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Cup Sake Guest Post: Todd Bellomy

I first met Todd Bellomy in 2007 when he contacted me through my website with a friendly email. Todd is a cool guy who is fluent in Japanese, a master beer brewer, and a gifted home sake brewer. Todd has always been so generous with his…
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Japan’s Cup Sake Smackdown!

Did you know that there is a cup sake competition held each year in Tokyo, Japan? It's like the Oscars of one cup sake and every year a new winner emerges to claim the champions "cup"! The award is actually shaped more light an old time-y…
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Interview: Maki Osugi, Cup Sake Blogger

I first discovered Maki Osugi's 'One Cup Sake' Blog, bq69 collectibles, when I was searching the internet looking for any information I could find about Japanese one cup style sake. You can't imagine my surprise when I wrote to Maki-san and discovered he spoke fluent english! Below is the interview!
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Urban Sake Interviewed on MTV Iggy!

I recently attended a fantastic sake event sponsored by Nishimoto Trading at Megu Tribeca. I got Interviewed by MTV and below is the result. I'm the only one in the whole video without subtitles! Check it out: mtviggy.com |…
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NYC: UrbanSake.com ‘One Cup Sake’ Night at Soba Totto

'One Cup Sake' Matsuri at Soba Totto UrbanSake.com and Kanpai NY are pleased to present... One Cup Sake Night at Soba Totto on Thursday July 16th at 7:00. Please join us as we celebrate One Cup Sake Week (July 13th - 19th) on UrbanSake.com…

John Gauntner’s Ebook: Sake’s Hidden Stories

I recently downloaded John Gauntner's new ebook "Sake's Hidden Stories". John is world famous as "the sake guy" and if anyone has the insight to find the behind the scenes scoop on the reclusive sake world, he does. This ebook was a great…

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‘One Cup Sake’ Week Promo

'One Cup Sake' Week is coming to UrbanSake.com. Below is a quick promo video I made to promote all of our Online events during 'One Cup Sake' week. Want to try One Cup Sake in Person? UrbanSake.com and Kanpai NY are pleased to present……
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Coming Soon: “One Cup Sake” Week 2009!

Join me online from July 13-19 as we celebrate "One Cup Sake" in the USA. I'll be posting daily "One Cup Sake" reviews, videos, articles, interviews & more! It's gonna be big...
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Niigata Sakes at Sakaya

Mr. Ataru Kobayashi was found at Sakaya last week pouring samples of two of the fantastic Niigata sakes he imports through his company SENA Niigata Sake Selections. Kobayashi-san is an eloquent advocate for sake from his home prefecture of Niigata. You can really feel his passion for sake and that passion comes through in the sakes he selects to import.

More Beau Timken on WineLibrary.tv!

Check out more of our man Beau Timken of San Francisco's TrueSake.com schooling WineLibrary.tv's Gary Vay-ner-chuk about all things sake. Great Job Beau!! Check out Part 1 if you missed it! a-may-zing!! let's hear it for Sake!

Beau Timken Touts Sake on WineLibrary.tv!

Fellow Sake Samurai and all-around sake superstar Beau Timken of San Francisco's TrueSake.com helps WineLibrary.tv's Gary Vay-ner-chuk to learn more about sake. Not to be missed - part one of two! Check back soon for part two!
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Wakatake & Shiratake Tasting at Astor Wines

The first time I met Brewmaster Mr. Hibino, I found myself a little lost in translation and deep in the heart of Shizuoka Prefecture visiting Oomura Sake Brewery, home of the famous Wakatake Onikoroshi brand. This time, however, we were on…
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Sakaya Sake Shop on Eat Out NY!

Our friends Rick and Hiroko, owners of NYC's only all-sake store Sakaya, were recently interviewed by Eat Out NY's exuberant host Kelly Choi. Rick and Hiroko are media pros at this point having scored spots on Tokyo TV, NY1, and now this! I…
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007 on Sake: You Only Drink Twice

I recently saw a 1967 Japanese-themed James Bond film "You Only Live Twice" for the first time. This film takes place mostly in Japan and involves a complicated plot about an evil mastermind trying to provoke nuclear war between the Soviet…
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June 2009 Sake & Food Pairing Class

It goes without saying that I really enjoy teaching sake classes at Astor Center! June started off with our super fun 'Sake and Food Pairing' class. This class takes a walk on the wild side of sake and really goes in search of some of the…
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Japan Society Sake Tasting ’09: Koji Power

It's becoming an delicious yearly ritual in my sake tasting routine: The annual Japan Society Sake Tasting and Lecture. Just as in 2007 and 2008, I was eagerly awaiting this year's tasting.
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Niigata Sake Selections Tasting

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a litte thing for sake from Niigata prefecture. That first brew that enchanted me years ago, Hakkaisan, hails from Niigata and I've kinda been smitten by this region ever since. You can imagine my…
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Sake In the News

Sake is always the number one story with me, but other media outlets have been featuring a lot of news on Nihon-shu, too. Here is a quick roundup of some interesting sake stories making the news recently: Miho Fujita, president of the Mioya…
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Joto Sake Brewers at Lan

Joto Sake importers recently held a sake tasting at LAN restaurant in the East Village. Best part was, the Brewers themselves were there to introduce their sakes. When people ask me what they can do to learn more about sake, I always encourage them to attend events just like this one. Talking directly to the people who make the sake is one of the best ways to learn. Let's check out the Joto sake!
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A (Sake) Night to Remember!

Most of the time, I'm years behind the curve when it comes to knowing the newest, coolest and most secret places to eat and drink in New York. This week however, the gods of New, Cool and Secret were smiling upon me
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Kimono Clad and in Time Out New York

Imagine my surprise when Food and Drink writer Michael Anstendig alerted me to the fact that my kimono-clad picture was featured on the Time Out NY website! I recently attended a fantastic sake event and I will post a full report soon.…
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Joy of Sake Aftertaste 2: Balance & Harmony

The folks at Joy of Sake don't just stick to their one mega sake tasting event each year. Lucky for us, they also have smaller get togethers they call "Aftertaste" events, each usually focused on a new sake-related theme. Last June, I attended…

Upcoming Sake Event with John Gauntner

There is a great event coming up that you don't want to miss! It's the annual Japan Society Sake tasting and Lecture on Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 PM . This year, the "sake guy" himself, Mr John Gaunter is coming to the US to lecture on that mystical…
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April ’09 Elements of Sake Class

I recently enjoyed teaching my Sake 101 class at Astor Center! The class is referred to as "elements of Sake" and that is really true! We break down what the basic classifications are, what to look for when tasting sake and we review the sake…
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Dassai at Momokawa Restaurant

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.

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.…

Shichi Hon Yari Sake Tasting

My bedroom radiator has a drip that drives me crazy. Sometimes at night, I lay awake and can hear the drip, drip, drip. I know I've got to get it fixed, but I've never gotten around to it. The only way I can calm my nerves when I hear this drip is to close my eyes and think of "Shizuku" sake.
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March 2009 Sake 101 at Astor Center!

Last Tuesday was my latest class at Astor Center, teaching the "Elements of Sake" Class. It was a blast! The class was sold out and I was lucky to find myself in front of a room of students anxious to learn more about sake! My goal at each…
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Ume No Yado Sake Tasting

Have you ever gotten a call from a long lost friend and picked up right where you left off without missing a beat? That's exactly how I felt after getting re-acquainted with some delicious sakes from Nara's Ume No Yado brewery. Sakaya recently sponsored a tasting of four delicious Sakes from this well known brewery.
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Elements of Sake in Skyward Magazine

I think any trip to Japan and back would be exciting, but traveling back and forth every day? Well, believe it or not, I've been getting the opportunity to jet back and forth to Japan, but I'm forced to ride in the Seat pocket in front of you... that's right, my Elements of Sake Class at Astor Center is featured in February's issue of Japan Airlines "Skyward" in-flight Magazine!
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Sake in the News

