There are certain days throughout the year that bring excitement. Birthdays, Christmas and holidays come to mind. And then there are more obscure events like World Sake Day. Held every year on the 1st October, World Sake day celebrates Japanese alcohol. Having developed a taste for sake in 2019, this is the first time I’m celebrating it.
A year of building knowledge
What’s exciting for me is to look back on where I was a year ago. In October 2018, I didn’t know anything about sake. In October 2019, I’ve become hooked on the stuff! A lot of this has to do with how complex the industry is and the amount of craftsmanship that goes into making sake.
It all started when I decided to attend a sake evening class in March at the Northern Wine School in Manchester. The class was held by certified sake sommelier, John Callow. I remember trying a few different blends like honjozo and junmai ginjo and enjoying the taste. The way John spoke about sake was educational and entertaining. It inspired me to want to find out more about nihonshu and taste more styles.
From there, I discovered other sake experts like John Gauntner, Christopher Pellegrini and Justin Potts. Listening to their thoughts on the Sake on Air podcast has been extremely informative.
As part of my descent into the sake rabbit hole, I’ve reviewed several types of sake:
- Akashi-Tai Honjozo Tokubestu
- Bizan Clear Shochu
- Cel-24 Eternal Spring
- Genbei-San No Onikoroshi
- Ninki-Ichi Gold Junmai Daiginjo
- Mio Sparkling Sake
- Akashi-Tai Shiraume Umeshu
- Nizawa Atago No Sakura
- Nakajima Shiroku Yuzushu
- Grape Shochu Highball
- Kannoko Barley Shochu
Looking to the future
Like everything in life, improving my sake knowledge is an ongoing journey. I know I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there. But in the coming years, I’m going to challenge myself to learn more about Japan’s alcohol industry and help to promote sake to a wider audience.
Whether you’ve been drinking sake for years or have only just discovered it, I hope you celebrate World Sake Day 2019 in style. Kampai!