Sunday, June 14, 2009

Announcing WBW #59: Homage to Kushi no Kami

This month for Wine Blogging Wednesday we will pay homage to Kushi no Kami. And who is Kushi no Kami? It is an ancient name for the god of Saké and for WBW #59 we pay homage to this unique beverage. Saké was once referred to as “kushi” which translates as "something mysterious or strange." To many people, Saké still is mysterious and strange but I hope to unveil some of that mystery and reveal its wonders.

Saké, also known as “rice wine” or “nihonshu,” is a beverage that I believe in taste, style and food compatibility most resembles wine. It is an incredibly diverse beverage with a wide range of styles and flavor profiles. You can find everything from Sparkling Saké to Koshu, aged Saké. Almost everyone should be able to find some type of Saké that will appeal to them.

The traditional Saké toast is "Kanpai", a rough equivalent to "cheers" though with a deeper meaning. This Japanese term literally translates as "empty or dry cup" though it really means "Let us drain our cups in friendship." Saké is very much a social drink.

For this theme, all you have to do is to conduct your own kikishu (“Saké tasting”) by selecting any Saké and reviewing it. You will earn bonus points if you review multiple Sakés of different styles or types. For example, you could compare a Ginjo to a Daiginjo or a Honjozo to a Junmai. You will also earn bonus points for pairing Saké with food.

Where can you find Saké? First, there are three all-Saké stores in the U.S. where you can shop or order online. These include True Saké in San Francisco, Sakaya in New York City, and Saké Nomi in Seattle. Plus, your own local wine store may carry some Saké.

If you want more information about Saké, then check out my blog, especially my posts from January 2008 when I did a month-long special on Saké. A few of posts that might be of interest include Types of Saké, Saké & Food, and Saké Tasting. You can also check out the Saké links on the left side of my blog.

You have until Wednesday, July 8, 2009 to post your review. Please email me a link to your post at If you don’t have your own blog, put up your review as a comment on this blog. I hope that existing Saké lovers share their love for this fine beverage and newcomers to Saké learn something, and maybe find something new to enjoy.

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