NYC: ASPEC Sake Tasting at Takashimaya

Join us for a spirited evening of sake and hors d’oeuvres as we complement our stunning collection of sakeware with a selection of special sake from the Akita Sake Promotion & Export Council.

Learn to distinguish various types of sake, enjoy its distinct flavors, and pair it with food and the appropriate drinkware under the direction of sake connoisseur Linda Noel Kawabata. Glassware designer Deborah Ehrlich will be on hand to present her sake set of mouthblown, lead-free crystal. Enjoy 10% off all sake serveware.

Thursday, May 7, 2009, 5:00 – 7:00PM
Home Collection, Third Floor
R.S.V.P. to 800-753-2038 or e-mail to: Brenda Welch
We look forward to welcoming you at Takashimaya New York
693 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022

NYC: Denshin Yuki & Ken Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifFrom the Event Organizer:
Two of our more popular sake will be featured in our tasting this Thursday evening at SAKAYA. Please join us between 6 and 8PM as Mr.Kanai from importer and distributor JFC will present these captivating brews, each with their own distinctive character:

Ken Daiginjo (Fukushima) — elegant and aromatic with notes of pear, peaches, and melon and crisp finish.

Denshin Yuki Junmai Ginjo (Fukui) — light, clean, and smooth with toasted rice fragrance and dry finish.

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Daimon Shuzo Sake Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifDaimon Shuzo Sake Tasting at Sakaya

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

Dassai at Momokawa Restaurant

A whole lotta Dassai

A whole lotta Dassai

My good friend and sake sommelier extraordinaire Chizuko-san alerted me to a special tasting event that was happening at Momokawa Restaurant (157 East 28th Street New York, NY 10016). Now, I DO know the Dassai brand very well, but I have never been to Momokawa, so I was intrigued to try a new place. I eat Japanese food a lot in NYC, so finding a new place would be a great find.

From street level, you need to go down stairs and then up spiral stairs inside to reach the dining room. This may be a feng shui consultant’s nightmare, but once you navigate your way, you will find it’s work the trip.

I was greeted by Chizuko-san and Sakurai-san from Dassai Brewery. Momokawa normally specializes in shabu-shabu, but on this night I was focused on Dassai. They were offering a special appetizer tasting of 3 Dassai sakes with individual food pairings.

Dassai with Appetizer

Dassai with Appetizer

Here is what we had as part of the Dassai Tasting:

Dassai 39 Junmai Daiginjo paired with marinated sardines. The sardines were delicious but on the bone. Peeling off the fish, it was delicious and succulent, a great match for Dassai 39.

Dassai 50 Junmai Ginjo paired with rich chicken liver paté. I was surprised how much I loved the liver! It’s not usually my thing, but I have to say I really enjoyed the rich flavor of this dish.

Dassai 50 Junmai Ginjo Nigori paired with white fish sashimi. This sashimi was my favorite dish of the evening. The freshness of the fish was a delightful contrast to the fresh fish. I really enjoyed this pairing.

All in all, this was a fantastic adventure in a great new restaurant! I can’t wait to go back and try the shabu shabu! It was fun seeing Sakurai-san and Chizuko-san at this tasting. I was so happy to learn that Dassai 39 is now being imported into the US! this was great news for all of us. It’s a wonderful addition to the sakes available here! If you get a chance, stop by Momokawa restaurant and try whatever Dassai Pairing they have on the menu – it’s delicious! Enjoy and Kanpai!

NYC: Japan Prestige at Sakaya

Japan Prestige importers Sake tasting at Sakaya.

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Meet the Brewer: Kyota Murai

Sake cocktail Hour with Murai Family Owner! Join the Staff of Bao Noodles for a casual meet the brewer event on April 28th from 5:30 to 7:30.

We will introduce everyone to Kyota Murai, the 6th Generation owner of the Brewery as well as sample his wonderful sakes. We will be serving snacks for all to enjoy as well during the event.

