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 the new Astor Center Facility. “The Study” is one tricked out classroom folks! It’s really a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility… a dream for both students and teachers alike! Each student gets a workstation with individual sink, and an individual lightbox for judging color. Also included are stadium seating, three overhead widescreen TVs, so everyone gets a perfect view.
Last but not least, the slideshow system comes equipped with a dynamic student response system. If you put a multiple choice question or rating on a slide, the students can reply using a handheld remote and the computer gives an instant view of the replies. it’s cool!
The class itself was 36 people strong. Here is a quick overview of what we covered in class:
- what is sake
- sake ingredients
- sake production process
- tips for serving and tasting
In addition we also tasted 5 fantastic sakes. they are:
Urakasumi Junmai: This is a classic example of a Junmaishu. Firm, full bodied and full rice in the nose.
Hakkaisan Ginjo: One of my very favorites! This sake is the poster child for a Niigata Ginjo. aggressively clean and balanced.
Rihaku Nigori: The sake that launched a 1,000 nigori fans. This sake has the perfect texture to show students what Nigori is all about.
Wakatake Nama: Spring Namas have yet to hit the shore, so fall namas are our fall-back til spring. I like this nama by Wakatake in Shizuoka Prefecture. Full forward flavor with a touch of zing and full fruit.
Dassai 23: What can I say. I just didn’t feel right having a sake class without letting students taste a masterpiece. Dassai 23 was a hit and understandably so. complex and layered with hints of fruit and a touch of a dry finish. A true show stopper.
Important Note: As a bonus for Urban Sake readers, you can get two tickets for the price of one for the February class. please use Promo code “ACWelcome” when buying your tickets!!