Sound of WaterWritten by Zachariah Smookler
Hailing from the world-famous Yamamoto Honke Brewery in the prominent Kyoto prefecture, the Mizu No Shirabe “Sound of Water” Ginjo Sake is brewed using the soft and rich spring water from the surrounding mountains. This unique water is called Shiragikui, which translates to water of white chrysanthemum. The Sound of Water Ginjo Sake is produced solely using the Gohyakumangoku rice type that can be found in the majority of Yamamoto Honk's products. Founded in 1677, the brewery is currently run by 11th generation President Genbee Yamamoto. With a prime location in the heart of Kyoto (the ancient capital of Japan), the first Genbee Yamamoto established the brewery on the grounds of Fushimi, a traditional and charming sake district along the willow lined Horikawa River. With a fascinating history and a track record of producing quality and balanced brews, I was deeply intrigued in discovering why Yamamoto Honk's Sound of Water Ginjo was the recipient of so much buzz in the sake community
Following the breweries recommendation to drink this sake chilled, I poured the members of my tasting party a glass of the balanced and smoothly textured beverage and was immediately hit with a palate of notes that included hints of melon, apricot and peach. This gentle sake is noticeably subtle, and easily one of the lightest brews I have ever tasted. In fact, this ginjo is so light that someone spoke up and said, “it’s going down like water.” After a few investigative sips, it became apparent that the Sound of Water Ginjo was neutral and well balanced, but this sake has just enough bitterness, and no aftertaste worth mentioning to make it viable with any kind of cuisine. Due to its light and refreshing nature, this sake is perfectly enjoyable by itself, however I opted to pair it with Spaghetti Bolognese and the two complemented each other perfectly.
The Sound of Water Ginjo comes in a beautiful frosty purple and blue hued bottle, with gorgeous Japanese kanji dominating its face. What surprised me the most about this beverage was that even with its full array of hints and notes, the ginjo remained neutral and went down smoother than any sake I have ever tested. Fragrant yet the opposite of overwhelming, the Sound of Water Ginjo is the perfect beverage to enjoy over a relaxing meal or as a “bring to a party sake.”