with only a few stores in whitby and pickering selling the 750ml bottles at about $15, and a few other selling the smaller bottles for about $8. A few other japeanese non-hakasturu or non-gekkeikan offerings also. If your not familiar with sake language, look for ginjo or dai-ginjo in the name of the sake (its sort of a quality rating based on how much of the rice is polished away prior to fermenting it: the more polishing the better, with dai-ginjo being the highest quality and usually the highest price: a good dai-ginjo will run you $40+ at the lcbo).

          1. re: bluedog

            Thanks for the advice. I'll see what I can find.
            This does beg the question of why Pickering/Whitby is the vintage sake hotbed of Ontario...

            1. re: fleisch

              It's usually just that the stock hasn't been sold in those stores. Things downtown go quickly, and often the nicer things the LCBO stocks get sold out quickly in Toronto.

              1. re: sevenblades

                Exactly, sevenblades. I was going to post a tip on my favourite sake, then I thought "what the heck am I doing!" because it's hard enough to find it in stock as it is... I think the LCBO is missing the boat, if they ordered more types of sake and kept them in stock more consistently, and maybe even promoted them a bit, I think they'd do really well.

                1. re: Gary

                  Always one to "cultivate virtue," I try to lobby several westend Vintages managers semi-annually to ask for more/better sake listings. I caught a Board grande fromage last week in a local Vintages and got 'em to look at the Sake World site and others, along with Chowhound.This sideswiped them and they did seem genuinely interested both in imports as well as N. American-produced sake.The penny's dropped, so we might finally get something better than the stale swill on offer now. I'm hoping, anyway...

                  1. re: Kagemusha

                    I've found a few decent bottles from time to time, with an emphasis on time to time. Hope your ploy works Kagemusha. And do recall seeing the asian pear stuff a few months a go downtown. Clearly it sold out fast, which should tell them something, ya think?

                    1. re: bluedog

                      That's encouraging...I've read articles about the Oregon stuff before so it's obviously on the rise.
                      According to the LCBO website they still have the pear sake near where I work at the Markham outlet so I might have to give it a shot in the meantime....