sakenomi.gifDescription from the organizer:

‘Seems like he was just here, but we are pleased to once again welcome Mr. Keith Norum from Nagano’s Miyasaka Brewing Co. for a special open house-style tasting event featuring Masumi brand sake on Friday, Sept. 12, starting @ 5 p.m.

Miyasaka Brewing Co. produces Masumi Karakuchi Ki-Ippon “Mirror of Truth,” (a Sake Nomi favorite we featured on our very first glass pour menu!), as well as Masumi Sanka, “Mountain Flowers,” an exquisite junmai daiginjo.

Keith is the head of Miyasaka Brewing’s Overseas Operations, and in addition to pouring some of his brewery’s tasty saké, Keith will be able to share his insights regarding developments in the Japanese saké industry and saké-related trends in other parts of the world.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Keith back to Seattle, and in enjoying his company’s delicious brews.

Sake Nomi
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
http://www.sakenomi.us

sakenomi.gifDescription from the organizer:
Though it seems incredible, it is “back to school” time, nomidachi! Here at Saké Nomi, we believe the more you learn about saké, the more you can enjoy it!

To welcome all the new nomidachi (“drinking companions”) who’ve visited us in the past few months, we’ll begin — at the beginning!

Saké 101: “The Basics,” or “Why Does This Stuff Taste So Good?” will cover all the essential information you need to enhance your saké drinking experience. From how premium saké is graded, to the brewing process and beyond, this fun, casual evening will put you “in the know” regarding this mystical, magical beverage and, quite possibly, change your life!

Our next session of this course will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 2 @ 7:00 p.m. Cost for the course will be $70/person and will include all saké, appetizers, and course materials.

During the class, we’ll cover all the basics during the lecture/video portion, and then we’ll let the saké do the talking during our tasting of 3 different selections.

Class size will be limited to 12-15 people, and spaces will be held in the order we receive the reservations.

If you’re interested in joining us, please reserve your spot as soon as possible, and no later than Saturday, August 30.

To reserve your spot, please contact us at (206) 467-SAKE or info@sakenomi.us.

Sake Nomi
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
http://www.sakenomi.us

japanc.jpgIntroduction to Sake Lecture and Tasting
Part of the Japan C Exhibitition on all things Japanese.

Join us for a lecture and tasting where Tim Sullivan, founder of UrbanSake.com, shares his love and knowledge of Japan’s national drink. Together we’ll explore the sake production process and learn how rice and water becomes “the drink of the gods”. Tim will demystify sake classifications and we’ll have plenty of samples on hand from the renowned Nishiyama-Shuzojo, a brewery whose product has been celebrated for over 150 years by writers, artists and haiku poets. RSVP required.

Visit the Japan C Website to RSVP for this event


ABOUT JAPAN C

A rolling eleven week exhibition of all things Japanese. Spanning home and fashion accessories to gadgets, food, beauty and pop-culture products, Japan C is part design exhibition, part bazaar, part trade fair, highlighting over 70 diverse Japanese firms.

At the Felissimo Design House, 10 West 56th Street, New York City

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Niigata Sake Tasting at Sakaya!

SAKAYA : 324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

sakenomi.gifSake Nomi is pleased to welcome Mr. Angel Aguilar from American Northwest Distributors, for a special tasting of new saké selections from importer Wine of Japan on Thursday, August 21, beginning at 5 p.m.

The saké scheduled to be featured are all new arrivals to Washington and include:

Gassan no Yuki “Snow of Mt. Gassan,” Junmai Ginjo (Yamagata)

Ugo no Tsuki “Moon After the Rain,” Tokubetsu Junmai (Hiroshima)

Kan Nihonkai “Sea of Japan Rim,” Tokubetsu Junmai (Shimane)

We hope you can join us Thursday to meet Angel and explore some of his company’s tasty brews!

Sake Nomi
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
http://www.sakenomi.us

sakenomi.gifSaké Nomi Cinema:
The Karate Kid Part II
Featuring Guest Appearance by Yuji Okumoto

We are incredibly excited to announce a special edition of Saké Nomi Cinema (aka “Movies to drink saké to”) to take place Wednesday, August 20 @ 7 p.m.

Not only will we be screening the 1986 classic “The Karate Kid Part II,” (known in Japan as “Best Kid Part 2”) we are also thrilled to welcome Yuji Okumoto, (the Seattle-based* actor who played Daniel-san’s teen nemesis, Chozen) to Saké Nomi. Yuji will be on hand to give us a little background on the film and to share some of his experiences working on major Hollywood films.

We’ll do our best to make the occasion something like a cross between “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and the saké-based version of “Cheers.”

Feel free to bring your favorite movie snack, camera, and autograph-worthy memorabilia, and please join us in welcoming Yuji-san to Saké Nomi on Wednesday, August 20.

*Yuji and his wife, Angie, own and operate Kona Kitchen, in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood. If you have a chance, please stop by and enjoy some Hawaiian and Japanese treats.

Sake Nomi
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
http://www.sakenomi.us

Here is my first video in a series of short videos that profile individual sakes. I hope this video gives you a quick overview of Dassai 50 and why I like it. Kanpai!

akita6.jpg

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Nishimoto Tasting at Sakaya
Sampling this fantastic sake: Naraman Junmai (Fukushima)

SAKAYA : 324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com

Johnnie_taiko.jpgJohnnie and Taiko Stroud have something really unique in Seattle. I haven’t yet had the chance to visit, but it sounds like a little piece of paradise… they operate a Sake store called Sake Nomi, that also happens to be a sake tasting bar! How cool is that? Johnnie and Taiko were kind enough to answer some Urban Sake interview questions. I was really excited to find out how Seattle’s famous all-sake store came to be and what the future holds…

Q: I’ll ask you the question I get asked all the time: How did you get into sake?
A:
‘Can’t really pinpoint how I (Johnnie) got into sake, though I had never had any sake before I first went to Japan (Iwate prefecture) to teach English in 1988. My first three years of living in Iwate, I spent a great deal of time at nomikai (“drinking parties”), with friends and colleagues, so that’s when I developed a fondness for it. At some point, both Taiko and I realized we preferred good sake to other alcoholic beverages.

Q: was there one sake in particular that pushed you over the edge into sake obsession?
A:
Though I can’t really point to one sake in particular, the most memorable sake I ever had was after a basketball tournament in Japan. My teammates brought a 1.8 liter bottle and some plastic cups into the outdoor tub at a hot spring resort, and we drank sake from the floating bottle as snow fell around us. It probably wasn’t a super premium grade or anything, but I remember it as one of my best sake experiences 20 years later.

Sake_nomi.jpgQ: What motivated your decision to open a sake shop?
A:
Taiko and I met and married in Japan, and relocated to Seattle in August of 1996. We accomplished our goal of finding Japan-related work, eventually establishing a wholesale apparel company to export new and used clothing to Japan. After a few years, we began discussing the possibility of using our company to import Japanese goods for sale in the U.S. It was important to us to find something rare and uniquely Japanese that we could share with U.S. consumers, and somehow we hit upon the idea of premium sake. During our trips to favorite Seattle Japanese restaurants and Asian grocery stores, we often lamented the lack of quality sake choices, knowing there must be thousands of unique and delicious brews being produced throughout Japan, but not yet known in the U.S.

Our personal experience confirmed this intuition; Shiwa-cho, my “second hometown” in Iwate, boasted five breweries (with a population of only 30,000!), and Taiko’s home prefecture, Ibaraki, features over sixty.

The more we discussed the situation, the more we realized that we had found something we were passionate about bringing to U.S. consumers: high-quality, locally produced, premium Japanese sake.

Q: What are some of your favorite sakes right now?
A:
Taiko: Taiheikai (“Pacific Ocean”), Yoinotsuki (“Midnight Moon”), and Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Ginjo
A: Johnnie: Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Ginjo, Kudoki Jozu Junmai Ginjo, Minenohakubai Junmai, Tsukasabotan Senchu Hassaku
I also have a sweet spot in my heart and palate for all the products from Tsukinowa Brewery (one of which is the Yoinotsuki mentioned above), since the brewery is located in my “second hometown,” and the current toji, Hiroko Yokosawa, is one of my former middle school English students! Hiroko-san will be visiting Sake Nomi in October, and it will be a great thrill for us to have her see our friends enjoying her delicious sake.

at_sake_nomi.jpgQ: You offer a lot of fun activities for your customers such as Sake Cinema, Wii Wednesdays and Sake Nomi Golf Outtings… How has the response been?
A:
The response has been great. It’s always been our goal to make Sake Nomi more than just a sake shop. We want sake enthusiasts to feel like it’s “their” space, and it’s definitely taken on a kind of “social club” atmosphere.

Q: You have a unique situation as you have a tasting bar and sake shop in the same space, which is totally verboten here in New York. what are the advantages or disadvantages to this set up?
A:
The obvious advantage is that people can try a sake — take it for a test drive by the glass — before purchasing. We rotate our glass pour menu every week, so people have a chance to explore different brews all the time.

‘Can’t really think of any disadvantages, aside from the fact that due to quirky state liquor laws, as a “tavern” we are unable to ship sake from our current location. We’re currently in the application process for another license which will allow us to ship sake from a separate location.

Q: How has your “all sake” shop been received in Seattle? do you think the future looks bright for Sake in the U.S.?
A:
The reception has been terrific, and we’re encouraged by all the positive feedback that we made the right decision to “follow our dream.” We think the future for sake in the U.S. is very bright. Based on the response of the folks in Seattle to whom we’ve introduced sake, it feels like it’s just a matter of making more people aware of what good sake’s all about. A couple key points will be getting sake on more restaurant menus, and disseminating information regarding the health benefits of premium sake versus other alcoholic beverages.

************

Johnnie and Taiko – thank you both so much for taking the time for an Urban Sake interview! I think what you guys are doing is just fantastic and I wish you the best of luck spreading the Gospel of Sake in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll be seeing me for sure on my next trip to your neck of the woods! Thanks again and Kanpai!

Saké Nomi
Premium Sake Shop and Tasting Bar
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
www.sakenomi.us

sakenomi.gifSaké Nomi Cinema:
“Love and Honor” (2006, dir. Yoji Yamada)

Saké Nomi Cinema wraps up its serial screening of director Yoji Yamada’s “samurai trilogy” with a special screening of “Love and Honor” this Sunday, August 3 @ 5 p.m.

Former boy band pop idol/heartthrob Takuya Kimura stars as a low-level samurai whose job as “food taster” for a feudal lord (I defy any of you nomidachi to say you have a worse job!) leaves him blind and without hope to support himself and his beautiful wife. After becoming sightless, Kimu-taku discovers his wife has been taken advantage of by another samurai and vows revenge.

“Love and Honor” was recently screened at the Seattle International Film Festival, and definitely meets our stringent standards for being “a good movie to drink saké to.” (In Japanese, with very interesting English subtitles.)

Please join us for the final installment of this amazing series!

Sake Nomi
76 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Tel: 206-467-SAKE
http://www.sakenomi.us

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Kikusui Brewer Tasting
Kikusui Junmai Ginjo & Kikusui Funaguchi Nama Genshu

SAKAYA : 324 E. 9th Street (Between 1st & 2nd Ave.)
New York, NY 10003
212.505.SAKE (7253)
www.sakayanyc.com