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I’ll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections

Episode 278 of I’ll Drink to That has been released, and features Monica Samuels of the importer Vine Connections.

This interview covers a lot of ground concerning the sake world, from styles of sake to methods of production to terminology to the historical and current market for the product. There is a lot of discussion of sake in the context of restaurants: how to pair sake, how to serve sake, and how to potentially find more success selling sake. But the cool thing about this episode is that Monica’s personal story is so intertwined with what she is saying that the discussion never becomes obscure or tedious. Listening to this interview is an easy way to feel like you have learned a lot about sake without having to have been bored to get there. And there is a lot in there to learn from, consider these quotes from Monica in the interview:

“The premium sake boom didn’t really happen until post-WWII.”

“Most sake that we drink the U.S. is clear and colorless, but sake actually comes out of the tank looking like fresh press olive oil: there’s definitely a pale lemon green color to the sake.”

“Sake is clean and refreshing…I’d much rather see sake near the rosés in the wine list or a retail store. Because I think it is summertime, it is hot outside, have a crisp, refreshing glass of sake.”

Guaranteed this interview will have you thinking more deeply about sake. Even if you are straight up into wine, this interview will show you aspects that you already feel familiar with in a new light.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine