26 March, 2008

Sakura Wine

For those of you in Japan looking for a lovely mild wine of the season, try to find Sakura no Wain, " さくらのわいん", from the Shirayuki Company. It's the wine I mentioned in the account of my macrobiotic dinner. I tracked it down at the local supermarket and managed to get two more bottles to share with friends before the supply ran out. As delicious as it is beautiful, with a mild cherry-leaf flavour, it just might be the tipple of choice for those cherry-viewing nights with your favourite companion.



anita said...

such a lovely bottle! I am taking a trip to Japan this year and have found your blog to be an inspiration. I love the previous post about your lovely dinner, too. :)

ps. if you are looking for cherry blossoms, try oregon right now!

Ginger said...

ooohhh, that's very pretty! too bad i don't drink.

vegetablej said...

Thanks, anita. I'm in Vancouver right now and there are some cherry blossoms here and I was able to see a few before I left Japan, but glad to hear Oregon has them too. They add a bit of glamour to the spring air.

Thanks for your nice comment. I'm glad you found some interest in reading and I always appreciate encouragement! :)

vegetablej said...

ginger, thsnks. You might find it hard to find this wine even if you did. But it's lovely to look at and the cherry blossoms sure are pretty. :)

vegetablej said...

ginger, thsnks. You might find it hard to find this wine even if you did. But it's lovely to look at and the cherry blossoms sure are pretty. :)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora e hoa VJ,
I see by your comment you are back in the Northern hemisphere. Trust your journey was fine. Must be a bit weird finding your feet so to speak.
Just have to tell you Tara and I went to a Maori hangi this past weekend. A hangi is a traditional cooking method of burying the food in the ground around hot rocks heated by fire, then covered with wet vegetation and finally dirt, and letting the food steam for hours. 0f course nowadays there have been all sorts of adaptations to that rather strenous method, not to mention constraints of urban living. The guy hosting us had cut a beer keg off at the top third, and created basically a large steam and pressure cooker by being able to screw the top down tight. A bit of manuka for the smoke flavour, then layering the meat and veges, adding water and away we go. It was beautiful.
I brought a large platter of roast veges I had bought at the markets that day, Maori potatoes, kumara, garlic, parsnips and pumpkin,along with fresh rosemary and tarragon, dribbled liberally with olive oil. They went down a treat.
It was a very cool experience as the Maori use food very much as expressing mana and hospitality. You would have enjoyed the evening I am sure.
Hope things are going well. Have a great day!
Tena koe e hoa,

vegetablej said...

OooOOOhhhhhh, that sounds absolutely gorgeous. You're right I would have loved that experience. Actually, reading your blog and comments I'm starting to feel like I have to visit New Zealand in the future. One of my students is there right now, I think, and many have reported back about the beauty of the place.

I just arrived here yesterday and now heavily sleep deprived and with a sludgy brain from the 16 hour time difference. I actually had two Sundays.

Also feeling sad because In the end I had to leave my cat, Mustache, behind. She escaped twice by clawing her way through several shoji doors and knocking down a sliding door and getting out a small crack. I changed my flight the first time (for more money) but couldn't afford to do it again.

She actally came to my house in her Mom's belly and I've cared for her her whole life, about 2-3 years. I pray she will be okay. I'm hoping the next people there will feed her.

Haven't seen too much of Vancouver yet but am cooking for my sister and her family who seem to be flat out busy with work and school. Made a gorgeous polenta with a homemade tomato sauce yesterday. Thiry + minutes of stirring with a big wooden spoon, but worth it.

Your vegetables sound wonderful. Keep up the great cooking and let me know. :)

I'll be doing a post as soon as I get my legs under me. And yes, just a BIT of reverse culture shock. :) Thanks, as always, for the support!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora e hoa VJ,
Hope the jet lag has lessened. Wow! Getting to used to the Northern Hemisphere has to be strange. Yet exciting as this new part of your life begins to flower! I look forward to reading of its bloom.
I cooked a soup in my "new" camp oven. The whole thing simmered, then boiled on top of my wood stove for a few hours. Never have I enjoyed cooking so much. The fuel used to cook it chopped by my own hand, also keeping my family house warm at the same time!
You mentioned once you had a few recipes for easy dumplings and the only thing better than that huge amazing pot on top of my wood stove would have been dumplings in the simmering broth. I know you are busy and completely occupied, but when you get a chance please stop by and write me how to make these dumplings. Have a great day VJ!
Noho ora mai,

vegetable said...


I actually tried a recipe for dumplings in Japan but was disappointed with the texture, since I changed to gluten-free flour. I'll try to work something out soon but currrently am without my cookbooks, which I do use for the basic proportions of some "baked" goods. I recommend you pick up a copy of "The Joy of Cooking", if you don't have one now, because any of the recipes in there are good. You can substitute oil for the butter if you are cutting cholesterol and add any fresh or dried herbs that your family likes. I often make them with fresh chopped parsley and about a teaspoon of basil and maybe oregano. Match the herbs to the kind of soup you are making. Summer savoury also works well. Fresh basil or pesto would be fanastic.

Good luck. Tell me how it goes. I have to say your soup in the big pot sounds wonderful. :)

voyance said...

Thanks! Great Blog!

Ruahines said...

Tena Koe VJ,
I just had to share this with you. I shared last evening with Pohangina Pete and we had an excellent time. I met Pete briefly in the Ruahines back in 2000, then found his blog last year. We have communicated via this cyber world since then. I was deeply moved by a painting he did uner his post, "The Tides is Pulling Me", and contacted him to enquire about getting a print. Pete came around last night to sign the print, it is really lovely. We had a great time, and we had you in common. A very small world sometimes - so now you have two reasons to possibly visit us here in Aotearoa.
Rangimarie e hoa VJ,

vegetablej said...


I'd love to visit someday, when/if I have money again. Currently jobless with plenty of time but no money for travel, but both your and Pete's blogs have completely captured my imagination about the beauty of the places you call home.

Currently I'm nowhere near home, either Japan or the east coast, though my sister and nieces are making me very welcome here.

However, in shock over the large size of things compared to Japan. More about that in a post I'm working on. :)

Your meeting with Pete sounds lovely; I can imagine the positive energy with you both in one room. Here's a little well-wishing to the two of you. May you long roam your range and write about it. :)

vegetablej said...


Thanks for your thanks! :)