Category: Sake

Sake of The Mountain Gods: Ishizuchi Shuzo, Ehime Prefecture

On the shoulder of Mount Ishizuchi in Ehime Prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, perches a Shinto shrine. As with

John Gauntner: The Man Who Loved Sake

John Gauntner is the Julia Child of sake. No single individual has had a greater impact on the awareness of

A Long Awaited Journey

I have a confession to make. I have been drinking sake seriously for more than 18 years. I have been

When Sake Smells Fishy

Something unusual happened recently. Or rather several somethings in the world of sake. For the first time since 1998, the

Sake Day Celebration and Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

Japan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that

2012 Sake Day Celebration and Tasting: October 6, San Francisco

Japan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that

Sake Day Benefit Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

Japan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that

Drink Sake to Help Japan

We’re all watching with deep sadness and empathy the unfolding of the post-earthquake and tsunami tragedy in Japan. For those

The World’s Best Sake: Tasting at the Joy of Sake Soiree 2010

One of the public wine tastings I most look forward to every year doesn’t serve a single drop of wine.

Joy of Sake Tasting 2010: San Francisco 9/9, and NYC 9/23

I absolutely love the fact that we’ve reached a point in this country where I don’t need to explain why

Tentaka “Silent Stream” Junmai Daiginjo, Tochigi Prefecture

I’ll admit it. It’s probably been at least six months since I’ve had sake in my mouth. In part, I

The World’s Best Sake: Tasting at the Joy of Sake Soiree 2009

, which is the largest (and only?) sake competition held outside of Japan. Much to my continued delight, America seems

Joy of Sake Tasting 2009: September 10 – SFO, September 24 – NYC

I absolutely love the fact that we’ve reached a point in this country where I don’t need to explain why

Denshu Hyakuyonju “140” Junmai Daiginjo, Aomori Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray One of the main characteristics of Japanese is its vagueness. Language is culture, and Japanese helps

Chikurin Karoyaka “Lightness” Junmai Ginjo, Okayama Prefecture

In many ways, sake production and winemaking couldn’t be more different — from the chemistry to the differences in how

Kubota Manju (Junmai Daiginjo), Niigata Prefecture

When people often ask me how I “got into wine” I have a sense that they are expecting me to

Sake: Drinking, Serving, Storing and Enjoying

As many of you know, I have a thing for sake, after being introduced to the high-end stuff when I

The Joy of Sake 2008 Tasting: October 23, San Francisco

I absolutely love the fact that we’ve reached a point in this country where I don’t need to explain why

Sake Day Tasting: October 1, San Francisco

Japan has given many things to the world that I cherish, but few of them have an unofficial holiday that

Notes from the Manresa Sake Dinner

Last week, I was joined by an adventurous group of diners and drinkers for a completely unique meal at Manresa

Minogawa Shuzo “Koshino Omachi” Daiginjo, Niigata Prefecture

In the wine world, the grapes matter. Move past the varietal surface of wine consumption, and you’ll quickly descend into

Kamoizumi “Summer Snow” Nigori Ginjo, Hiroshima Prefecture

Review By W. Blake Gray Stop the presses — no, wait, this isn’t printed. OK, stop the Internet — I

Akitabare “Shunsetsu” Nama Honjozo, Akita Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray “Spring Snow” is a pretty good nickname for a sake because it sounds not just delicate

Sake Rice Matters: the Experts are Wrong.

By W. Blake Gray How much does the type of rice matter in sake? “Not much,” most experts say. But

Ohyama Tokubetsu Junmai Nigori, Yamagata Prefecture

We all understand the power of brands. There was likely a time for most Americans alive to day when we

Kamotsuru “Sokaku” Daiginjo, Hiroshima Prefecture

One of the fascinating and attractive things about sake breweries are their (usually) much longer and storied histories than the

Takasago Ginga Shizuku “Divine Droplets” Junmai Daiginjo, Hokkaido Prefecture

It is deep winter. The snows lay heavy on the mountains of northern Japan. Cedar trees hang sparkling, dusted with

Asahi Shuzo Dassai Niwari Sanbu “Otterfest 23” Junmai Daiginjo, Yamaguchi Prefecture

There is no real reason to attempt a comparison between sake and wine. Each are their own universe and deserve

Kamoizumi “Shusen – Three Dots” Junmai, Hiroshima Prefecture

In the world of sake, perhaps even more so than the world of wine, just when you think you’ve figured

Obata Shuzo Manotsuru “Yososaku” Junmai Daiginjo, Niigata Prefecture

Sake brewing has a long and storied history in Japan, and because of the island nation’s relative isolation, many breweries

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture

Many of us drink wine as a portal to a sense of place and time — to be transported through

Kikusui Funaguchi Ichiban Shibori Honzojo, Niigata Prefecture

I’ll admit it right off the bat: I’m a serious sake snob. I don’t mean that in the sense that

Tamanohikari Shuzo “Yuki Hiryo Shiyo Bizen Omachi 100%” Junmai Daiginjo, Kyoto Prefecture

I go to Japan to do three primary things. See beautiful crafts and architecture, eat amazing food, and drink sake.

Hananomai Junmai Ginjo, Shizuoka Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray Winemakers generally have more interesting stories to tell than sake master brewers (“toji”). Naturally, I’m here

Kurosawa Kimoto Junmai, Nagano Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray. “Keep refrigerated,” the labels say in English. So why do I keep finding these bottles of

The World’s Best Sake: Tasting the Joy of Sake 2007

I’ve currently got my man Blake Gray doing some writing here on sake, but that won’t stop me from writing

Okunomatsu Ginjo, Fukushima prefecture

By W. Blake Gray. I’m so frustrated, I’ve got drinkus interruptus. Or more accurately, blatherus interruptus. Here’s what happened: I

Dewazakura Dewasansan Nama Junmai Ginjo, Yamagata Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray It’s easy to taste the difference between wine grapes. But can you taste the difference between

Shirataki Shuzo Jozen Mizunogotoshi Junmai Ginjo, Niigata Prefecture

By W. Blake Gray. Shirataki brewery was founded by an innkeeper on a road through the snowy Mikuni mountains in

W. Blake Gray on Sake

Irrashaimase! Welcome to Sakography. (Rice-ography?) We’re in the golden age of sake on this planet: sake has never been better

2007 Joy of Sake Tasting: September 13, San Francisco

It brings me great pleasure to not even really have to explain why a sake tasting in San Francisco might