Sake production, literally from the ground up

| Jul 13, 2012

Sake production, literally from the ground up

Planting rice is no easy task. It requires patience, sturdy legs and, preferably, a change of clothes. I had, however, neglected to make note of this final detail before embarking on the Karasuyama Taiken (www.karasuyama-taiken.jp) rice-planting excursion, organized by Shimazaki Shuzo sake brewery, in ...

Wine Challenge brings sake contest to Japan

| Jun 8, 2012

Wine Challenge brings sake contest to Japan

At 9 a.m. on the morning of May 28, the 40 judges who had been invited to arbitrate in the 2012 International Wine Challenge sake competition convened in the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association building in Tokyo’s Shinbashi district. Conversations in English and ...

Mandarin Oriental stands by Japan produce

May 11, 2012

Mandarin Oriental stands by Japan produce

Every day, crates from Japan filled with still-wriggling live fish, coral-colored lobes of uni (sea urchin) and seafood fastidiously wrapped in paper smeared with wasabi (to discourage bacteria) arrive at the Michelin-starred French restaurant Amber at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Executive chef Richard ...

Do girls just wanna have weaker sake?

| Apr 13, 2012

Do girls just wanna have weaker sake?

When it comes to sake, I consider myself something of a traditionalist. If anything, my tastes veer toward the masculine: I tend to favor ricey, muscular styles like kimoto and yamahai over a delicate daiginjō. Funny, then, that I should find myself enjoying a ...

Tohoku's sake breweries one year on

| Mar 9, 2012

Tohoku's sake breweries one year on

The narrow, winding road that leads to Senkin Shuzo, a small sake brewery in the tiny town of Iwaizumi, Iwate Prefecture, is icy and treacherous. The train lines that used to connect Iwaizumi to Morioka, the nearest major city, were closed after landslides dislodged ...

New to sake? Here's where to start

| Feb 10, 2012

New to sake? Here's where to start

“Is it always this crowded?” I ask a happi-coat-clad clerk at the Meishu Center sake shop in Hamamatsucho, as she pours me three glasses of sake from hefty, 1.5-liter isshōbin bottles. “Well, it depends on the day, but Friday nights are usually busy,” she ...

Raise a sake cup to Chinese New Year

| Jan 13, 2012

Raise a sake cup to Chinese New Year

I’ve already started planning my dinner menu for the Chinese New Year on Jan. 23. Like many Chinese people around the world, I look forward to the lunar New Year with great excitement. My love of this holiday has nothing to do with dragon ...

Local brewery brings sake to Toronto

| Nov 11, 2011

Local brewery brings sake to Toronto

Toronto’s Distillery District, located on the site of the now defunct Gooderham & Worts Distillery (which was once the largest whisky producer in the world), is a charming enclave of restored brick buildings housing upscale boutiques, cafes and galleries. When Ontario Spring Water Sake ...