| Oct 14, 2001

Nagano gives Niigata some stiff competition

Cold air blowing down from the Japan Alps. Clear water from rivers of melted snow. Fresh country air. Great rice. When it comes to the basic requirements for brewing good sake, Nagano Prefecture has them all covered. And it shows in the quality of ...

| Sep 30, 2001

Kame no O dreamin'

Kame no O is a sake rice that has recently become popular with a number of brewers around the country. While it may not lead to the elegant, refined and lively fragrances and flavors derived from that most hallowed (yawn) of sake rices, Yamada ...

| Sep 16, 2001

Technology improves the old grinding stone

Over the years, every step in the brewing process has been subject to a barrage of so-called technical advances. More often than not, though, these modern technologies are not as good as the traditional methods they replace. Some developments save so much time, labor ...

| Sep 2, 2001

Standing out in the crowd: the joys of tachinomiya

Tachinomiya hold a special position among drinking establishments. There is something about standing while drinking that puts a whole new spin on the sake experience. What such places lack in serenity they more than make up for in value and fun. Naturally, most tachinomiya ...

| Aug 19, 2001

The little brewery that wouldn't die

Since time immemorial sake has been brewed only in the winter. But in the last 40 years or so a handful of the nation’s breweries pioneered shiki jozo (year-round brewing), cranking out sake in large, climate-controlled factories. For various reasons, only the largest breweries ...

| Aug 5, 2001

The perfect shape for sake

The question of what vessel to use when drinking sake is an important one. Not only do the shape and size affect how flavor and fragrance are presented and emphasized, but the appearance and feel of a vessel also influences the overall experience. The ...

| Jul 22, 2001

Gifts from the 'god of sake'

Throughout the history of sake brewing, there has been a handful of individuals who have had a huge impact on the craft in the form of technical developments or discoveries. One such benefactor of brewing was Professor Kin’ichi Noshiro of Kumamoto. Hired as a ...

| Jul 8, 2001

When your number's up . . .

Although all that you will ever need to know about a sake is contained in one, intention-laden sip, sometimes the technical mumbo jumbo can be fun to study as well. The industry always seems to offer one more piece of information every few years, ...

| Jun 24, 2001

Juttoku covers all the bases

Juttoku comes close to being all things to all people. Although it has been around for 20 years, it doesn’t attract too much attention, sitting quietly on the edge of the concrete jungle of Shinjuku. A sugidama, that cedar ball heralding good sake times ...

| Jun 10, 2001

Sake gold standards shifting

Last week, on May 30, the Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyo Kai, or National New Sake Tasting Competition, was held in Hiroshima. This year 1,133 sake that made it through the nine regional competitions were tasted blindly by a panel of government-employed, highly trained judges. Out ...