NYC: Discover Kosher Dassai Sake: A Tasting Party in New York

Discover Kosher Dassai Sake: A Tasting Party in New York!
Place: Deli Kasbah BBQ & Grill
251 West 85th Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 496-1500

Price: $40 (including food, sake, tax and tips)
Date: Sunday, June 5th, 1pm-3pm

Dassai sake can now be enjoyed by anyone keeping kosher! Dassai Sake has officially been approved to sell as a kosher product to restaurants and liquor stores in the USA.
On Sunday, June 5th at 1pm, we are very happy to introduce kosher Dassai sake at the well known kosher restaurant Deli Kasbah BBQ & Grill.
Please join our party to try amazing kosher Dassai sake along with delicious kosher food!
We will welcome Mr. Hiroshi Sakurai, the 3rd generation owner of Dassai Sake Brewery along with Mr. Timothy Sullivan, sake educator from to teach us all about kosher Dassai Sake!

RSVP: Sake Discoveries
[email protected]

My Sake Seminar (& Kimono) in Chopsticks Magazine

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!


Guest Blog Post: Pouring Hakkaisan in Toronto!

Check out my recent guest blog post over at 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


Rihaku Night at Sakagura

Rihaku Tasting Set

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, “I drink a bottle, and can write 100 poems.” The same is true for me, but with sake blog posts instead.

The sake is well known to many in the USA as it’s been imported for years and is very popular. If you haven’t tried Rihaku yet, what are you waiting for?!

The Sakagura “Rikhau tasting set” consisted of the following:

Even if you missed the Sakagura event, it’s never to late to give delicious Rihaku a try. Drink a bottle and write 100 poems of your own! Kanpai!!

Spring 2011 Akita Sake Tasting

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 lot of great sakes to try – my favorite newcomer was Hokushika Suzushina – a wonderful shiboritate from – where else? Akita! I also really enjoyed the sakes from Sawanotsuru. The brewers traveled all the way from Kobe to introduce them in the U.S. They had cool bottle design (half frosted, half clear) and a delicious taste.

Lots of sake folks came together to create a magical evening for a good cause and I was so happy I was able to attend! See you next time Akita Sake Fans!

Japan Society Sake Tasting ’11: Back To Basics

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 good advice not to get so caught up in nihonshudo and kasubuai that you miss the main point – sake is enjoyable!

Check out this gallery to take in the sights of this great event:

NYC: Hakkaisan Okkasama Night at Sakagura

Event Organiser’s Description:
We are very excited to announce that Hakkaisan’s Okkasama, Mrs. Ai Nagumo, the much respected Chairwoman of Hakkaisan Brewery from Niigata Prefecture will be appearing in New York City!

On Friday May 20th, Sakagura Restaurant will serve a special Hakkaisan sake kasu appetizer with a glass of Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Junmai for $20. You will also be able to meet Hakkaisan’s Okkasama, Mrs. Ai Nagumo, in person from 7-9pm. The sake kasu appetizer is her secret recipe and will be served all night until sold out. Please call Sakagura for your reservation now.

211 East 43rd Street B1F
New York, NY 10017
(Between 2nd and 3rd Avenue)

Business Hours:
Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 14:20 pm

Dinner: Mon-Thu 18:00 pm – 23:45 pm
Fri-Sat 18:00 pm – 24:45 am
Sun 18:00 pm – 22:45 pm

Sake at the Lucky Rice Grand Feast

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 asked me when faced by all the sake choices, “where do I start?!” My answer is always “Just jump in and start sipping! Your palate will guide you to the sakes you like!”

Lucky Rice is an annual festival event, so check out their site and sign up for their mailing list if you want to learn about their events! Learn more here:

Check out these pics to see more of the sake table at le Grand Feast!

The Dassai Experience: A Walk Around the Brewery

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 in 2007. I also learned that other foreigners had stayed at the brewery learning about sake before me. So the brewery workers were luckily used to having a foreigner around which was good news for me… people were not overly concerned when they saw me standing around looking confused, lost or disoriented, which I fear I did frequently.

So, why not come on a walk around the Dassai Brewery campus with me! Take a look at the gallery below and get a feel for this beautiful brewery and see my comments on each photo!

San Jose: Sake San Jose Sake Benefit

Sake San Jose!


Event Organiser’s Description:
Sake San Jose combines sake tasting with a walk through Historic Japantown San Jose.
When: May 26, 2011
5:00 pm – Opening Ceremony and Registration
5:30 pm – Sake Tasting
5:30 – 7:30 pm Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting
Where: Japantown San Jose
On Jackson Street Between 3rd and 7th Streets
Tickets: Pre-event – $40
Day of – $50
Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting – $80.00

Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services will host this benefit sake tasting walk through Japantown’s various businesses and restaurants, each having different types of sake at special tables.

This year, Sake San Jose will be premiering a new event in the brand new James Akiyama Wellness Center, the Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting. A special collection of premium sakes will be assembled for tasting in the Center’s Sakura Room (5:30 – 7:30pm).

Along with sake, a variety of “small plates” will be offered to accompany the sakes. Sake experts will be available to offer information about the different sakes being tasted. And once you have tasted these offerings, the streets of Japantown will still be available for you to find your Sake San Jose favorite sakes.

Proceeds from Sake San Jose benefit Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services, a nonprofit senior center, in Japantown.

Get tickets here.

Guest Blog Post: Hakkaisan’s Raiden-sama Water!

Check out my recent guest blog post over at 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!


2011 Ohanami Sake Tasting at Sakagura

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 not tried before.

Sakagura also had their usual delicious spread out for everyone to enjoywith their sake. My favorite bite was the Tsukune aka chicken meatball. Yum – and a great match with several of the sakes. Full-bodied Junmai sake and Chicken go great together!

Check out this gallery to enjoy some of the sights of this annual great event:


Sakagura is excited to invite you to “RIHAKU NIGHT”!

Yuichiro Tanaka

Rihaku Shuzo was founded in 1882 in Matsue City in Shimane, although it was not until 1928 that they adopted the name Rihaku. Rihaku was a famous poet in China, and is also known in English as Li Po. Rihaku lived from 701 to 762, and was known for his fondness for the bottle. He was a kind, open-minded, wandering poet that was famous for drinking a lot before writing. He was known to have said, “I drink a bottle, and can write 100 poems.” They make use of Rihaku’s poems and phrases in the brochures and on the labels, and quote him often. Several of their sakes are named with phrases from the great poet’s words.

The sake is, in general, mellow and well-rounded. It leaves a wonderful lingering sensation, and overall has a good “umami” to it, that hard-to -describe something that satisfies, and makes you want a bit more. They make several types of sake, at least one for each occasion. The diligent effort and great skill of toji and kurabito are evidenced by the fact that they have won many gold medals for sake in the tax department’s prestigious New Sake Tasting Competition.

We will welcome Mr. Yuichiro Tanaka, president of Rihaku Brewery and Ms. Kaoru Ishiguro from Sake Export Association.

The three sakes that have been carefully selected for that night are:
“Rihaku Tasting Set” $15.00 (3 kinds/50 ml each)
Rihaku “Hana Kobo” – Origin of Purity Junmai Ginjo
Rihaku – Wandering Poet Junmai Ginjo
Rihaku Nigori – Dreamy Clouds Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori (unfiltered)

Also, Rihaku Brewery’s original “Ochoko” – sake cup gift is being planned for guests who order “Rihaku Tasting Set”!

211 East 43rd Street B1F
New York, NY 10017
(Between 2nd and 3rd Avenue)

Business Hours:
Lunch:  Mon-Fri      11:30 am  – 14:20 pm

Dinner:  Mon-Thu    18:00 pm –  23:45 pm
              Fri-Sat        18:00 pm  – 24:45 am
              Sun             18:00 pm  – 22:45 pm

NYC: Daishichi “Big Seven” Kaiseki Dinner at Hakubai


Daishichi Sake Brewery was established in 1752, and is based in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Japan. Daishichi makes rich, mellow sakes whose outstanding reputation comes from an insistence on a strictly orthodox brewing tradition: the KIMOTO method. All Daishichi products are superb examples of KIMOTO style sake.

On Thursday, May 19th, we welcome Mr. Hideharu Ohta, the 10th generation owner of Daishichi Sake Brewery and Mr. Ad Blankestijn, Daishichi Sake Brewery’s master sake sommelier to talk to us about their intriguing KIMOTO sake.

Fukushima products have been in the news lately, but we’re happy to report Daishichi sake has had no damage. Nihonmatsu City is over 40 miles away from the nuclear plant, and their brewery is solidly constructed, including 12.5 inch thick concrete walls, keeping their sake in a very safe environment.

Thursday May 19th 6:30pm – 9pm
$77 (not included tax and gratuity)
You’ll also receive a gift from Daishichi as well as a gift certificate for 2 people from the Kitano for their jazz bar. ($80)

For Reservations, Please contact:
Manami: [email protected] or Tel: 212-885-7072

Space limited!!

This event is organized in cooperation with Sake Discoveries, LLC.


NYC: Sake Tasting at Big Tree Bottles

Sake Tasting (Free)
Big Tree Bottles
43 Bogart street (L to Morgan Ave)
Stop by anytime between 6-9pm

Oni no Shitaburui
Sanin, Tottori
Honjozo • Dry & Smooth

Light and smooth, this sake has a pleasant mineral taste. Subtle notes of grass and dusty earth with a long and lingering finish. A dry sake that is a perfect match for seafood.

Chubu, Yamanashi

Slight aromas of steamed rice and lychee fruit with well rounded velvety flavors of fresh cream. A light and sweet honjozo with great smoothness. Brewed from “Gozensui” spring water it’s known for “good taste, richness and beautiful fragrance”. Serve this sake warm or cold. Suggested serving at 100 degrees and below.

Plus Suishin Junmai Ginjo, Hana-Kohaku Plum Sake, and Kimoto Classic Junmai!

NYC: Premium Sake Tasting Event 2011 at EN

Premium Sake & Shochu Tasting Event 2011
presented by Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd. & EN Japanese Brasserie
* Open to the Public
* $40.00 per person in advance
* $50.00 per person at the door

For reservations, call 212-647-9196

May 21st, 3:00pm – 5:30pm

EN Japanese Brasserie-
435 Hudson St.
New York, NY, 10014


NYC: Fukucho Sake Tasting at Sakaya

sakaya.gifFukucho Sake Tasting at Sakaya

Event Description:
Sample Fukucho sake at Sakaya
Fukucho Moon on the Water Junmai Ginjo & Biho Junmai Ginjo (Hiroshima)

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