Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saké Sunday: Saké & Nature

I have previously rhapsodized about the beauty of Saké names. They seem so much more evocative than the names of many different wines. And Saké names often have a close connection to nature, which appears a common element of Japanese culture. This conjunction of beauty and nature extends even further in the realm of Saké.

The Japanese even have terms for drinking Saké at particular times, especially when nature is involved. Here are a few examples.

Tsukimi-Zake: This is drinking Saké while observing the autumn moon.

Yukimi-Zake: This is drinking Saké while watching the snow falling.

Hoshimi-Zake: This is drinking Saké while observing the stars.

Hanami-Zake: This is drinking Saké while watching the cherry blossoms.

Why aren't there similar terms for drinking wine under such circumstances? Are we less close to nature? Or is our language just more restricted? Is it something we don't really consider? When is the last time you sat watching the stars as you sipped wine? Do you make an effort to drink wine while watching stars? Are there any natural events where you commonly drink wine?

Honestly, I probably don't consider wine under those situations too often. If it occurs, it is more a matter of circumstances than intent. I might be sitting out in the yard as night falls, sipping a wine. I did not plan to drink wine with the stars in the sky, but I just happened to be there. But maybe I will start considering it more.

How about you?

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