Sake is always the number one story with me, but other media outlets have been featuring a lot of news on Nihon-shu, too. Here is a quick roundup of some interesting sake stories making the news: Philip Harper, Japan's only foreign Toji…
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Hakkaisan Vertical Tasting at Sake Hana

Nobody was more excited than me to learn that Sake Hana was hosting my beloved Hakkaisan Brewery for a "vertical" tasting of their sake. From Futsu-shu up to Junmai Daiginjo... we were going to taste it all. So, you can imagine, I was psyched! This…
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Las Vegas Sake: Shibuya Restaurant

A quick overnight trip to Las Vegas this past weekend for a friend's birthday left me very little time to explore the sake scene in Sin City. That doesn't mean, however, that my stay was totally nary a nip of nihon-shu.

Top 5 Sakes for Valentine’s Day!

I'll let you in on a little secret, if you're looking for something to make your Valentine's Day spark, look no further than Sake. If you are trying to capture the heart of someone new or impress your current love, you'll be surprised by what a little Nihon-shu can do!
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Teaching Sake 101 at Sake Hana

Last night I had the great pleasure of teaching a Sake 101 class for the fine folks at Sake Hana. Arranged by Manager Toshi-san, the class was the second in a series of instructional classes that were requested by Sake Hana Customers.
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Sakaya Tasting: Naraman and Shichiken

Tonight Sakaya hosted a fun and informative tasting to allow sake fans to try two fantastic sakes side by side - and also both warmed and chilled. The results were really interesting to say the least.
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Cold Weather, Hot Sake!

Tonight was freezing in New York! What an inspired idea then to enjoy some warmed sake. This versatility is one of the real secret weapons in the sake world. Sake can be fantastic both warmed and chilled. People often think sake should…
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January’s Fun Elements of Sake Class

Last night was my first sake teaching gig of the new year and we had a really fun Elements of Sake class at Astor Center. We were sold out to capacity and the weather was damp and drizzly, but students arrived excited and happy to learn more about sake.
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Sake Blogger Summit ’09!

What do you get when you mix Tokyo Foodcast Sake Bloggers Ted and Etsuko, Jocelyn and Carlos from the You, madam, are no Ambrose Bierce blog, Bloggers Rick and Hiroko from New York's SAKAYA Sake Shop, Scott and yours truly from UrbanSake,…
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New Year’s Eve 2008 at Sakagura

I love New Year's Eve tradtions... but I really love a New Year's Eve tradition that involves sake! No problem for me, as I've got one! Scott and I have made it our tradition to head to Sakagura Restaurant each New Year's eve to celebrate in true style and luckily for me, this year was no exception!
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2008 Golden Masu Awards

With 2008 coming to a close it's only natural to want to look back and ponder the best sakes of the year. In other words, it's time to announce the 2008 UrbanSake.com Golden Masu Awards! Let's honor those sakes that stood out from the pack and made 2008 the best year for sake yet.
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Top 5 Sparkling Sakes for New Year’s Eve

This year, try something new to tickle your nose as you ring in the new year. Sake seems to be the eternal up and coming underdog, but to be honest, the selection of sparkling sake available in the USA has never been better. Referred to in Japanese as "happo-shu", sparking sake undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, just as champagne does, so you won't miss a single bubble with the switch from grapes to Sake.
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Japan 2008: Tomita Brewery & Shichihonyari

Ok, Pop Quiz!!! Name one attraction of note in Japan's Shiga Prefecture... Stumped? Well, I was too, until my visit to Tomita Brewery, located in the small town of Kinomoto, Shiga Prefecture.
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Japan 2008: Tamanohikari Brewery

Arriving in Kyoto always brings back special memories for me. this was my original destination on my very first trip to Japan. It goes without saying that it's a beautiful and historic city, but on this visit I was able to discover another…
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Japan 2008: Marumoto Brewery and Chikurin

