Holiday Gift Guide
Started as a knitwear company by their parents in 1978, Granted Clothing is now run by siblings Brian and Amy Hirano. Their beautifully designed, 100% wool chunky-knit sweaters are locally knitted by hand and sold internationally. Each sweater takes 10 to 15 hours to make and features branded wooden zipper pulls made of salvaged yew wood from Lasqueti Island. Their line includes vests, ponchos and children’s wear with prices ranging from $66 for a toque to $420 for the special edition David Suzuki sweater (pictured at right). Visit their Richmond showroom or check out their website for a selection guaranteed for Christmas delivery.
130-11181 Voyageur Way | Richmond, BC
604 207 9392 | grantedclothing.com
Kathy Shimizu, Cindy Mochizuki, Terry Sasaki, Ray Maté and Charles Van Sandwyk are just some of the local artists that this Mt Pleasant framing shop carries. Mochizuki’s whimsical ink drawing prints are $20 unframed and limited edition silkscreens by Kathy Shimizu (pictured above) are $75 unframed and $150 framed.
4391 Main Street | 604-251-3833
By Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
The third book by Ono (of New York City’s Maison O) and Salat celebrates Japanese style comfort food with classics such as ramen and curry, but also explores wafu pasta (spaghetti with bold, fragrant toppings like miso meat sauce), chahan fried rice (Okinawan style) and saikoro steak (cubed and pan fried with ponzu). Their previous books also warrant a look: Japanese Hot Pots for hearty winter fare and The Japanese Grill if you are dreaming of summer.
$20.06 | amazon.ca
Yes, everyone has a Zojirushi rice cooker or hot water dispenser, but what about their stainless steel half litre vacuum insulated thermos. Four-star chefs have been known to keep their sauces hot all night with this sleek flask. Great for a warm or cool day on the links. Comes in black, but also in pretty lilac and pink champagne.
$34.99 | amazon.ca
by Kyo Maclear and Matte Stephens
The most recent release by Toronto writer Maclear is her third children’s book (her first with illustrator Stephens; she is also an award winning novelist for grown ups). Inspired by the 1960s art movement known as Fluxus, Mr. Flux is a gorgeously illustrated meditation on the nature of change. For ages 3 to 7.
$18.95 | kidsbooks.ca
Celebrate the season with sake
By Elise Gee
Kozaemon Junmai Umeshu
This small brewery from Gifu Prefecture approaches their craft with deep respect for sake brewing tradition and a healthy dose of youthful innovation. The three-person production team—all in their 30s—have incorporated sustainable and forward-thinking approaches to making sake, which bodes well for this 300 year-old brewery’s continued success. Kozaemon’s umeshu is unlike most in the market, which are typically blended with distilled alcohol like shochu and are cloyingly sweet. Kozaemon has created a junmai sake specifically for theirs, adding a depth and gentleness distilled-alcohol umeshu cannot emulate. Softly sweet, balanced with the rounded tartness of the plums, this is a delightful aperitif or digestif that’s perfect for the holidays. It also comes in a handsome elegant bottle that would make for unique and memorable gifting.
Pairs well with a fruit sorbet, but simply perfect on its own. Try it neat at room temperature or add a couple of ice cubes in a rocks glass and enjoy like a whiskey or scotch.
(Park Royal & Granville Island)
Hakkaisan Junmai Sparkling Nigori
The snow-capped mountains of Mount Hakkai provide not only a lovely backdrop to Hakkaisan Brewery in Niigata Prefecture; its pristine spring water is used to make the brewery’s famed delicately light and crisp sake. Hakkaisan Sparkling Nigori is highly textured and perfect for entertaining. Nigori is sake that’s been roughly-pressed so some of the rice sediment remains in the bottle. This nigori, however, also has bubbles, enhancing the mouthfeel further. Lively and fun, this sake is mildly sweet with a dry, clean finish and the delicate fragrance of ripe persimmon and anjou pear.
Pair with a nice medium fat brie or Manchego cheese. Serve lightly chilled.
$24.99 for 360 ml | bcliquorstores.com (select locations)
Kamotsuru Tokusei Gold Daiginjo
A more traditional sake than the above choices, this super premium sake, which hails from Hiroshima’s esteemed Kamotsuru Brewery (est. 1623), comes with a twist. A technological sake pioneer, Kamotsuru was one of the first to utilize modern rice-milling machines, consequently producing some of the earliest ginjo and daiginjo grade sakes in Japan. The pinnacle of Kamotsuru’s sake is their Tokusei Gold Daiginjo—a lovely soft-on-the-palate sake. Lightly sweet, it’s clean and smooth with touches of anise and cantaloupe. The gorgeous teardrop-shaped bottle is a conversation piece in itself, but if you look closely you will see sakura-shaped gold flakes (kinpura) dancing inside.
Pair this with sashimi or light fresh cheeses like burrata and ricotta. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
$85.25 for 720 ml
Elise Gee is a certified sake specialist. For info on sake classes and upcoming sake events, visit her website www.VancouverSake.com.