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Kuramoto US Sake Promotion Event

A Sake Industry promotion company called "Kuramoto US" recently put on a sake tasting event at the fantastic Kitano Hotel. Twelve Sake breweries were featured at the tasting, many bringing their precious and fresh Namazake for us to try. That…
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Sake 101 at The International Restaurant Show

In March the International Restaurant Show was held at the Javitz Center. This year a large Japanese pavilion was featured and I was lucky to be asked to speak at the event. I held a Sake 101 lecture and spoke alongside Monica Samuels and…
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Washoku -Try Japan’s Good Food (and Sake!)

The Consulate General of Japan in New York recently hosted a reception at the Ambassador's official residence to promote the "Washoku -; Try Japan's Good Food" campaign. On a very snowy afternoon in February, press, chefs and guests were…
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Kubota Night at Sakagura

After my fun Kubota Adventure at Decibel, I didn't want to miss the Kubota event at Sakagura! This time I was in for one of my new favorite sakes...Senshin Junmai Daiginjo!! Today, Sanjo-san, visiting from the brewery that makes Kubota, was serving a special and beautifully presented Kubota Junmai Daiginjo set. This set included Kubota Manju Junmai Daiginjo, Tokugetsu Junmai Daiginjo, and last but not least Senshin Junmai Daiginjo.
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Kubota Sake Tasting at Decibel

In early February, on the night of one of our awful winter storms this year, I trekked over to Decibel to attend a fantastic Kubota event. They weather was storming, but I followed by Sake Samurai Motto: Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays the sake samurai from the swift attendance of their appointed sake tastings.
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Akira Organic Sake in New York!

I was lucky enough to attend some wonderful and cutting edge sake events this past week. What makes them cutting edge? One word: Organic.
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2009 Fall Akita Sake Tasting

If you can count on one thing, I would say it's that the folks involved with the Akita Sake Club know how to throw a sake party! It's that time of year again, and I was lucky enough to snag an ticket to the wonderful and fun Akita Sake Club…
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Naraman Sake Tasting at Sake Hana

When Sake Hana talks, people listen! or at least rabid sake fans listen. I was happy to be on the Sake Hana email list to get a notice about a special event being held in their little sake hideaway. Scott, Chizuko-san and I made our reservations…
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Fall 2009 Wine of Japan Sake Tasting

The good sake times keep rollin' people! What is it about the Fall that delivers so many wonderful sake-rific events?! Must be the start of the sake brewing season that gets everyone's sake mojo flowing and the events underway. I'm all…
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“Underground” Sake Tasting at Decibel

I was lucky enough to hear about a true "underground" tasting at Decibel, the much beloved downstairs sake bar in the East Village. The vibe was very much a Japanese speakeasy crossed with a flash mob. It was crowded, but fun to see all the…
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A Sake Night to Remember III: Daishichi!

Sake Sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton, Founder of Sake Discoveries, recently held her third official sake party. Known as "A Night to Remember", Chizuko-san introduces those lucky enough to get a ticket some wonderful and usually hard to find sake.
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Sake Invades Union Square

Union Sq Wines & Spirits doesn't showcase sake very often, but when they do, it's a doosie! I recently attended their late summer 2009 "Sake Brewer's Showcase". It a jam packed collection of the best sake from Five different importers: World…
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Cup Sake Event at Soba Totto

On July 16, 2009, Kanpai NY and Soba Totto co-sponsored a "Cup Sake Matsuri" with UrbanSake.com at the Soba Totto Bar. The event was part of "One Cup Sake" week here on UrbanSake.com. We had a great turn out and sold out all the cup sake they had!
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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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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.
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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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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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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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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…
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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.
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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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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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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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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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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.…
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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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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…
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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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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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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…
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Elements of Sake Class Filling Up!

There are currently only 5 seats left for my Feb 18th Sake Class at Astor Center! If you want to get in on this class please Click Here to sign up soon! Also, there is a special coupon below that is good for this February 18th class only! Here…
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Prestige Sake Tasting: Ogre Achievers

I've never met a real, live Ogre before today, but I have to say I was surprised how nice and photogenic he was. I would say downright friendly! ...And any Ogre that is passing out sake is a friend of mine! I met my new "Oni" friend at…
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Kikusui Tasting at Sakaya

Sakaya has started the new year off right with weekly free sake tastings! On a recent evening, Representatives from Kikusui Brewery were on hand to explain about there sakes and sample some special sakes just for the occasion. Kikusui is…
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My Sake Class at Astor Center

One of the more exciting opportunities I've had recently to preach the gospel of sake is teaching the first of several "Elements of Sake" classes at the brand new Astor Center in New York's East Village. What a thrill! First, a word about…
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Sake Lecture at NYC Anime Festival

I got an email out of the blue from a gentleman asking me if I would be interested in holding a lecture on Sake at the December 2007 NYC Anime Convention at the Javits Center. What does sake have to do with Anime? Well the organizers of the…
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2007 Golden Masu Awards

The Blogosphere has been abuzz lately wondering about the winners of the 2007 UrbanSake.com Golden Masu Awards. I know people were concerned that 2007 would draw to a close without the sake blogging world's highest honors being bestowed…
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Sake Diplomacy

Attending a sake tasting at the Japanese Consul General's private residence was a unique experience. Upon arriving, we went through security and found ourselves in the grand foyer of a town house that looked like it belonged to a robber baron…
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“We Love Sake” Takenotsuyu Tasting

After my morning and afternoon of sipping and spitting sake at the Kyoto Sake Samurai sake tasting, I dashed off to Chion-in Temple by Taxi and tried to find my way to the sake tasting dinner. My hosts were gallantly looking for me on the vast…
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Kyoto Sake Samurai Sake Tasting

Day 2 of the Sake Samurai events had me up early to head off to a very large sake tasting connected to the Sake Samurai Association. I felt pretty good after last night but was in for a long day of tasting... and we were starting early - 10AM!…
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Sake Samurai Ceremony

On Oct 19th, 2007, my first full day in Japan, I had the honor of being named a Sake Samurai by the Japan Brewer's Association's Jr Council. Ok, this experience was definitely once in a lifetime. The day started with my arrival by taxi at…
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Sake Samurai!

Tomorrow, I'm leaving on a jet plane for my first ever trip to Japan. That statement, in and of itself, is exciting. However, when I think about why I'm going to Japan, words can't quite express what I feel. In short, I've been invited…
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Happy Happy Joy Joy!

The Joy of Sake event is the highlight of New York's annual Sake week. It's the largest sake tasting event outside of Japan and a definite "Don't Miss" on the sake circuit. At Last year's Joy of Sake, I was an innocent newbie, untrained…
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Chanto Kickstarts NY Sake Week 2007

Sake week in NYC is upon us. And boy oh boy, did I find an event to kick it off in style! This evening brought me back to a new favorite spot of mine - Chanto. Just like my last visit to Chanto, they offered up an amazing triple play for…
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Stateside Sake School

Sake education is hard to come by in the US. I've been anxious to learn as much as I could about sake, but beyond reading books and going to tastings, there have been few opportunities to learn in a classroom setting - until now! On August…
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Summer Fun with the Akita Sake Club

Our Friends over at the Akita Sake Connoisseurs' Club hosted another gathering to celebrate summer and to celebrate some awesome Akita Sake. Thanks to their efforts, Akita sakes are getting even more props in New York. One of the wonderful…
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Sake Hana Hosts Dassai

Our friend Toshi at Sake Hana was host to another Late Night tasting devoted this time to the fantastic Dassai brand sakes from Asahi Brewery in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The July 20th tasting was indeed late - starting at 11pm, but in the name…
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Life is Short: Eat Dessert First

I first heard of Kyotofu back in October when they provided yummy tofu desserts for a Landmark Sake Seminar. They were a few weeks away from opening at that point, but I made a note to visit when I got the chance. That chance arrived when…
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Niigata Nocturne

Toshi over at innovative Sake Hana (265 E. 78th St. Bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave.) surprised me again with a notice about a "late night" sake tasting. The timing was definitely off-hours being 11pm to 1am but it was a really fun idea! I've often been…
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Bring Your Own Sake

After my friend Nell heard about all the fun we had at the International cyber-sake tasting, she suggested another event: an at-home B.Y.O.S. (bring your own sake) tasting. Bring Your Own Sake events are such fun - you never know what the…
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Akita Sake Connoisseurs’ Club

From all the pictures I've seen, Akita Prefecture is a place of great natural beauty and they make some pretty darn good sake, too. I was thrilled when I heard about a tasting that would focus specifically on the sakes from this Prefecture.…
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Sake Bloggers of the World Unite!

Question: What would you get if all the sake bloggers in the world had a tasting of the same sakes on the same night? Answer: Why, you'd get the World's First Cyber Sake Tasting, that's what! Working with my sake blogging friends Valerie…
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Nanbu Bijin Tasting

One of the most interesting and truly educational sake tastings I've been to this season was the amazing Nanbu Bijin event at the wonderful Sake Hana (265 E. 78th St, 212-327-0582). The Nanbu Bijin was a brewery little know to me thus far…
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I Think I CAN… I Think I CAN…

I recently had an opportunity to return to our only local Izakaya outpost here in Chelsea. Newly re-named "Izakaya Ten" (207 10th Ave, 212-627-7777, formerly "Anzu"), this place has undergone thoughtful updates both inside and out. The first…
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Landmark Sake Seminar – Oct ’06

The Sake retailer closest to my house, Landmark Wine & Sake, was hosting another afternoon sake tasting seminar. The last one I attended in April '06, was great, and I knew this one would be, too. Mr. Kazu Yamazaki of the Japan Prestige…
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Love, Love Me Do – Sake Week Day 6

Ok, we're now entering the home stretch of NYC Sake Week '06. Day 6 was centered around a wonderful event at the Japan Society called "For the Love of Sake". The evening started with a lecture by the restaurateur and star chef David Bouley.…
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Fire and Ice – Sake Week Day 5

For the record, I wasn't hungover from the Joy of Sake event last night... Maybe a touch dehydrated, but no worse for wear. Hmm... if i'm dehydrated I had better get some liquids in me right away. Luckily, Landmark Wine and Sake had scheduled…
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Ode To “Joy” – Sake Week Day 4

I've been looking forward to the 2006 Joy of Saké event for a whole year! In a nutshell: I wasn't disappointed. It was an awesome evening of great food, wonderful people and above all - a chance to taste scores of delicious and unique sakes! The…
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Yamagata Extravaganza – Sake Week Day 3

NYC Sake Week '06 continues... for day 3 we're off to Yamagata. Stunning En Japanese Brasserie hosted a beautifully curated tasting of 60 sakes all from the well known production region of Yamagata prefecture. The lounge of EN was set up…