My first trip to visit Marumoto Brewery can only be described as spectacular. Makers of the famous Chikurin Brand of sake, Marumoto brewery is nestled beautifully in the low rolling hills of Okayama Prefecture. Brewery President, Mr. Marumoto explained that the brewery was founded in 1867 at the end of Edo period and has been producing sake since then. However, this brewery isn't just famous for it's sake. The wooden framed brewery complex is registered as an "Important Cultural Property" by Japanese goverment, similar to the National Register of Historic Places here in the US.
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Japan 2008: Hakkaisan Brewery

My next stop on my Japan 2008 tour was a special one! I was headed for the birthplace of the sake that sparked my interest in Nihon-shu in the first place: Hakkaisan Brewery in Niigata. Longtime readers of my site will know that it was Hakkaisan's Junmai Ginjo sake that got me so addicted devoted to sake.
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Japan 2008: Asahi Shuzo

Next on my whirlwind trip to Niigata was a visit to Asahi Shuzo, makers of the world renowned Kubota Brand of Sakes. I was given a tour of the brewery by Mr. Masamichi Sanjo, who is in the export sales division at Asahi Shuzo.
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Japan 2008: Kikusui Sake Rice Harvest

My next stop on the Japan 2008 tour was taking me by Shinkansen to northern Niigata Perfecture, specifically to Shibata city, home of Kikusui Brewery. As you may know, Kikusui imports the much loved Kikusui Funaguchi Honjozo and the delicious Kikusui Junmai Ginjo.
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Japan 2008: Fukumitsuya Brewery

Day 5 in Japan started early with a trip out of Tokyo. I met Fukumitusya Brewery export salesman Mr. Yageta at Tokyo Station and we boarded the train for Ishikawa Prefecture. Although he’s usually stationed in Tokyo, he was kind enough to travel with me all the way to Ishikawa. Fukumitsuya Brewery is located in Kanazawa City. This small town on the sea of Japan is sometimes known as “little Kyoto” because of the number of historical attractions found here.
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Japan 2008: Wataribune Brewery

Day 4 of my Japan trip takes me on another sake adventure. This 2008 sake tour is starting to pick up speed and the shinkansen has left the station. This time, I'm headed to Ishioka city in Ibaraki Prefecture to visit Takaaki Yamauchi,…
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Japan 2008 Sake Summit, Act II: Kumpai

After a lovely morning sake tasting and tour at Oomuraya Brewery, the intrepid Shizuoka tour guide extraordinaire, Robert-Gilles led Melinda, Etsuko and myself onward to another Shizuoka sake maker. Kumpai Brewery is a small sake brewery…
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Japan 2008 Sake Summit, Act I: Wakatake

My next day in Japan was too full to fit into one blog post, so here is Act I! Of course, I'm referring to the 2008 Sake Blogger's Summit held this year in beautiful Shizuoka Prefecture. Forget the G8, we're talking about the Sake 4: Etsuko…
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Japan 2008: Sake Club Okanaga

"Membership Has It's Privileges", or at least that is what Amex says. You know, I've gotten through life pretty well without being a member... and I don't just mean Amex. I'm talking no Fraternity, no food co-op and I've never even owned a…
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Japan 2008: One Cup Wonder – Sake Bar Buri

I was a man on a mission. This was only my second trip to Japan, and I had my priorities clearly defined. What was my number one top priority upon arriving in Japan? Catch up with friends? Eat Sushi at Tsukiji Market? Commune with nature…
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Japan 2008: Let the Journey Begin!

Watch this space for soon to be published Reports from my Recent trip to Japan! I visited many Breweries and rode the shinkansen from one end of Japan to the other (almost). There were a ton of new experiences for me... I harvested sake…
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Sake 101 for Anime Fans

I had the distinct pleasure of giving a sake 101 lecture again this year at the New York Anime Festival. Faithful readers of UrbanSake.com will remember my big adventure last year at this event, where I was totally unprepared for the raucous…
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Joy Joy Joy Of Sake 2008

The annual Joy of Sake event is the mother lode of sake tastings brought right to our backyard. In the span of 3 hours, there is more sake, great food and enthusiastic drinkers than you can shake a stick at. Best of all, there are tons of…
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JFC New York Sake Expo ’08

