June 3, 2014

Kit Kat and wine tasting

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It's been a few years since I first went nuts and conducted a Kit Kat tasting, after buying up every conceivable flavor at a shop in Narita Airport.  For some reason I had the urge to do it again... Maybe it's that lingering annoyance about not having time to shop at Narita back in March.  So I logged into my Rakuten account, searched for every available flavor, had them shipped to my shipping consolidator, and soon I had a box of goodies in my office.  Just don't ask me how much I spent on shipping...

Coincidentally, I had also scheduled an evening with friends to help me drink up some of my wine.  I think most of us had a good time when we made an effort last month, and this time I promised that we'd be drinking wines made from grape varietals which are different from the ones we had last round.  So I had to really think about what to dig out of my cellar!

I decided to combine the two and do them on the same evening, but I didn't want the alcohol to interfere with our tastebuds, so I made everyone go through the Kit Kats first...

Golden citrus blend (柑橘黄金ブレンド 中国・四国限定) - made with Unshu mandarin (温州みかん), lemon and sudachi lime (すだち).  Nice and citrusy, but my palate wasn't sophisticated enough to distinguish the separate flavors...  Limited to Chugoku and Shikoku region.

Amaou strawberries (あまおう苺 九州限定) - made with one of my favorite cultivars of strawberries, this was really fragrant and I loved it, because it was just so.... strawberry!  A few of the others found it "too artificial".  Limited to Kyushu region.

Shinshu apples (信州りんご 信州限定) - actually the apple flavors were pretty distinctive, and reminds me of those pressed apple juice or non-alcoholic apple cider.

Zunda (ずんだ 東北限定) - probably my least favorite of the bunch.  Zunda mochi (ずんだ餅) is a dessert made from young soy beans / edamame (枝豆), but this was just kinda bland.  I guess this wasn't too surprising...

Uji macha (オトナの甘さ 抹茶) - I wanted to do a tasting side-by-side between two macha flavors.  This was the "plain" version, with regular macha from Uji (宇治).  Flavors here were much more upfront and full-bodied.  In a way, I liken this to the "wasabi (山葵)" found in plastic tubes - which are much stronger but isn't really wasabi at all...

Uji macha from Ito Kyuemon (伊藤久右衛門宇治抹茶 京都土産) - a lot more subtle and elegant compared to the "plain" version.  I actually prefer this one.  Ito Kyuemon is a tea business that traces its history back more than 180 years...  Can't go wrong with that...

Red bean (北海道小豆) - definitely very red bean... from Hokkaido.

Red bean sandwich (あずきサンド味 東海・北陸限定) -made in the fashion of red bean toast (小倉トースト) in the Tokai region, there was a subtle difference between this and the "regular" Hokkaido red bean, in that there was an extra layer of smoky, toasty flavors here, and slightly bitter.

Just to make things more interesting, I also mixed pieces of the green tea flavors together with the red bean flavors, just because, of course, green tea + red bean is made in heaven.

Purple sweet potato (紅いも 沖縄・九州限定) - oh this was pretty sweet, and definitely reminded me of the sweet purple potato.

Toasted custard pudding (焼いておいしいプリン) - this has been all the rage lately, but I didn't have a toaster or a torch handy, so we couldn't eat this the way it was meant to be consumed.  Pretty creamy.

Strawberry cheesecake (ストロベリーチーズケーキ 横浜土産) - the only flavor from 4 years ago that I repeated tonight.  Still very nice.  Definitely very strawberry cheesecake.

Tokyo rum raisin (東京ラムレーズン) - one of tonight's crowd favorites, as the rum offered a little extra kick.  Very yummy.

Many thanks for the Worm Supplier for being so diligent in helping me cut up the pieces so we could show the cross-section - a task he also performed 4 years ago.  He really is a good lil' elf.  He even assembled a little "rainbow" from all the pieces... but made the mistake of repeating one of the flavors.  Can you pick out which one?

When the Kit Kat session was over, we began munching on some real food and got into the wine section of the evening...

2007 Joh.Jos Prüm Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett - very classic, with petrol, flinty and mineral notes.

2006 Il Pino di Biserno - very fruity, sweet, ripe, forest, potpourri, smoky.  A little too bitter on the palate.  Not what I expected.

2007 Torbreck Roussanne Marsanne Viognier - really oaky, kinda ripe on the palate, round on the tongue, pretty toasty, a little buttery corn.

1997 Antinori Pian delle Vigne - disappointing.  A little like Bordeaux, with noticeable brett.  Later on became yucky on the palate.

2009 Doisy-Daëne Sec - green apple, muscat grapes, very oaky, a little pungent, mineral and flinty.  Love the purity of this wine.

2003 Huet Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Première Trie Moelleux - plasticky, manuka honey, floral and marmalade.

2011 Quinta do Noval - this bottle has been open for 6 days, and I thought I'd use this opportunity to drink it up.  Still doing well, and packing plenty of fruit, and potpourri.

Toasted... but at least I got the Market Queen toasted - along with a couple of others - too!


Derek said...

Great write up. I never realized that kit kats came in so many flavors

Anonymous said...

Toasted custard pudding!?

Ralph Carpenter said...

nice post


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