Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sake News: Sake Class, Kasu & Tell A Story

1) Want to learn more about Sake?  Then you can do so at my upcoming "Chilling With Sake" class at the Boston Wine School on Wednesday, March 16, at 6:30pm.  This will be an interesting and fun introduction to the realm of sake, covering diverse topics such as sake history, the brewing process, sake types, rituals & customs, terminology and much more.  We will taste through a number of sakes, as well as enjoy sushi.  Don't be intimidated by sake any longer.  Instead, arm yourself with the knowledge you need to safely navigate a restaurant's sake menu or a wine store's sake selection.  Hope to see you there!

2) "With Sake Rice, Nothing Goes To Waste."

The above article is in the Japan Times and was written by Makiko Itoh. "Makiko Itoh is the author of "The Just Bento Cookbook" (Kodansha International). She writes about bento lunches at and about Japanese cooking and more at"

It is a article worth reading which discusses the many uses of kasu, the sake lees, in cooking. Using it to make a marinade is the most common use, and the article offers advice in how to create your own marinade.  The article even takes a detour, discussing the use of sake and mirin in Japanese cooking, looking into the science behind their use and how these alcohols affect food. You'll learn how they can counteract the gamy tastes of meat and seafood, as well as use their umami to enhance the flavors of other foods.  There is plenty of good info in this article so check it out.

3) The New York Times has a lengthy article about sake, and its theme mirrors what I have written about before, that if you want to sell more sake, tell a story.  The article, In Las Vegas, a Good Story Helps Sell Expensive Sakes by Jeff Gordinier, discusses how restaurants and retailers are selling some very expensive sake, using the stories behind the brew as a sales pitch.

Henry Sidel, president of Joto Sake, stated: “There are no brands if there aren’t stories. With our portfolio, I’ve focused on brands that have stories.”  As sake can be so intimidating, consumers need some way to identify with it.  Stories can be a fun and intriguing way to get consumers interested in sake.  That is not so different from wine, where a fascinating story can lead to more people buying and trying a wine. 

The article then ends with a list of New York restaurants with good sake lists.

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