Chris Johnson Sake Video

Don’t know how I missed it, but I just came across this great video of Sake Maestro Chris Johnson discussing all things sake with Saveur Magazine Editor-in-Chief James Oseland at the Asia Society, filmed December 1, 2008. Chris is a great guy and a super knowledgeable sake dude. This video is well worth a look!

San Francisco: 4th Annual SAKEDAY Celebration

SAKEDAY logo4th Annual SAKEDAY 2009
presented by True Sake and Mari’s Catering

Event Description:
October 1st is “Nihonshu No Hi” (pronounced “he”), the day of sake in Japan. Be a part of history when the world stops for a day and sake lives for a night! Welcome sake, sake and food parings, Japanese “street food” station, unique tasting stations, and multiple vendor stations with new and classic sakes. Live Okinawan band and many raffles!

Bring your own sake glass and get two raffle tickets! Nearly 100 sakes to explore!

Jewish Community Center
San Francisco, 3200 California Street
October 1st, 2009
5:30 – 7:30 Registration (Please bring a valid I.D.)
6:00 – Doors open

Online ticket sales: at (September 1st through 30th)
Advance ticket: $80
Cash at the door: $85
Questions: call True Sake at (415) 355-9555

NYC: Daishichi Sake Night at Sakagura



Daishichi sake Night at SAKAGURA!

We are very proud of announcing the arrival of early autumn exclusive sake event!
Daishichi Brewery is well known in the U.S. and they have been strictly particular about traditional “kimoto” brewing. This event will be led by Mr. Ad Blankestijn from Daishichi Sake Brewery (
and Sake sommelier, Mrs. Chizuko Niikawa-Helton from Sake Discoveries ( .

Tasting event will feature six sake selections (two sake tasting sets) .

Daishichi Junmai Daiginjo Set (50 ml Each) ($60.00)
*Myoka Rangyoku
*Daishichi Horeki

Daishichi Sakes (50 ml Each) and Daishichi’s Ume Plum Appetizer Set ($30.00)
*Minowamon, Junmai Daiginjo
*Daishichi Classic, Junmai
*Yukishibori, Nigori Honjozo
this set is limited

Please note that this event is “first-come, first-served” basis. We cannot hold orders in advance. Enjoy the masterpieces of Daishichi brewer’s art this opportunity! We are looking forward to seeing many of you with great Daishichi sakes!

Saturday, September 5th, 2009
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

212-953-SAKE (7253)

Business Hours:
Mon-Fri 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
Mon-Thu 6:00 PM – 11:45 PM
Fri-Sat 6:00 PM – 12:45 AM
Sun 6:00 PM – 10:45 PM

LA: Sake Mini Fest at The Wine House

Sake Mini Fest @ The Wine House

As interest in sake continues to grow, the demand for sake events is also increasing. To fill that void we have put together an event that is a little more unique and special than other events around town. This kind of event has only been available to the trade in the past. We will have 18 breweries attending; several will actually have the head brewer or assistant brewer in attendance. Upstairs 2 Catering will have passed hors d’oeurves throughout the afternoon. Riedel Glassware will be provided. Special savings will be available on most of the sake poured. Order forms will be available, and you will be able to pick up your order at your leisure once fulfilled. Breweries confirmed to attend at press time include Hakkaisan, Nabu Bijin, Kikusui, Dassai, Takasago, and Biho. Call the Order Desk at 310/479-3731 in late September for the latest details.

October 4, 2009 (Sun)
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Wine House
2311 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
ph. 310/479-3731

COST: $45.00

NYC: NatsuMatsuri Sake Festival at Sakagura




Sakagura cordially invites you its much-anticipated “a-bit-late summer festival. “Natsumatsuri” is often basically based around three main events, with food stalls, entertainments, and carnival games to keep people enjoyed. We will guide you through an evening recreating a traditional Japanese summer festival, with food stalls (it won’t be the stalls, but many creative and high quality dishes from our new executive chef, Mr. Yasuhiro Honma and seasonal sakes) , entertainments (wearing ‘yukata’ Japanese summer kimono and ‘happi’ Japanese straight-sleeved coat), and carnival games (having ‘bouncy balls scooping’ and ‘yo-yo balloons fishing’ at Sakagura) !

Why don’t we enjoy the ending summer season with chilled/warmed seasonal sakes and Japanese cuisine? Dress lightly to enjoy Natsumatsuri; wearing your yukata would be perfect for this occasion!

RSVP Hotlines : 212-953-SAKE (7253)
Seating is limited. Prompt RSVPs are recommended for this event.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
6:00 PM – 11:45 PM

A special parting gifts from Sakagura is being planned for you!

NEW YORK, NY 10017
(bet 2nd and 3rd Avenue)
212-953-SAKE (7253)

Business Hours
Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
Dinner Mon-Thu 6:00PM – 11:45 PM
Fri- Sat 6:00 PM – 12:45 AM
Sun 6:00 PM – 10:45 PM

DC: 8 Course Sake Dinner at Wasabi


Wednesday, September 16 at 7:00 PM

Tonight, we invite you to an 8 course sake dinner at Wasabi served kaiten-style. Enjoy a fun evening tasting a variety of modern Japanese cuisine served to you on a conveyor belt! Executive Chef Miguel Choy, who was born in Peru, combined Japanese and Latin American ingredients to create Wasabi’s fabulous signature dishes. Begin by sipping on green apple and mango saketinis, and then sit down and relax while chef’s delicious creations for the evening parade before you for your choosing. The owner, Bo Davis, has carefully selected 3 excellent sakes and a plum wine to pair with your meal. Modern Japanese cuisine is all about flavor and fusion, texture and contrast, freshness and balance. Wasabi brings you food that is a welcome surprise: simple, brilliant and nourishing!

~Green Apple or Mango Saketini~
~ Miso or Wasabi Soup ~
~ Wasabi Edamame~
~ Yellowtail or Salmon Soy Tiradito (Peruvian sauce) ~
~ Nigiri Sushi (Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Seared Salmon) ~
~Hakushika Chokara~
~ Tuna or Salmon Tempura Roll ~
~ Soft Shell Crab Roll or Salmon Avocado Caviar Roll ~
~Kaguyahime Sake~
~ Grilled Salmon Anticucho (South America Pepper Sauce) over Lemon Potatoes ~
~”Osakaya Chobei” Sake~
~ Green Tea Mousse or Chocolate Mousse ~
~Choya Plum Wine~

When: Wednesday, September 16 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM.

Where: Wasabi
908 17th Street, NW
(between I and K Street, NW)
*Farragut North (Red Line) is 2 blocks away

For More Information:

Price: $69.00 if purchased by 5 p.m. Friday, August 28

To order, please use our secure server at or call 202-686-5990.
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.

NYC: Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Sail

Morimoto Sushi & Sake Sunset Sail of the NY Harbor June 15th
This limited series of sails features NYC’s most renowned sushi purveyor, Iron Chef Morimoto, and cool refreshing assorted sake, served on the decks of New York’s most elegant schooner for a sunset sail.

The menu includes a wide variety of the very best of Morimoto’s sushi and rolls – all served in an elegant, passed fashion while we set sail for the New York Harbor. Classic Harbor Line and Morimoto have taken special steps to ensure that the sushi is served in the freshest means possible for this event: It is prepared just minutes before boarding, stored in special coolers and served within the first hour of your sail.

Some illuminated views along the way will include:

* The New York City Skyline
* Battery Park, a 20 acre park at the southern tip of Manhattan, where artillery has been stationed over the centuries
* Ellis Island, the immigrant doorway to America from 1892 to 1954
* The Statue of Liberty, a French gift that arrived in New York harbor in 1885 and has come to represent our nation’s freedom and ideals

Assorted cold sakes (including an organic Junmai Ginjo and a sparkling sake), champagne, wine, beer and soda will be provided. (One quick note: we will serve a few rounds, but it is not an unlimited booze-cruise. We aim to create an elegant, relaxing, peaceful, and safe experience for all of our guests.)

October 5, 2009 (Mon)
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: Classic Harbor Line – Chelsea Piers – Pier 62
Across from West 23th Street and the Hudson River (Pier 62)
New York City, NY 10011
ph. 646-336-5270

Meeting Location:
Chelsea Piers, near 22nd St on the Hudson River (Manhattan, NY)
(Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)

NYC: Union Sq Wines Sake Tasting


Join us at 2pm (8/29) when we welcome a consortium of sake purveyors representing some of the finest breweries in Japan. Sake enthusiasts will be met with a deluge of premium sakes from the best in the business. Sample ethereal daiginjos, filigreed ginjos, opulent genshus, outgoing namas, and many more! Those who have no idea what the words above mean will be enjoy an educational tasting tour at the hands of our knowledgeable and friendly guest pourers.

Attendees will find two-dozen different sakes on hand to taste. Featured breweries include Kamoizumi, Koshino Kanbai, Dewazakura, Narutotai, Manabito, and Kikusui to name a few. For the hundreds of you who have requested another USQ sake event, tomorrow’s three-hour tasting spree is not to be missed! All of our featured brews will be discounted for purchase, and admission to the tasting is absolutely free. The sake starts flowing at 2pm tomorrow (8/29), and no reservations are required to attend.

USQ Wines | 140 Fourth Avenue (@ 13th Street) | New York, NY | (212) 675-8100

Join Me on a Sake Cruise to Japan!

We all need a vacation

We all need a vacation

Life in New York City can really be tough sometimes. Cramped subways, runaway taxis, even malicious pigeons… It’s enough to make even the most dedicated city slicker want to escape into a day dream.

Thinking about some of the wonderful, exotic and relaxing escapes life has to offer can really soothe the soul. For example, have you ever dreamed about being pampered on a luxurious two week getaway cruise? Oh yeah. Or maybe you’ve thought about attending a professional sake tasting seminar to enjoy some of the very best sake on earth? Yes! Or how about meditating in an ancient Japanese shrine? Check! Well, if any of this sounds good, you’re in luck! You can do all three at once this September!

Urban Sake Hits the High Seas



Departing Sept 16th, 2009 you can join me aboard the Seven Seas Mariner, as we take a two week trip of a lifetime, sailing from Alaska to four ports of call in Japan. On board, I’ll be leading a series of six in-depth sake tasting seminars as we sample some of the very best sakes in the world.

Best news of all? There are still select cabins available on this amazing sake cruise to Japan! To learn more about how to book this cruise, contact Regent Seven Seas Cruise reservations at 877.505.5370, or contact your travel professional. Please reference Cruise #: MAR090916 You can also learn more at the Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line Website


Cruise Ship + Japan + Sake = Heaven!

Cruise Ship + Japan + Sake = Heaven!

Port Day
Seward, United States Sep 16
Kodiak, United States Sep 17
Cruise Shelikof Strait, International Waters Sep 18
Dutch Harbor, United States Sep 19
Cruise the Aleutian Islands, International Waters Sep 20
Cruising Aleutian Islands, International Waters Sep 22
Petropavlosk, Russia Sep 23
Cruise the Kuril Islands, International Waters Sep 24
Cruise the Sea of Okhotsk, International Waters Sep 25
Hakodate, Japan Sep 26
Sendai, Japan Sep 27
Tokyo, Japan Sep 28
Tokyo, Japan Sep 29
Osaka, Japan Sep 30
Osaka, Japan Oct 01

Ship: Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Mariner

Seven Seas Mariner

  • All-suite, all-balcony accommodations for 700 guests
  • Suites range in size from 301 to 2,002 sq. ft., including balcony
  • All-inclusive beverage program including soft drinks, hot beverages and fine wines and premium spirits served throughout the ship
  • All onboard gratuities are included
  • Butler service in higher categories, including in-suite bar setup and SoundDock® for iPod®
  • Four dining venues to choose from including Signatures Restaurant, dedicated to Le Cordon Bleu cuisine
  • Single, open-seating dining
  • Complimentary 24-hour room service
  • Full entertainment program
  • Port-intensive itineraries
  • Guest lecturer program
  • Interactive television with extensive media selection
  • computer center
  • Wireless Internet access throughout the ship
  • 24-hour complimentary Coffee Corner

NYC: Daishichi Sake & Food Pairing Party

Daishichi Sake & Food Pairing Party

From the Event Organizer:
Dear all my sake friends,
I’m very excited to announce about my next sake party! You cannot miss it!!!!
Sake Discoveries and Daishichi Present
“A Night to Remember 3”
~Daishichi Brewery Sake and Food Paring Party~

Sake Discoveries and Daishichi Brewery invite you to a special sake and food pairing party on Wednesday, September 2nd.
We are offering many kinds of special limited Daishichi sake paired with an assortment of food and desert by Chef Kiyotaka Shinoki of BOHEMIAN.
You will have great sake recommended by Sake Sommelier Chiz at the new “friends only” bar&lounge BOHEMIAN in Noho Manhattan.
It will be an unforgettable night for you….

We serve Myoka Rangyoku, Houreki, Minowamon,Yuki Shibori, Umeshu…and more!!

Daishichi Brewery

Special Guest : Mr. Ad Blankestijn from Daishichi Brewery, who is a certified Master Sake Sommelier, Sake Instructor,
and Director Overseas Marketing and Sales for the Daishichi Sake Brewery

Wednesday September 2nd from 8 pm to 10 pm
doors open at 7:30pm
Noho Manhattan
(only people who respond to the invitation will be informed of the location)
reservation is necessary
$100 per person, includes tax and tips
we accept only cash or check (to Sake Discoveries, LLC)
email here: [email protected] or [email protected]


Fu’s on First? Shojin Ryori and Sake

A recent visit by my newlywed vegetarian sister was a perfect excuse to go again to our favorite NYC Japanese vegetarian “Shojin Ryori” restaurant: Kajitsu.

Dassai 39

Dassai 39

Kajitsu is really a magical place. It’s really as if someone picked up a first rate Shojin Ryori restaurant from japan and plopped it down on East 9th street. The service, food, atmostphere and sake were all spectacular. It’s really everything I truly love about japanese cuisine and culture condensed into a meal.

“Nama-Fu” (生麩) was one of the star attractions of the meal. Fu is a wheat gluten (aka seitan). The “nama” part means raw. In our case, the fu was served as tempura. It was lightly chewy and delicious. Our waitress told us that the restaurant owner also owns a fu shop in japan, so that Kajitsu has access to only the best fu around. it tasted like it. After a few sips of delicious Dassai 39, “Fu” seemed such a funny name that many Abbott-and-Costello-like “Fu’s on First?” jokes ensued. A little Dassai makes everything better.

If you get to NYC’s east village, don’t miss the chance to have dinner at Kajitsu. It’s fantastic, delicious and simply amazing. If you’re freaked out by unusual ingredients like Agar Agar and Fu, my advice is to sit back, question nothing and just eat everything that’s put in front of you. That’s my recipe for a FU-fulling meal.

See the notes in this slideshow for more info on our dinner at Kajitsu.

Get the flash player here:

LA: Sake Tasting at Whole Foods

Sake Tasting presented by Whole Foods Market Beverly Hills

From the Event Organizer:
Sake Tasting presented by Whole Foods Market Beverly Hills

September 16, 2009 (Wed)
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Whole Foods Market Beverly Hills
239 North Crescent Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210 USA
Phone 310.274.3360
Store hours:
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.


Where can you go to find a decent selection of sake? And what does good sake taste like? Join us for an evening on the patio of the Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills to learn everything you always wanted to know about sake! The tasting will be conducted by experts who can answer your every question and guide you through each of the 5 varieties of sake we will be serving. All guests receive a $10 voucher good toward any wine purchase at the Beverly Hills Whole Foods Market until the end of the week. Please RSVP.


San Francisco: Joy Of Sake “Sake Soiree”

September’s “Joy of Sake” Soiree at Yoshi’s features 100 gold and silver award-winning sakes from the 2009 U.S. National Sake Appraisal. Guests meander through the lounge and up into the mezzanine, sampling junmai, ginjo and daiginjo labels along the way. A delicious array of sake appetizers will be served from 8:00 to 10:00, making Yoshi’s Sake Soiree the Bay Area’s sake event of the year.

Sake Soiree – San Francisco
Sep 10, 2009 • 7:30PM-10:30PM
Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant
1330 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
ph. 415.655.5600
Cost: $50 – $60 at the door.

You can purchase tickets online using Visa, MasterCard or American Express. For phone orders, please call our sake hotline number at 888-799-7242.
To Purchase Ticket online, Click here.

NYC: “Sake Day” Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gif“Sake Day” Tasting

When: Thu Oct 1 6pm – Thu Oct 1 8pm
Event Description: Sake tasting to celebrate “Sake Day”

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

NYC: Sakaya Joto Sake Tasting

sakaya.gifJoto Sake Tasting

When: Fri Sep 18 6pm – Fri Sep 18 8pm
Event Description: Yuho Junmai (Ishikawa) & Taiheikai Tokubetsu Junmai (Ibaraki)

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

NYC: Sakaya Niigata Sake Selection Tasting

sakaya.gifNiigata Sake Selection Sake Tasting

When: Sat Sep 12 3pm – Sat Sep 12 6pm
Event Description: Manotsuru Junmai Ginjo Genshu & Kirinzan Junmai Sake Tasting

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

NYC: Sakaya Kamoshibito Kuheiji Sake Tasting

sakaya.gifKamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Ginjo & Junmai Daiginjo Sake Tasting

When: Wed Aug 26 6pm – Wed Aug 26 8pm
Event Description: Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Ginjo & Junmai Daiginjo Sake Tasting

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

San Diego Sake at Sushi Ota

On a recent trip to San Diego, thanks to their Zagat rating of 28, I was luck enough to discover Sushi Ota. The sushi was really quite good and best of all, they had a solid list of sushi friendly sakes. They had Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo on the menu, so I ordered that to start. The waitress let me know that they also have Hakkaisan Ginjo. So what the heck, I got a carafe of each one. In this mini Hakkaisan smackdown, Junmai ginjo came out on top as far as pairing with sushi. However, the Ginjo is my favorite in general. Everyone wins!

See the notes in this slideshow for more info on Sushi Ota.

Get the flash player here:

Chicago: Taste of Inspiration Japanese sake tasting

Taste of Inspiration – Japanese food and sake tasting at Tsuki

Please mark your calendar for the first ever Taste of Inspiration! Inspiration Corporation ( will host a fundraiser on Thursday, September 10th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Tsuki Japanese Restaurant and Lounge ( Please join us for a night of food, wine and sake tastings featuring traditional and modern dishes from executive chef Toyoji Hemmi.

The night will include unlimited access to a variety of wine and sake tastings and Tsuki’s tasty food (sushi, yakitori and much more) during the event. A portion of every ticket sold will directly benefit Inspiration Corporation and their award winning programs.

If you appreciate excellent food, wine and sake in a fun and laid back atmosphere, this is an event that you don’t want to miss. There will be a raffle drawing with assorted prizes including gift certificates, gift cards and other items.

Taste of Inspiration – Japanese food and sake tasting at Tsuki
September 10, 2009 (Thu)
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Tsuki Japanese Restaurant and Lounge
1441-1443 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
ph. 773-878-0981 ext 222

COST: $50

Purchase Tickets here:

San Francisco: Takara Brewing Private Tour and Tasting

meetupThe San Francisco Sake Club Takara Brewing Private Tour and Tasting

Event Organizer Description:
The San Francisco Sake Club
The end of August we are planning a sake tasting at the Takara brewery.
It’s on a Saturday night from 6-10PM (unless you prefer a better time, let me know directly).
We want a shuttle with a bar, CD, leather seats and can take 40-50 of us to Takara brewery so we don’t have to drink and drive or deal with parking, etc.

I am arranging this through my memberships in town and have a good rate. But I need to make sure we will use the shuttle. It will be bangin! We have the shuttle for 4 hours! We will pickup folks from SF and Oakland from various locations. Maybe major MUNI and BART stops. Then take you to Takara for food, bands, DJ, and special sake they will brew for us. If you remember the special brew from Yoshi’s then you will be blown away by they will make for us this time!

The food, music, sake at the event will only be $15 so $35 total with pimpin’ ride.
Berkeley, CA 94710 – USA
Saturday, August 29 at 6:00 PM
Fee: Donation: USD 15.00 per person


Honolulu: Wine Stop Sake tasting

Wine Stop Sake tasting

Event Organizer’s Description:
Sake Tasting; Featuring a Sake Brewer

August 22, 2009 (Sat) 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

The Wine Stop
1809 South King St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
ph. 808-946-3707

COST: Complimentary

EVENT DETAILS: Join us for this informal complimentary tasting.


NYC: Sakaya Kaiun Sake Tasting

sakaya.gifKaiun Sake Tasting

When: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6pm to Thu Aug 20, 2009 8pm EDT
Event Description: Kaiun Junmai Ginjo (Shizuoka) & Biwa no Choju Junmai Ginjo (Shiga)

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

NYC: Sakaya Dassai 39 Sake Tasting

sakaya.gifDassai Sparkling Sake Tasting

When: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6pm to Thu Aug 13, 2009 8pm EDT
Event Description: Dassai 39 Sparkling Sake Tasting

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

NYC: Sakaya Daishichi Sake Tasting

sakaya.gifDaishichi Brewery Sake Tasting

When: Fri Sep 4, 2009 6pm to Fri Sep 4, 2009 8pm EDT

Event Description: Daishichi Kimoto Classic Junmai & Daishichi Honjozo

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

Minneapolis: Sake Meetup Jozen Mizunogotoshi

The Twin Cities Sake Meetup Group

The Twin Cities Sake Meetup Group

Hi Sake Folks!
There is a yummy sake that is available in these parts called Jozen Mizunogotoshi Junmai Ginjo by Shirataki brewery located in Niigata Prefecture in Japan, an area known for their ‘it’s-so-drinkable-it’s-like-water’ sake. I’ve only come across this at one restaurant so far in town–at Fujiya. It is a typical Niigata sake–dangerous–in that it is very very drinkable! Jozen is also light, dry, smooth, clean on the palate.

I thought I’d invite anyone who’d like to try this sake to meet me at Fujiya.
It’ll be 8pm, so Happy Hour will just be starting up. We can order a 720ml bottle of Jozen (approx.$50-a steal if you ask me) and have some snacks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 8pm.
Fujiya Restaurant
600 West Lake Street (between Lyndale and Garfield)
Minneapolis, MN

I’ll be sitting at the bar and if need be we can always move to a table.
Hope to see you there!

Minneapolis, MN 55408 – USA

Wednesday, August 26 at 8:00 PM

Attending: 2