Podcasts are excellent resources for learning new things, especially when it comes to breaking down a subject as diverse and complex as sake. From the production process to the history of different rice varietals, there’s so much to enjoy in learning about sake and there are podcasts that champion Japan’s national beverage with great content and insight.
Here are three essential podcasts for furthering your sake education and falling deeper into the nihonshu rabbit hole.
1. Sake On Air
The Sake On Air podcast helped to take my nihonshu nerdery to the next level with the wealth of knowledge that’s harnessed across every episode. Co-hosts Justin Potts, Christopher Pellegrini, Sebastien Lemoine, John Gauntner, Marie Nagata, Chris Hughes and Rebekah Wilson-Lye pour their hearts and souls into each episode and are committed to furthering sake as a category.
The podcast specialises in doing deep dive commentaries about a range of topics, which include shochu, awamori, sake brewing in different countries and the realities of working in a sake brewery. They welcome guests from all across the industry, such as tojis, sales representatives, brand ambassadors and enthusiasts.
Sake On Air is without a doubt the most comprehensive podcast you’ll find about nihonshu and you’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for drinking Japan’s spiritual tipple.
2. Sake Revolution
Interested in joining the sake revolution? Listening to Timothy Sullivan’s and John Puma’s podcast will definitely turn you into a sake revolutionary overnight. Sake Revolution is a fun, entertaining podcast that covers all aspects of the industry in a way that’s accessible for beginners and enthusiasts.
Episodes typically run for thirty minutes, with Sullivan and Puma packing plenty of detail into a short amount of time. What makes the podcast stand out even more is that the duo tackle sake by regionality and sprinkle in anecdotes from their personal journeys, adding even more entertainment.
Every episode ends with a sake tasting and a description of flavour profiles. This is delivered in a way that will up anyone’s tasting game and should be of particular interest to sommeliers and casual drinkers alike.
3. Sugidama Podcast
Sake can inspire people to do many things. For Alex Kirillov, it inspired him to become a sommelier, writer and podcast host with Sugidama Blog, a website dedicated to spreading the gospel of nihonshu in the UK and beyond.
The podcast has plenty of great content that helps to demystify sake as a beverage. What I particularly enjoy about the podcast is the delivery style and the depth of information that’s presented in a short time frame.
Kirillov’s enthusiasm is infectious and he does an awesome job of breaking down the more technical aspects of sake in an easy-to-understand format. I’d certainly recommend Sugidama Podcast for nihonshu novices and connoisseurs.