The cost is $20 per person. RSVP Required. Please RSVP at 212 725 7770

NYC: Tozai & Ama No To Tasting in Brooklyn

Polaner Sake Tasting at Long’s Wines and Liqours

Mike from Polaner will present three refined selections of Sake. Features free tastings of:
Tozai Living Jewel Junmai :The aromas of white grape, anise, and a hint of sweet rice. These same flavors come rushing through the medium-bodied palate, which has a slightly creamy texture.
Tozai Snow Maiden Nigori: Heavy milky-white. Nutty, creamy nose. Rich, chewy and lush, with soft saline and banana flavors and an attractive hint of fruity sweetness.
Ama No To Heaven’s Door Tokubetsu Junmai Sake: Faint aromas of raisins and earthiness. Overall slightly dry flavor but with nice fruity essences in the recesses, supplanted by nice rice-like tones and a gentle sweetness beneath.

Date: May 08, 2009 (Fri)
Time: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Cost: Free for the tasting, 10% discount on items in the tasting
Place: Long’s Wines and Liquors
7917 5th Avenue
Brookyln, NY 11209
Phone: 718-748-6505

San Franciso: Namazake Pairing Dinner

sozai.gifNamazake and Mediterranean Food Spring Pairing at Sozai!

Next Wednesday, from 6 to 8 PM, Guest Chef Vincent Schofield and Sake Man Gil Payne present a Namazake and Mediterranean Food Spring Pairing at Sozai! Chef Schofield is a locally reknowned chef who was Executive/Opening Chef at Kabuki Kitchen, and who previously worked at Boulevard. He is a CCA graduate who trained in Italy, and his cuisine is Mediterranean with an Italian flair. He is serving: Fried Fava Beans with Lemon Aioli; Mint Zucchini Cakes with Yogurt; Mini Lamb Gyros; and Grilled Octopus with Lemon and Oregano. Gil will be pairing these with four fresh spring Namazake from Wataribune, Kamotsuru and other breweries with great Namazake. The 4/4 pairing is only $40 per person, and we will feature 15% off all Namazake throughout the evening. Additionally, Chef Schofield will have two more dishes available after the pairing (along with our full menu, of course): Grilled Branzino with Stewed Chard, and a Salad of Fried Feta with Beets and Water Crest.This will surely be a spectacular culinary evening, so we encourage you to call 415-681-7150 to make reservations, or RSVP via e-mail to [email protected], don’t miss our big Namazake and Mediterranean Food Spring Pairing next Wednesday! Call 681-7150 to make your reservation today.

Cheers,Gil and Mari

NYC: Amanoto Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifAmanoto Nama/non-Nama sake tasting

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Narutotai Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifNarutotai Sake Tasting

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Wakatake tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifWakatake Onikoroshi Sake Tasting

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Kiai Sake Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifSelection of sake from KIAI importing company.

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Japan Prestige at Sakaya

sakaya.gifJapan Prestige Namazake Tasting

324 E. 9th Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave.)
NYC 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)

NYC: Aftertaste 2 Balance & Harmony

jos_aftertaste.jpgJoy of Sake Aftertaste # 2 Balance & Harmony
One characteristic all prize-winning sakes possesses is “balance.” For most sake judges, balance is more important than either taste or aroma. But what exactly is it that is in balance? And how can we tell if a sake is balanced or unbalanced? This month’s tasting explores one of the more elusive concepts in sake appreciation.

We’ll try over 30 well-balanced junmai, ginjo and daiginjo labels, and for comparison a few that failed to achieve overall harmony. The tasting takes an hour and is followed by sake appetizers and congenial sake-sipping until 8:00 p.m.

The May Aftertaste will be held at En Japanese Brasserie in the West Village.
The restaurant is preparing a special menu of appetizers to accompany the sake selections.

Reservations may be made online through the following link: Aftertaste New York Online Ticket Purchase. All sales are final and attendance is limited to
70 persons.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street (at Leroy)
Registration from 5:30 p.m.
Program begins promptly at 6:00 p.m.
$37 per person

NYC: Modern Sushi and Sake Degustation

James Beard Foundation Dinner: Modern Sushi and Sake Dégustation

Yoshi Kousaka Jewel Bako/ NYC
Hiroko Shimbo Hiroko’s Kitchen/ NYC
Sake Sommeliers Hiroko Furukawa and Rick Smith Sakaya/ NYC

Enjoy an exquisite tasting of sushi and sake when renowned Japanese cuisine expert Hiroko Shimbo collaborates with sushi master Yoshi Kousaka at this spectacular dinner. Together with sake sommeliers Rick Smith and Hiroko Furukawa, the chefs have created a unique, contemporary menu that will showcase these two delicious emblems of Japanese culture.

Hors d’Oeuvre
Hirame Kobujime > Raw Flounder with Kelp and Cherry Blossoms
Goma Tofu > Sesame Seed Tofu
Nanohana Ohitashi > Rapeseed Leaf Salad with Dashi–Soy Dressing
Eggplant with Cashew Butter
Baby Back Ribs with Spicy and Tart Namban Sauce
Harushika Tokimeki Sparkling Sake
Simonnet-Febvre Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc NV

Yellowtail Tataki with Carrot–Kudzu Jelly
Tsukasabotan Fu-In Junmai Ginjo Sake

Assorted Sashimi > Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Bass, Snapper, and Scallop
Sougen Junmai Sake
Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2006

Miso-Braised Lamb with Spring Vegetables
Hiraizumi Yamahai Junmai Tokubetsu Sake

Assorted Nigiri and Maki > Bluefin Tuna, Tasmanian Ocean Trout, Golden Striped Amberjack, Eel, Japanese Fluke, Scallop, and Kabocha
Urakasumi Zen Junmai Ginjo Sake
Henry Fessy Moulin-à-Vent 2007

Black Sesame Parfait with Yuzu, Coconut, and Shiso
Satsuma Godai Umeshu Plum Shochu

Event Details
Mon, 05.11.2009
07:00 PM, US/Eastern

* JBF Members $125
* General Public $165

* Event Location:
The Beard House
167 West 12th Street

* Call 212.627.2308 to reserve.

NYC: Modern Sushi and Sake Dinner

Tim Cushman and Sake Sommelier Nancy Cushman of O Ya Boston

It has been a whirlwind year for sushi superstar O Ya, which has reeled in accolade after accolade. Named to the top spot on Frank Bruni’s list of “Ten Restaurants that Count,” O Ya dazzles diners with, as Bruni writes, “intricate, stunningly creative dishes grounded in, but not restrained by, Japanese tradition.”

Hors d’Oeuvre

Wild Bluefin Tuna Nigiri with Soy-Braised Garlic and Microgreens
Salmon Nigiri with Unfiltered Wheat Soy Moromi and Yuzu
Wild Bluefin Toro Nigiri with Republic of Georgia Herb Sauce
Kabayaki Eel with Thai Basil and Kyoto Sansho
Chikurin Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Junmai Sake


Kumamoto Oyster with Watermelon Pearls and Cucumber Mignonette
Dassai Niwari Sambu Junmai Daiginjo Sake

Assortment of Nigiri Sushi > Hamachi with Spicy Banana Pepper Mousse; Fried Kumamoto Oyster with Yuzu Kosho Aïoli and Squid Ink Bubbles; and Homemade La Ratte Potato Chip with Périgord Black Truffle
Shichi Hon Yari The Seven Spearsmen Junmai Sake

Assortment of Sashimi > Shima Aji and Sea Urchin with Ceviche Vinaigrette and Cilantro; Hamachi with Vietnamese Mignonette Sauce, Thai Basil, and Shallot; and Wild Bluefin Tuna Tataki with Smoky Pickled Onion and Truffle Oil
Chikurin Karoyaka Junmai Ginjo Sake

Grilled Chanterelle and Shiitake Sashimi with Rosemary–Garlic Oil, Sesame Froth, and Homemade Soy
Shichi Hon Yari The Seven Spearsmen Junmai Sake

Seared Petite Wagyu Strip Loin with Tiny Smoked Potato, Grilled Onion, and Fresh Wasabi
Ichinokura Taru Junmai Cedar Sake

Kabayaki Foie Gras with Balsamic–Chocolate Sauce and Raisin–Cocoa Pulp
Hanahato 8-Year-Old Kijoshu Sake

Event Details
Mon, 04.20.2009
07:00 PM, US/Eastern

* JBF Members $150
* General Public $200
* Event Location:
The Beard House
167 West 12th Street

* Call 212.627.2308 to reserve.

