All the talk about beer last week made me thirsty, as did a post on umeshu, Japanese plum wine, by our resident Japanese culture correspondent, Yokahamama. So, during my biweekly visit to the Purveyor of Alcohol, I picked up the following for this weekend:
I needn’t tell many readers of this website about Samuel Smith, a British brewery whose products are all first rate. Oatmeal Stout is one of my favorites (Imperial Stout is equally awesome).
Umeshu is a big deal in Japan, and is served in a variety of ways. As Y. notes in her post (you can see it in the background), it’s made from ume (Prunus mume), a fruit more closely related to apricots than plums. The wine is made by steeping ume fruits for a long time—a year or even more—in a mixture of alcohol (shochu) and sugar. The Choya brand of umeshu has a good reputation. It’s only about 12 bucks for the container, and the 500-ml bottle contains 6 ume fruit. It’s not clear whether I should eat them afterwards—advice is conflicting. The wide mouth allows extraction of plums.
Here’s a YouTube video showing how umeshu is made. I’ll report back on the flavor. It’s a sweet wine, suitable for after dinner or as an aperitif, but I like those. This is a highly LOLzy video because there’s a French poodle who attentively watches the process: