Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebrate Sake Day On October 1

Raise an ochoko of Sake, say Kanpai and toast the 35th annual Sake Day on October 1.

Sake Day ("Nihonshu no Hi") originated thirty-five years ago, in 1978, by a declaration of the Japan Saké Brewers Association. It is celebrated worldwide, though celebrations in many areas are still too sparse. Grape days, such as Cabernet Day or Chardonnay Day, which have only been around for a couple years, get far more publicity. But then they are often mainly driven by marketers. In addition, there is often very little reason why a Grape Day occurs on a particular date.

In comparison, there are good reasons why Sake Day was selected to be October 1. First, the Chinese character for Saké () is very similar to the Chinese zodiac sign for the Rooster (), the tenth sign, and October is the tenth month. Second, October is also traditionally the start of the Sake brewing season, which generally lasts into April.

This year, October 1 comes on a Monday, but feel free to celebrate the weekend before. If you do not attend a local Sake event, why not drink a bottle of two of Sake at home. Or set up your own tasting party with a group of friends. When drinking Sake, the traditional toast is "Kanpai," which is equivalent to “cheers” though it literally translates as "empty or dry cup." Its basic meaning though is a social one, "Let us drain our cups in friendship." Now isn't that a great thought?

If you want more information about Sake, I have over 200 articles on Sake on my blog, including educational articles and reviews. Many of those posts have been collected and listed on Passionate Sake. I also provide lists of other Sake resources for additional reading.

If you are worried about what foods to pair with Sake, check out my post The Science of Sake & Food Pairings. You'll learn that Sake is very food friendly, and there is a Sake to pair well with just about any type of food, from cheese to BBQ, from burgers to pizza.

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, they 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.

(Updated as of 9/27): What am I doing for Sake Day? On October 1, from 4pm-7pm, I will be pouring Sake at Thelonious Monkfish in Central Square, Cambridge. This is a restaurant that specializes in Sushi, Japanese & Thai food and their tagline is "Jazz for the Palate because we love to jam on Asian culinary themes." This will be a public event and everyone is welcome to come and taste some excellent Sake, good food, and learn about Sake.

I will be pouring six different Sakes, including: Murai Family Tokubetsu Honjozo, Manabito Kimoto Junmai Ginjo, Yuki No Bosha Junmai Ginjo, Wakatake Junmai Ginjo, Moon Rabbit Sparkling Sake and Momokawa Organic Nigori. Appetizers will be served, including: Handmade Chive Potstickers, Handmade Shrimp Potstickers, Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice, and Yum Fruit Salad. The cost of this event is only $25, which includes tastes of all 6 Sakes plus appetizers. This will be a fun and tasty way to celebrate Sake Day so I hope to see you there.

I am also working at Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet in Melrose this weekend, on Saturday from 3pm-7pm and Sunday from 12pm-7pm. Come by and let me help you select one of the Sakes we carry, and there might even be a Sake tasting too.

There is another way to celebrate Sake Day which would also make me very happy. You could buy one or more of my Tipsy Sensei stories, which are about a Sake expert in Boston who learns that legendary creatures out of Japanese folklore are real. I have three stories currently available, including: Yurine's PotThe Ghost of a Ninja, and The Fox & The Katana. 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 am also currently working on Tipsy Sensei #4, titled Demons, Gods & Sake, and it will be a full length novel. Progress is going very well and it is possible that the novel could be published before the end of the year. And there will be more stories in this series to come.

So raise a glass or two (or more) of Sake and celebrate the 35th annual Sake Day! If you have something planned for Sake Day, please tell me in the comments what you will be doing.

No comments: