Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kanpai! Celebrate Sake Day On October 1

"O what an ugly sight the man who thinks he’s wise and never drinks sake!
--Otomo no Tabito

It is nearly that time again, the time to embrace and celebrate the multitudinous marvels of Sake. On Tuesday, October 1, raise an ochoko (or wine glass) of Sake and toast Kanpai to Nihonshu no Hi, Sake Day.

Thirty five years ago, in 1978, the Japan Saké Brewers Association declared that October 1 would hence forth be known as Sake Day, a holiday which is now celebrated worldwide, anywhere that Sake is drank and loved. It is much older than nearly all of the "wine grape" days which are now celebrated each year. Will you be celebrating Sake Day too?

Why was October 1 chosen? First, it is partially due to the fact that October is traditionally the start of the Sake brewing season. In addition, the Chinese character for Sake (酒) is very similar to the Chinese zodiac sign for the Rooster (酉), the tenth sign. Thus, the first day of the tenth month, October, became Sake Day.

If you want more information about Sake, you can start at my All About Sake page, which contains over 90 links to Sake educational articles I have written over the years, as well as lists of other Sake resources for additional reading. There are articles on basic Sake info to more detailed articles on pairing Sake with food. You can also check out my Collected Sake Reviews, covering over 125 Sakes. And if you have any Sake specific questions, feel free to drop me an email or contact me online.

If you want some advice on which Sake to buy at your local wine store, please email me a picture of the Sake selection at the local shop, or send me a written list of the bottles they carry. I'll then give you suggestions based on what is available to you. Though I can provide plenty of Sake recommendations without that, what I might recommend might not be available to you. So sending me a picture or list best allows me to customize the recommendations based on what you can buy.

There is another way to celebrate Sake Day which would also make me very happy. You could buy one or both of my Tipsy Sensei books, which are about a Sake expert in Boston who learns that legendary creatures out of Japanese folklore are real. The saga starts in The Tipsy Sensei & Others, which also includes 5 unrelated food/wine short stories, and continues in Demons, Gods & Sake, the first Tipsy Sensei novel. The next novel in the series, Hand Fed Tigers, should be published in October. All of stories have received very good reviews and if you own a computer, you can read the stories through the free Kindle Apps. You do NOT need an actual Kindle to read this stories.

I haven't decided yet how I will celebrate Sake Day, and I am thus still available to assist restaurants, wine shops or others with setting up a Sake Day event. If you are interested, please contact me to discuss. If nothing else, I will probably open a bottle or three of Sake, pairing it with my dinner, sharing the bottles with family and/or friends.

Follow the advice of Otomo no Tabito and be wise by drinking Sake. Will you celebrate Sake Day? If so,what will you do?

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