Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saké Sunday: Poetry & Saké Tasting

Alcohol has often been a muse for writers and poets, so enjoy some Saké related poetry.

A poet in 8th century China named Li Po, known as Rihaku in Japan, loved Saké and his motto was: “I drink a whole bottle, and pen a hundred poems.

Ōtomo no Tabito, a Japanese poet contributed thirteen tanka, short poems, in praise of Saké to the Man'yo-shu (“Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”), the oldest imperial anthology of Japanese poetry. Here are a few of his poems, which are more like one-line quotes.

"To keep silent and act wise is still not as good as drinking sake, getting drunk, and weeping."

"Don’t think about useless things—
You should be drinking, it seems to me,
A bowl of raw sake."

"Rather than be a so-so human being, I’d like to be a sake jar and get steeped in sake."

“O what an ugly sight the man who thinks he’s wise and never drinks saké!”

A beautiful fire,
And some beautiful sake,
How warming it is.
A haiku by the Japanese poet Yamaguchi Seison


This Thursday evening, February 11, from 5pm-9pm, Central Bottle will turn their weekly wine bar into a Saké bar. Come join Michael Simkin, Saké expert, as he leads a tasting of four brews from the Ichishima Brewery. See how they pair with Italian cicchetti!

I had the pleaure to meet Michael previously, as well as to taste through the Ichishima line-up. Michael currently consults with some breweries to help get their Saké introduced into the U.S. market. He also runs numerous seminars, acting as a Saké ambassador. He will be sure to answer whatever questions about Saké you might have. For more information and some tasting note on the Ichishima Sakés, please see my prior post.

I will be going to this Saké Bar and hope to see you there too.


robm said...

How kewl, a sake tasting! As much as I like sake I do have trouble deciphering the genre, and something like this might help.

Richard Auffrey said...

Yes, Michael is a very knowledgeable person and the tasting should be lots of fun.