Sake tastings mark the arrival of fall

| Sep 21, 2012

Sake tastings mark the arrival of fall

by Melinda Joe

Sake lovers eagerly await the coming of autumn, when spring’s brash young brews begin to mellow and develop complexity. Unsurprisingly, this season is prime time for tastings, and October means sake events all over Japan. The wave of festivities kicks off on Oct. 1, ...

Staving off the bulldozers for one more round

| Oct 14, 2011

Staving off the bulldozers for one more round

by Julian Littler

Tokyo is roughly divided into styles and cliques. Neighborhoods delineate and categorize, often in keeping with the cool factor of their inhabitants: Omotesando, Aoyama and Harajuku for fashionistas; Shibuya for party kids; Koenji for earthy music fans; and Shimokitazawa for the vintage-tint rock-star social ...

Sake sisters are brewing it for themselves

| Jul 29, 2011

Sake sisters are brewing it for themselves

by Melinda Joe

For most of its thousand-year history, sake has been a man’s world. Even as recently as 30 years ago, women were forbidden to enter some breweries, but today’s pioneering lady brewers and brewery heads are teaching the industry to embrace its feminine side. As ...

Pairing tips from the sake experts

| Oct 22, 2010

Pairing tips from the sake experts

by Melinda Joe

What kinds of foods pair well with sake? The obvious answer is Japanese, but, as sake continues to expand abroad, industry professionals and consumers alike are discovering a whole new world of pairing possibilities for the brew. At the sake specialty shop Sakaya, in ...

U.S. sake lovers spread some joy

| Aug 27, 2010

U.S. sake lovers spread some joy

by Melinda Joe

For the first time ever, The Joy of Sake, the biggest sake tasting soiree outside of Japan, will bring its American brand of culture-crossing conviviality to Japan. On Nov. 2, the event, which originated in Hawaii, will be celebrating its anniversary in Tokyo. “It’s ...

Something new brewing for sake

| May 28, 2010

Something new brewing for sake

by Melinda Joe

When Kenji Ichishima, the sixth-generation head of Ichishima Shuzo in Niigata Prefecture, took over his family’s sake brewery eight years ago at the age of 34, he immediately started making changes. First, he drastically reduced the number of products. Next, he revamped the brand ...

Great coffee: It's all in the brewing

| Mar 26, 2010

Great coffee: It's all in the brewing

by Nicholas Coldicott

Espresso “has the potential to deliver more of the incredible taste and aroma of roasted coffee than any other method (of brewing),” wrote Jeffrey Steingarten, food critic for U.S. Vogue magazine. Science says the torrent of pressurized water captures more of the aromatic oils ...

Chocolate bars for whisky lovers

| Jan 29, 2010

Chocolate bars for whisky lovers

by Nicholas Coldicott

A tawny port pairs wonderfully with Stilton. Grand Marnier tastes great on vanilla ice cream. Chianti seems to suit a Margherita pizza. And whisky? Well, that goes with haggis. But haggis is a sheep’s stomach stuffed with a mash of its offal, and tastes ...

The spiritual side of making wine

| Aug 14, 2009

The spiritual side of making wine

by Felicity Hughes

Between the cold steel of enormous fermentation tanks and the state-of-the-art equipment in the tasting rooms of today’s modern wineries, it’s hard to believe that there is any element of the winemaking process that is not governed by the strict dictates of science. So ...