International Sake Day and I partially celebrated by tweeting a deluge of information and trivia about Sake. I used the opportunity of Sake Day to educate people about Sake, an under appreciated, exciting & delicious drink. I believe I was successful as I received numerous positive comments and thanks for my tweets.
So this once again raises a question I addressed a month ago, Do We Need Grape Days? My own thought was that the lesser known grapes, wines and drinks are more in need of a special day than such common ones like Cabernet and Chardonnay. Those lesser known ones often are under appreciated and need champions to promote them. People should learn about those grapes and wines, to broaden their horizons and knowledge base. Sake fits that category and many know little about it, so I tried to teach people about it, to give them reasons to want to try Sake.
But events like Cabernet Day and Chardonnay Day were not specifically intended to be educational. I raised the question whether they were merely marketing ploys and in the comments to my prior post, Rick Bakas denied such and stated that: "If you think Cabernet Day is about promoting Cab Franc and Cab Sauv, it's not. It's about community. It's about challenging traditional wine media publications to show how we too can reach and influence wine drinkers on a large scale just like they can. This is new media vs. traditional media."
So, events like Sake Day apparently have a different purpose, to educate and promote something that many people have not yet embraced. It is still very much about community, especially in creating a greater community for these less common beverages, yet the end goals are a bit different. Though I also see events like Sake Day as a challenge to traditional wine magazines too, just on a different level.
The mainstream wine media often marginalizes these wines, rarely covering them. That is where bloggers can step in, and give much more coverage to these worthy wines which inhabit the shadows. Let us show how the blogger community can bring these wines to the light, and accomplish something that the wine magazines do not. That would show the power of the new media.
I inquired as to whether Rick had ever participated in Sake Day before, though he never answered that question. Rick did state in his comments: "If you think you can do it better, step up and do it. I'll support your efforts." Well, though I was not trying to do it better, I did promote and support Sake Day once again this year, but I am unaware of anything Rick did to support Sake Day. So consider me somewhat disillusioned with Rick's desire for "community," unless he is the one to organize the specific grape day. And that only makes me less motivated to support his grape days.
I love Sake for it's beauty, purity, complexity, subtlety, diversity, history, savoriness, culture, & simple deliciousness. I want more people to drink it, to experience its wonders, to promote and support it. To do that, more education is necessary, and I am doing my part in that regard. That is the same situation with many other under appreciated drinks, from Sherry to Greek wines. People need to learn the wonders of these fine drinks, to comprehend the reasons why some people do love these wines so much.