Monday, September 28, 2020

Celebrate Sake Day On October 1

On Thursday, October 1, raise an ochoko and celebrate Nihonshu no Hi, or as it is known in English, Sake Day

Sake Day originated over 40 years ago, in 1978, by a declaration of the Japan Sake Brewers Association and is now celebrated worldwide. Why was October 1 chosen? Interestingly, 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. It is probably also due, in part, to the fact that October is generally considered to be the official start of the Sake brewing season.

What will you do to celebrate Sake Day? Will you share a bottle of Sake with family or friends at home or a restaurant? Will you take time to learn more about Sake? Will you go to a wine shop and buy a Sake you've never tasted before? With the pandemic, celebrations will be a bit more low-key this year, with more virtual events, but you can still celebrate the holiday.

Let me provide some suggestions as to how you can learn about, experience and support Sake. These apply for Sake Day as well as every other day of the year. We need more Sake Lovers in the world!

First, if you want to learn more about Sake, check out my numerous educational posts at All About Sake. You'll learn about the basics of Sake, pairing Sake & food, Sake customs and legends, and much more. There are links to over 100 articles, so there is plenty to explore and learn.

One of my most popular Sake posts has unquestionably been An Expanded History Of Sake Brewing in the U.S. I conducted extensive research for that article, combing through numerous old newspapers and other sources to put together the most comprehensive history of the earliest Sake breweries in the U.S. This article even led to Tsuneo Kita writing a Journal article in Japan, referring my article and writing, "This paper would not exist without a blog of April 2015, written by Mr. Richard Auffrey. I express my sincerest appreciation to him." Continuing this historical element, I've also written a three-part article on The Origins & History of Sake, which further parts coming in the future.

Another very popular Sake article is The Science of Sake & Food Pairings, an exploration for some of the scientific reasons why Sake pairs so well with many foods. Sake works well with far more than just Japanese cuisine, and you'll learn there is a Sake for all cuisines and foods. Why not celebrate Sake Day by trying out a Sake pairing with your favorite foods?

Second, if you want some Sake recommendations, then please check out my Collected Sake Reviews, which has over 100 reviews of a diverse range of Sake. This is all an excellent starting point for your exploration of the wonderful world of Sake. Maybe you will have difficulty finding these Sakes at your local wine shop. You can send me a photo of the Sake selection at your local wine store and I'll give you my thoughts on which Sakes you should try. 

Third, the American Sake Association has created an extensive schedule of virtual Sake events to celebrate Sake Day. You'll find items such as a virtual tour of a Hawaiian Sake brewery, a cooking demonstration, a discussion of Sake glassware, a seminar with John Gauntner, and much more. Register online here, and it only costs a small $5 donation. This is an excellent opportunity to learn much more about Sake.

Fourth, do some Sake shopping! A new wine & liquor shop has opened In Malden, the Malden Center Fine Wines, which is connected to Ball Square Fine Wines. I've been impressed with this store and they have a very good selection of Sake at reasonable prices. There is plenty of diversity in their selections, and they sell various sized bottles as well. I've bought a number of Sakes here and been very pleased with what I've found. (Plus, their wine and spirits selections is also compelling and worth checking out.)

Fifth, invest in a local Sake Brewery. Todd Bellomy, former of Dovetail Sake in Waltham, is seeking investors for his new endeavor, the Farthest Star Sake brewery in Medfield. This would become the only Sake brewery in New England, as a few prior Sake breweries have closed. If you would like to invest, please find plenty of information about the project here. Todd is very passionate about Sake and I know many people enjoyed the Sake he previously made for Dovetail. 

What will you do to celebrate Sake Day? 

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