Not many people know this, but I had a secret life before I got into sake. In 1986, when I was 16 years old, I lived in West Berlin for one year as an exchange student. At that time, the Wall was still up, East Germany was going strong and the cold war was chilly […]
The year 2011 is one I can assure you I will never forget. The March 11th Great East Japan Earthquake and it’s aftermath with stay with me forever. I was in Japan on that day and now that over 9 months have passed, I can see even more clearly how deeply it affected me. I […]
One of the final stops on our tohoku sake volunteer project for 2011 was the well known Urakasumi Brewery. I first visited Urakasumi in 2009 so I did get a chance to see the place before the disaster struck. I was encouraged to see that construction was well underway to fix the buildings that had […]
Our next stop with the volunteer group was to visit Suisen Brewery in Iwate Prefecture. Suisen, located in the coastal town of Rikusentakata was one of the sake breweries that was completely destroyed by the tsunami on March 11th, and it’s owner Mr. Yasuhiko Konno escaped the waves with just minutes to spare. A respected […]
I recently returned from a two week volunteer project to the Tohoku region of Japan. The Sake Volunteer Project was organized by the UK groups the Japan Affairs Forum and Action for Japan UK. The aim of the project was to visit and support breweries that sustained damage or destruction in the March 11th, 2011 […]
At this point, pretty much everyone in NYC has heard about Ippudo Ramen, or if not, You’ve heard about the lines at Ippudo Ramen! There is usually a wait and a crowd to be found there, but the good news is the ramen is delicious and very authentic, ergo the monumental success. This month, Ippudo […]
Last monday night I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a stellar Sake pairing dinner at 15 East Restaurant. This evening was unique for me at 15 East, as I’m usually there for sushi. While there was plenty of great raw fish and a sashimi plate to die for, the evening’s courses focused more on the food from the kitchen as prepared by Chef Shigeru Sugano in a kaiseki style.
When I first heard about the UK-based Japan Affairs Forum working on organizing a volunteer project focused on helping sake breweries, I knew I had to be involved. I think this will be an amazing opportunity to help Japan while we are there, but also learn about sake and the current challenges being faced in […]
Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, everyone in Japan, New York and all over the world has wanted to do their part to support the Breweries from the Tohoku Region in Northern Japan. It’s common sense that one concrete way I can make a small step towards standing with Tohoku Breweries is […]
Nishimoto Sake Importers recently held their annual sake tasting blowout at EN Japanese Brasserie. I’ve attended this event several years in a row and it’s always very fun – and very delicious. This year, the highlights include some new sakes! First and foremost, both Wakatake and Kagatobi are bringing in new Nigoris (yea!) Naraman was […]
NYC in May 2011 was chock-a-block full of sake events – just the way I like it! One of the highlights was a special Kaiseki dinner featuring Daishichi sakes held at the Kitano hotel’s Hakubai restaurant.. Daishichi Sake Brewery was established in 1752, and is based in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Japan. Daishichi is world famous […]
My next Sake Seminar at the Astor Center was recently mentioned in Chopsticks Magazine. I’ll be pouring some Nanbu Bijin Sake in the class and if you pick up this month’s Chopsticks, you can see a brief mention about the class and some of the benefits of attending a sake seminar and tasting Nanbu Bijin. It’s a great sake and a wonderful example to use in class, too. Chopsticks also shows me in my “Sake Samurai” outfit – head to toe formal men’s kimono! You might not see that in class, but the sakes and tasting will be a blast. I hope you’ll join me!
Check out my recent guest blog post over at Hakkaisan.com. They asked me to write a report on my visit with Team Hakkaisan to a historic sake tasting and seminar held in Toronto, Canada. This sold out event was a blast and everyone enjoyed Hakkaisan! Read the full post over at Hakkaisan.com. .
After a fun night at the Akita Sake Tasting, I was ready for more, so I made my way over to Sakagura for their advertised Rihaku Sake Night! I Saw Rihaku’s President Mr. Yuichiro Tanaka recently at the Japan Society event, so I was looking forward to trying more delicious Rihaku. Rihaku Shuzo was founded in 1882 in Shimane Prefecture Japan and is named for a famous poet who is kown to have said, â€œI drink a bottle, and can write 100 poems.â€ The same is true for me, but with sake blog posts instead.
It’s been a whirlwind of activity on the NYC sake scene this month. Things really picked up pace with the always enjoyable Akita Sake Club event happening on May 13. This year, sakes from all over Japan were served and lots of activities were focused on raising funds for Japan earthquake relief. There were a […]
The Japan Society’s annual sake tasting event was held on May 10th this year with the usual format, but this year, we went “back to basics” with a lecture led by Mr. John Gaunter. John gave a wonderful overview of the core concepts of sake. The final take away was just drink and enjoy! It’s […]
Have you been to any of the Lucky Rice Events? I was recently pouring sake at the super-duper elegant event Lucky Rice Grand Feast event at the swanky Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Everyone was dressed to the nines! Folks were very interested in learning about sake and impressed with the vast selection of sakes! Several people […]
Once I was settled into my room, the first order of business was to take a walk around the brewery grounds. I first visited Dassai in 2007. Since then there have been a lot of changes! First off, a brand new factory building has been built. This was just a construction site when I visited […]
Check out my recent guest blog post over at Hakkaisan.com. They asked me to write a report on my visit to the wellspring of their brewing water, the sacred Raiden-sama water source! Check out the full report, video and photo gallery on Hakksisan.com! .
On May 3rd, Sakagura Restaurant hosted an annual sake event the “Ohanami” Sake tasting. This event featured sake from lots of distributors! This event was a blast. I tasted several sakes I know and love and (one of my favorite things to do) I also got the chance to try some new sakes I have […]
For two months earlier this year, I lived and worked at Asahi Shuzo, makers of the world famous Dassai super premium sake in Yamaguchi, Japan. My goal was to learn about the real life in a sake brewery and learn the basics of sake brewing for myself. I’m back in New York from this amazing […]
UPDATE: April 4th 2011 — The PayPal Donation Page for the Japan Sake Brewer’s Assoc Jr. Council is temporarily not working. I’ll be updating this page as soon as new details are available. Thanks for considering a donation to directly help sake brewers! We’ve all been touched by the recent tragedy in Japan. Many beloved […]
Before we leave 2010 behind us forever, I wanted to take a look back at this year and highlight some master brews we encountered over the last 12 months. It’s been an awesome year – both for sake and for myself! I got to travel to Japan twice this year which is a dream come true. Tasting new sakes is always a thrill and 2010 allowed me to do lots of that. What could be better?!
I recently attended the JFC Sake Expo in Manhattan. This is a trade event that introduces sakes imported by the sake importing company JFC. For me, it’s a great chance to get up close and personal with some of the great sakes brought to the States. Here’s a sampling of what I tasted at this […]
My next visit in Japan was to Akita’s Saiya Shuzoten, makers of the famous Yuko No Bosha sakes. Mr. Kataro Saito was off on business, but his lovely wife Ms. Maki Saito and their Toji Mr. Takahashi gave me a nice tour of their brewery! One of the beautiful things I noticed about Saiya Sake […]
With a visit to Akita Seishu Sake Brewery, you really get two, two, two Breweries in one! You see Akita Seishu makes sake under two Brands in two facilities including both the Kariho and Dewatsuru labels. I interviewed Mr. Yohei Ito of Dewatsuru back in February. After that interview, I was excited to see Akita […]
In late 2009, I had the honor of sitting down for a lengthy in-person interview with Mr. Jouji Sato, President of Akita’s Hinomaru Sake Brewery. This interview left me feeling greatful and intrigued by this Brewery and their well known brand “Manabito”. When the opportunity came up to visit Akita this Fall, I was delighted to be able to pay a visit and see birthplace of Manabito for myself!
My next stop in Japan was at the Naba Sake Brewery in Akita City, Japan. On a very rainy and cold Akita afternoon, I was welcomed to the Naba Sake brewery by its COO, Mr. Hisashi Naba. Mr. Naba was a youthful and engaging guide to his brewery. Upon arriving at the brewery, he first […]