Explosive Great Taste for New Year’s Eve

Dassai 39 Sparkling Nigori

Dassai 39 Sparkling Nigori

New Year’s Eve is about as loaded a holiday as you can get. All the pressure to be at the perfect party with that special someone at the stroke of midnight toasting with a glistening flute of the best champagne. And the New Year’s Resolutions – Don’t get me started on that subject.

One good thing about us hard core sake drinkers is that we definitely march to the beat of our own drummer. What better way to express our independence and kick off 2010 than to drink a sparkling sake for New Year’s Eve.

Last year, I posted some great suggestions for sparkling sake. Since then, there has been a new player to enter the sparkling sake arena. None other than Dassai 39 Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Nigori!

Dassai is a well known and beloved brand that makes a “number” of top notch sakes including Dassai 50, Dassai 23, and regular Dassai 39. The number of course refers to the milling rate or “seimaibuai” — the amount to which the rice grain has been milled prior to brewing. Dassai is now the worlds first “Junmai Daiginjogura” meaning they are a brewery that only produces Junmai Daiginjo sake.

Dassai 39 Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Nigori is a delicious sake and the perfect brew for those of us who want something unique for our New Years Eve bubbly. The taste is crisp and smooth with an over-the-top party on the palate for everyone who loves unique sake flavors! It’s refreshing, elegant and delicious.

Just be careful opening this sake as you would with any champagne. This sake has a lot of natural carbonation and the stopper can really snap crackle POP if you’re not careful. Trust me, you don’t want to miss a drop of this new year’s elixir!

So whether you’re at that perfect party with somebody special or home alone with Dick Clark, forge your own path and try some Dassai Sparkling Sake this New year’s Eve. Being a maverick has never tasted so good.

Kanoyama Sushi Restaurant. Scott introduced me to this place on Superbowl Sunday several years ago. As you may know, this is the one evening of the year when you can really have your pick of restaurants. While the world was enjoying the Superbowl halftime show, I was enjoying the spectacular sushi.'>

New Kid on the Block: Kanoyama Sake Bar

IF you live in New York City and you love sushi, chances are very high you’ve discovered Kanoyama Sushi Restaurant. Scott introduced me to this place on Superbowl Sunday several years ago. As you may know, this is the one evening of the year when you can really have your pick of restaurants. While the world was enjoying the Superbowl halftime show, I was enjoying the spectacular sushi.

Kanoyama Sushi Chefs

Kanoyama Sushi Chefs

Kanoyama suddenly became even more crowded when the NYTimes’ Frank Bruni singled it out as a destination for the “Affordable Luxury” of sushi. Um, thanks Frank…

I’ve loved this restaurant ever since that first superbowl sunday! But what’s the big news on the block? Well, Kanoyama has expanded next door and opened a new sake bar in the east village. Whoa, that IS big news!

Behold, Kanoyama Sake Bar (175 2nd Ave @11th St. 212-777-5266). Our friend Kiyoe-san is behind the bar and helping dole out the nihonshu. If you stop by, please tell her that UrbanSake.com sent you!

Kiyoe-san Introduces Sake at Kanoyama

Kiyoe-san Introduces Sake at Kanoyama

The sake list is solid and well thought out. Take a look at the Kanoyama Sake List as per their website.

In addition to sake, they also offer oysters! um, yum, right? right. On my first visit to this new sake bar, I ordered a dear favorite of mine – the Kikusui Funaguchi in a can. It’s a genshu, nama, and honjozo… and a linchpin in anyone’s ‘get drunk quick scheme’. I find it utterly delightful and it’s a fruity way to wind down an evening. I actually had it instead of dessert!

So give Kanoyama Sake bar a try. Besides Funaguchi – they have many wonderful sakes to explore. I’m excited to see where this favorite sushi bar goes with it’s sake! All I can say is bottoms up and best of luck Kanoyama – Kanpai!

Enjoying Kikusui Funaguchi at Kanoyama sake Bar

Enjoying Kikusui Funaguchi at Kanoyama sake Bar

NJ: Komegashi Too Sake Tasting Dinner

Komegashi Too Sake Tasting Dinner

Sake Tasting Dinner at Komegashi too!
This is the best opportunity to learn sake and Japanese food all at once! We have prepared excellent selection of food, each dish paired with different sake, a terrific way to enjoy them all together!

See More Details here:

Ticket $85(including tax, gratuity and 4 hours parking)

If you have any questions,
please call at 201.533.8888

99 Town Square Place, Jersey City, NJ 07310 • tel: 201.533.8888
e-mail: [email protected] • http://komegashi.com

NYC: Sake Tasting & Japanese Language Lesson!

Learn about Sake and get a Japanese lesson in the process!

Learn Sake & Japanese!

Learn Sake & Japanese!

HEY! You got your sake tasting in my Japanese language lesson! No, You got your Japanese language lesson in my sake tasting!

>Sign Up Now!

Hills Learning, a language school next to Grand Central, is teaming with the sake experts at UrbanSake.com to offer a fun, one hour lesson in Sake Tasting and Japanese Language. Sip on some delicious sakes as we teach you key sake vocabulary and phrases in Japanese! No experience necessary.

Location: Onya – 143 East 47th St (between Lexington Ave & 3rd Ave) New York, NY 10017

Date: January 14, 2009. 7pm – 8pm

Price: $20 (includes appetizers and a sampling of 3 sakes)
Reserve your spot and buy tickets here

>Sign Up Now!


Co-sponsored event with Hills Learning and UrbanSake.com

2009 Golden Masu Awards

Golden Masu Award!

Golden Masu Award!

For me personally, I’ll look back on 2009 as a year with some struggles, some fun and some really great sake! …And, at least for me, sake helps with both struggles and with fun.

It’s the time of year again when we salute some of the best sakes of the year… Just like the Oscars with lots more sake and a lot less movie stars. This year’s list of winners runs the gamut from honjozo to cup sake to the finest junmai daiginjo. All of it delicious in it’s own special and unique way.

Without Further ado, I give you the 2009 UrbanSake.com Golden Masu Awards!

“Best Honjozo”


Ban Ryu

Ban Ryu

And the Masu goes to:
Ban Ryu “10,000 Ways” Honjozo

In the U.S., honjozo style sake (fortified with added distilled alcohol) are relatively hard to find. People hear “alcohol added” and think “jet fuel”! I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. Honjozo style sake can be expressive, rich, fragrant and enchanting. To prove this to yourself, look no further than Ban Ryu Honjozo. Look for that signature velvety finish and a great flavor profile and several temperatures. chilled, warm or hot, this sake will please you in 10,000 ways. This versatile sake is not to be missed.

“Best Cup in the U.S.”


Oyaji Gokuraku

Oyaji Gokuraku

And the Masu goes to: Chiyomusubi Oyaji Gokuraku

“Here’s looking at you!” I have a special place in my heart for sake sold in the “one cup” size. No one cup stole my heart this year as did the Chiyomusubi Oyaji Gokuraku sake cup. The design of this label is based on the the anime “Ge-Ge-Ge no Kitaro“. Created by the famous Japanese artist Shigeru Mizuki (水木 しげる), Kitaro has had a wide impact on Japanese popular culture. The Oyaji character is the father of the lead character and he’s bascially a walking, talking eyeball who loves sake. Only in Japan, folks! In any case, the brewers at Chiyomusubi chose Goriki sake rice for the Oyaji flavor. This is a stroke of genius in my book. Goriki has a great nostaligic flavor that is not too pretty or quaint and a perfect match to the sake-loving Oyaji character. Cup sake is a treat… and this one is a treasure!

“Most Delicious 500ML”




And the Masu goes to:
Manotsuru Four Daimonds Junmai Ginjo

Sometimes, 300ml isn’t enough, but 720ml is just too much. Enter the 500ml bottle. They are few and far between, but well worth a look-see. One of my very favorite of these sakes is the Manotsuru Four Daimonds Junmai Ginjo. Produced by Obata sake brewery in beautiful Niigata prefecture, this sake is something special. It’s a full on genshu sake bordering on 18% alcohol. This doesn’t diminish in any way the quality or well crafted feeling of this brew. I enjoy it slightly chilled and find it quite versatile as far as food pairing goes. Another win for Niigata sakes – and another win for 500ML! Thank you Obata-san!

“Best New Junmai Import”




And the Masu goes to:
Wakatake Junmai

New sakes are imported into the USA every year without fail. I’m always on the lookout for something new. What surprises me most is when something new comes from someone so familiar! We all know and love Wakatake Junmai Dainginjo sake, but the folks at Wakatake brought in their Junmai sake this year. It’s got a slight creaminess that I just find irresistible and yet, it maintains that wonderful feeling of shizuoka simplicity that makes the junmai daiginjo such a hit. This is a great expression of what a Junmai can be and a welcome addition to the Junmai lexicon in the US. Kanpai!

“Best Extra Dry Sake”


Kasumi Tsuru

Kasumi Tsuru

And the Masu goes to:

Kasumi Tsuru Extra Dry Junmai

“What do you have that’s DRY?” Oi, If I had a first class ticket to Japan for every time I’ve heard that question! Many folks State-side have gotten this notion into their head that the best sake is Dry sake. Super dry sake is super yummy in my book, so I love to have a primo example of what dry really is at the ready when people ask for it. My textbook example is the delicious Kasumi Tsuru Extra Dry Junmai. It’s dry without being over-exaggerated and unbalanced. Imported by Joto Sake importers and a product of Hyogo Prefecture, this sake has a delightful depth and distinct dry edge that make it in my book the great exemplar of what a well rounded dry sake can be! Enjoy this gem at all temperatures!

“Best in Show”




And the Masu goes to:
Kirinzan Junmai Daiginjo

I first tasted this sake at Sakagura Restaurant on New Year’s Eve a few years back. Our server left the stunning bottle on the table for me to admire as I sipped on the sake. This left all my senses pleased! Kirinzan makes a balanced, clean and pure Niigata Junmai Daiginjo that is a treasure in and of itself, but the beautiful bottle just adds to the enjoyment of this sake all the more. This “total package” is a feast for the senses and a true testament to everything a sake can be. For me, this is one of the very best. Enjoy it yourself for a special occasion, with friends or simply on it’s own. Without a doubt you’ll taste the quality that is it’s own reward.

Well, there you have it. Congratulations to all the winners and I’ll be on the look out in 2010 for any new sake stars on the horizon… Kanpai and Happy New Year!

NYC: Kanpai NY Holiday Party at Soba Totto



From the Event Sponsor:
Announcing a new Meetup for Kanpai NY!

What: Kanpai NY Holiday Party at Soba Totto

When: December 16, 2009 7:00 PM

Soba Totto
211 E. 43 St.
New York, NY 10017

Hi Everyone,

Please join us for our end-of-year holiday party at Soba Totto on December 16th!

We’ll be celebrating a great year of Kanpai NY events and the soon-to-be-announced Kanpai NY Best of 2009 Awards!

And in the spirit of the holidays, we’ve arranged the best deal of the year: $3 off all glasses of sake!

Looking forward to seeing you!


Eamon & Mie

Learn more here:

Kanpai NY

New York, NY
49 Sake Enthusiasts

Welcome to Kanpai NY’s meetup page! Kanpai NY was created as a way for us to explore and share Japanese food, sake, and culture at the best Japanese restaurants and bars in NY…

Check out this Meetup Group →

LA: Sake Meetup at En sushi

Los Angeles Sake

Hi Everyone! The venue for next Friday’s LA Sake meetup is set for En sushi. This will be a super time with great sake, food and the best bartender in LA to boot. You aren’t going to want to miss it! The cap on this event will be 15 people, so make sure you RSVP early and please, if your plans change remove your RSVP so someone on the waiting list can be moved up. The cover is $20 / per person to be given to myself or Karise at the door. This will include two flights of sake– three 1.5 oz pours each flight, and three pieces of sushi–a piece each of California roll, Albacore and Spicy tuna. We will start off with some sake flights and sushi; after that we will have happy hour prices the entire evening! We are looking forward to seeing everyone! Sake Flight #1: Akitabare Koshiki Junzukuri (Northen Skies) Junmai – A pleasingly round and smooth traditional tasting sake with a nihonshu-do of +3. Masumi Okuden Kanzukuri (Mirror of Truth) Junmai – A light, clear, slightly fruity sake with a nihonshu-do of +3 Dewazakura Oka (Cherry Bouquet) Ginjo – A sake with a flowery bouquet and a touch of pear and melon on the palate. A nihonshu-do of +5 Sake Flight #2: Matsu No Modori (Green Pine) Junmai Daiginjo – A light and dry Sake with sharp acidity; Nihonshu-do +5. Izumi Jundan (Tenth Degree) Ginjo – An extremely dry sake with a nihonshu-do of +12 Mizo No Shirabe (Symphony of Water) – A delicate sake from Kyoto. Smooth taste with hint of minerals and a nihonshu-do of +5. En Sushi 11651 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025

West Los Angeles, CA 90025 – USA

Friday, December 11 at 7:00 PM

Fee: Price: USD 20.00 per person

Details: http://www.meetup.com/LosAngelesSake/calendar/12024675/

Taste of Kikusui Sake Tasting Dinner

Taste of Kikusui = The Sake of Happiness =

“KIKUSUI Shuzo” is one of the finest breweries in Japan. They have been putting their efforts into discovering not only sensational sakes, but innovative new concepts as well. One such new concept is the development of a computer that pairs sake with its ideal food.

We are planning to bring a variety of Kikusui sakes (including the first USDA certified organic sake made in Japan) to pair with its perfectly matching food. We will be cooking with them as well.

Please join us in experiencing the bold and interesting new flavors!.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Time 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Japanese Culinary Center
711 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10017 (On 45th St. Btw. 2nd & 3rd Ave.)
Charge: $65 per person (Limited 16 seatings)


On the Menu:
Kikusui Funaguchi on the Rocks

Truffled Mousse of Foie Gras on Toast Points with Funaguchi Jelly and Pickled Onions

*Paired with Kikusui Junmai Ginjo

Kikusui Clam Chowder with Oysters
*Paired with Kikusui Organic Junmai Ginjo


Koshihikari Risotto with Pork Cheeks Braised in Sake
*Paired with Kikusui Karakuchi Junmai

Kikusui Funaguchi Sorbet


Register at www.japaneseculinarycenter.com


**Reservations are on a first come first served basis. There will be a sixteen person limit. **

Kikusui Brewing

Kikusui Brewing firmly believes in contributing to a more affluent life through sake, by creating joy through its pursuit for better liquor.

[What is “quality Sake”?] Sincce its foundation in 1881(Meiji 14), Kikusui is continuing a theme of investigation. Raising the quality so that whenever one drinks the Sake, it’s always delicious. It is an important matter that there has been no changes now nor in the past and even in the future. Various things brim over in the market today, so people can be chosen freely. High-quality products are already a common thing in these days. Buying something is a part of means. The interest of the person is poured into how they can spend enjoyable and euphoric time through the products. Of course, Sake isn’t also an exception. Here, Kikusui stops and considers it once again. What is “quality sake” for the customer? What is “quality Sake ” for the seller? What is “quality Sake” for society? And what is “quality Sake” for producer? We will do our best in order to brew high-quality Sake and propose enjoyable life-style with Sake, and these are the solution to four questions. To make the Sake world interestiong and offer poeple the enjoyable time with Sake, this is the misson of Kikusui. (http://www.kikusui-sake.com/)