JFC is a well known importer of Sake and Japanese food stuffs and I was delighted to recently attend their Fall '08 New York Sake Expo! As I traveled from table to table at the Expo, I met some very interesting people, and some very interesting…
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Winebow Importers Brings You Sake

Winebow is a importing company that focuses mostly on bringing great Italian Wines to the U.S. Of late, they have made a move into the world of sake! Currently importing two diverse portfolios, one from Akita and one from Niigata, more sake…
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Viva Akita! Viva Genshu!

The Akita Sake Club has come a long way, baby! The most recent event was held again at the Japan American Association offices in Midtown and was the Club's 6th meeting that celebrates the sake from Japan's Akita Prefecture. In addition to…
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Sake Profile: Dassai 50 Junmai Ginjo

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!
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Hokkaido Hits the Big Apple

Hokkaido is the northern most island of Japan, a huge place with lots of agriculture, open spaces and cold winters. It's capital is Sapporo which calls to mind another certain alcoholic beverage more so than sake in the minds of most folks.…

Sake Bars Featured in the New York Times

Compared to the coverage wine and beer get in the mainstream media, sake coverage often trails far behind. Every once in a while, though, sake gets its moment to shine. According to UrbanSake.com headquarter's scientific calculations, sake…
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Sakagura Hosts Joto Sake

New York City is crowded, loud, humid and dirty. Why on earth would anyone want to live here? For me, the answer is easy. Where else in the U.S. can I get such easy access to top notch sake tastings?! A recent event I went to was simply fantastic…
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Prestige 2008 Summer Sake Tasting

Prestige Sake Association Importers had another wonderful tasting event to introduce sakes in New York. This time, the focus was on an array of summer nama sake along with two outstanding breweries in the Prestige portfolio: Umenishiki and…
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Edo’s Bravest Inspire Kagatobi Sake

Where's the Fire? Well, for the coolest dudes in Edo-period Japan it was where ever you would find the Kaga-tobi, or the Kaga Clan Firemen. These firefighters were viewed by the general public as masculine and tough but above all they were…
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Sakagura Yuki No Bosha Tasting

I recently attended a small but spectacular tasting at my dear Sakagura restaurant. It was an evening dedicated to Sake from Saiya Sake Brewery, maker's of Akita's well regarded Yuki No Bosha brand. Saiya Brewery President Kotaro Saito-san…
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A Delicious Umami “Aftertaste”

The yearly "Joy of Sake" event is the Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding of sake tastings. It easily wins, hands down, the title of largest sake event in the U.S. It's huge, sprawling and a lot to take in... over 300 sakes at one event. I was surprised…
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Nishimoto Tasting in Midtown

On a beautiful early summer day, I took off from work and headed to a sake tasting hosted by the fine folks at Nishimoto Trading Co., a sake importer of some very fine sake. The event was up at the Bryant Park hotel but located downstairs…
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Sake Samurai Tasting

I was lucky enough to be invited to host another "sake samurai" tasting at Sakaya, New York's ONLY all sake store. It's really fun when I get to meet people and introduce them to some of my favorite sakes one on one! This time, we focused…
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A Taste of Niigata

Niigata is a special place for sake. Not quite sure what makes it special... some say the water, some say the snow, some say the climate, but when it comes down to it, above it's the taste. If anyone can help us unravel this mystery, it's…
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Brilliant Jade Shines at Sakaya

With weekly tastings going on at Sakaya, there is a lot to taste and enjoy! It's hard to keep up with all the goings on, but I will give the old college try. A recent highlight was Tamanohikari a.k.a. "Brilliant Jade". It was a wonderful…
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Spring Akita Sake Celebration

Sake from Akita has some rabid fans. And I understand why - I'm becoming one of them myself. I really woke up to this fact after attending the recent Akita Sake Club tasting event held at the Japanese American Association of New York. This…
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Sakagura Ohanami Tasting