NYC: Sake Hana Aged Sake Class 1

sake-hana.jpgSake Class V:Aged sake(for beginners)

If you like fortified wine such as sherry, port, Madeira, Marsala, you definitely will like aged sake.
Most of sake is made to be drunk young, within a year. But aged sake is not. You can enjoy it after years to be aged. Some are aged more than 30 years. The color is brown, taste is sweet and really rich flavor.

But if you have never tried aged sake, come and join our sake class in April. This month we feature aged sake for beginners. Enhance your sake knowledge.

Guest speaker: Masa Omichi from Le Bernardin (2nd place of 2006 Eastern U.S. Sake Sommelier Competition)

Date: April 18th(SAT)
Place: Sake Hana(78th street, bet 2nd & 3rd)
Time: 6pm starts
Tickets: Available @ Sake Hana
Contact : [email protected] or 646-498-4224

LA: Sake Tasting with Yuji Matsumoto

Sake Session with Master Sommelier Yuji Matsumoto
Sniff, swirl, and sip your way through this unique sake seminar, tasting eight premium sakes from some of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious producers. Japanese appetizers will be provided to cleanse your palate and demonstrate the incredible food-friendliness of sake!

Place: LearnAboutWine Loft
530 Molino St #218
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Cost: 69
Phone: 310-451-7600

with Master Sake Sommelier, Yuji Matsumoto
$80 at the Door
Advanced On Line Sale Price – $69.00

Learn About…
Sake styles
Sake aromatics
Sake and food pairings
Sake production
Sake tasting!

Sake List
Plum Shiso Saketini
Okunomatsu Ginjo
Okunomatsu Sparkling Junmai Daiginjo FN
Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto
Mizbasho Ginjo
Mu Junmai Daiginjo
Hananomai Junmai Ginjo
Hatsumago Junmai Kimoto
Shichiken Junmai Ginjo

Sake Facts
* The Japanese often refer to Sake as the Drink of the Gods.
* Sake is a beverage created from rice, water, koji mold, and yeast.
* The alcohol content of sake is just slightly higher than that of most red wines–just 15%-16%.
* Sake is not a distilled spirit, but a beverage brewed like beer.
* Premium sake is usually served lightly chilled like white wine.
* Only lower grades of Sake are usually served hot!
* Sake is an excellent beverage for pairing with food.

NYC: Kanpai NY Sake Meetup

Please join us for our second meetup event… We’ll be meeting at Soba Totto (which is reviewed on our restaurants page) in the bar area for a sake tasting. We’ll be trying 3 of our favorite sakes (TBD). Please RSVP through our meetup page. The event is limited to 10 people. The cost is $25 per person.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

For Tickets and more information visit:

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2009
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Soba Totto
Street: 211 E. 43 St.
City/Town: New York, NY

Sake and Kimono in the New York Times

On my sake adventures in Japan, I was lucky enough to attend ceremonies and sake events where I saw traditional men’s kimono up close. I was impressed by the beauty and tradition of the kimono and began reading up on it’s history and meaning. I thought it would be fun to wear Men’s kimono myself on my next trip to Japan, so I found a wonderful Kimono teacher right here in New York City, Hiromi Asai.

Hiro-sensei taught me not only how to put on a kimono, but also about the meaning of proportion and color in Kimono and just how nuanced that meaning could be. I was instantly reminded of the nuances in tasting beautiful sake. I love Japanese culture. Hiro-sensei was going to be interviewed and invited me to have another kimono lesson as a demonstration for the reporter. The video below is what resulted. While only indirectly related to sake, I hope you enjoy it!

Read the full New York Times article here:

© New York Times 2009