Sakagura's Spring fling, their annual "ohanami" tasting event, was one of those events that reminded me how I fell in love with sake in the first place. in a nutshell there were 1) fantastic, lovely people. 2) fantastic, lovely food and, last…
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Different Daiginjos at Sakaya

Our friend Rick Smith of New York's only all sake Shop, Sakaya, recently held a tasting devoted to Daiginjo. I found this tasting to be interesting on many levels. Instead of opting for a "vertical" tastings where one might compare three grades…
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Prestige Sake Tasting: Spring Awakening

I was thrilled to recently get a close up look, and taste, of the latest offerings of Prestige Sake Imports. There was another rich array of selections from some of the best Prestige has to offer. Three breweries in particular were featured:…
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Introduction to Chikurin

I was so honored and excited to recently meet Mr. Niichiro Marumoto, President of Okayama Prefecture's Marumoto Sake Brewery - makers of well regarded Chikurin brand of sake which is imported by Joto Sake. I met Marumoto-san twice on his last…
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Cha-an Namazake Hanami

Ok, one thing I've certainly learned in my pursuit to understand even a little bit about Japanese culture over the years is that the Japanese sure do love their cherry blossoms. There is even a specific word for the activity of "flower viewing"…
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Brewers Invade Sakaya!

April has seen an influx of very interesting sake brewers visiting Sakaya. This is always really exciting! The brewers are my Superstars - they are as close to the brewing process as you can get and they make the magic happen. Here are some…

Elements of Sake Class

Here is information on what to expect in class - we always have fun! The Elements of Saké is a fun, informative and tasty way to dive into the world of premium saké. We'll walk you through every step of the saké production process…
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Japan Society 2008 Sake Tasting

The Japan Society yearly tasting event is a real hum-dinger and one of the true not-to-be-missed events of the sake social calendar in NYC. This year was extra fun as Sake Sensei and all around great guy John Gauntner was going to lecture on…
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Chizuko-san’s Nama Tasting at Sakaya

Sakaya has been having some great tastings! A recent enjoyable afternoon was spent visiting with Chizuko-san, our friend and well known Sake Sommelier at Sakagura. Chizuko-san was introducing us to 3 sakes that are perfect for the coming spring. The…
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Jetro Sake Tasting

In early March, The Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) held an industry tasting event and lecture called "Japanese Jizake: Artisan Sake Tasting at the Ambassador's Residence." This really fun event was held at the official residence…
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Love ya, Kyo-ya

I recently went to Kyo-ya (94 East 7th Street, 212-982-4140) and I have to say, it was one of the best Sake-food pairing restaurants I've been to in a while. This place rocks. The first sake we tried was a fantastic Born Muroka Nama Genshu…

Urban Sake Facelift

Ok, I'm man enough to admit when I've had a little work done. Nobody wants to look frozen in a time warp and Urban Sake is no exception. Today we're launching our new website design with lots of new features. Check it out: Upcoming Events…
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Kaiseki Birthday at Kai

The Kaiseki dinner is food's answer to the japanese tea ceremony: elegant, rarefied and focused on every detail. Scott took me to just such a dinner for my birthday this year. He chose Kai Restaurant above Ito En Tea store on Madison ave.…
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Teaching Elements of Sake at Astor

I recently taught my second sake class at the new Astor Center. I have to say, we had a really fun night! The students were enthusiastic, interested and asking some great questions. Since this was my second class in "the study" classroom and…
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Samurai Tasting at Sakaya

What: Tim Sullivan Samurai Tasting When: Sat. March 8th, 2-4pm Where: Sakaya (324 E. 9th Street) Why: It's free and fun and delicious! Please stop by if you can to sample some fantastic sakes that have a connection to the Samurai Spirit. I've…
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Sakaya’s February Tasting Roundup

My friends Rick and Hiroko at Sakaya (324 E. 9th Street, 212-505-7253) have a fantastic and seemingly endless parade of superior, and FREE tasting events happening at their Sake Shop. If you haven't yet, be sure to check their website to learn…