If you love Japan, love sake, and can be in New York on Wednesday, there is a great event that you should attend: New York Loves Japan.   Over 100 different kinds of sake will be served.  More info at www.nylovesjapan.com.

Green River Sake

Here’s a nice review of Green River Sake by Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie: http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2011/04/green-river-sake-consumer-friendly.html.

Many sake breweries in Japan were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Some were completely destroyed.  However, many others were fortunately unaffected.  This story on bloomberg.com talks about the impact and offers some suggestions on sake to buy to help support the breweries.

There are some nice photos of Tsukinowa Brewery in Iwate, Japan at http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs/executive-style/2011/03/sake-production-in-japan.

The tasting event at Sake Nomi the other day was a lot of fun.  Kjetil Jikiun, Tore Nybø and Haldor Berge came all the way from Norway to share their sake with us.  Unfortunately, this was our only opportunity to enjoy it until the distributor works out some issues — it’s currently not available for sale in this state.

Nøgne Ø brews all styles of their sake with a Yamahai moto, meaning their yeast starter is made in a more traditional fashion which does not include the use of lactic acid.  Instead, lactobacillus is allowed to grow in the starter and procude the lactic acid naturally.

I commented to Kjetil that even though the sake came from a Yamahai, starter, it didn’t have as much of the more earthy, wild, even gamey aroma and flavor that many Yamahai posses.  To me this was a positive thing, but he said he’s trying to get more of that flavor into his sake.

Easily the most unusual and interesting sake we tasted an intentionally sour sake.  It was brewed using a single addition or single step, more like the process used for brewing beer than the ubiquitous three step method used by sake brewers today.  The result reminded me of a marriage between sake and a Belgian sour ale.  I thought it was delicious, but my neighbor at the bar disagreed.  Not a sake for everybody or every day, but a new and quite drinkable variation on the theme.  Great to see somebody trying new things in sake.

Here’s an interesting story about SakeStory, a sake importer based in Kirkland, WA: http://www.portfolio.com/business-news/2011/03/17/importers-worried-about-sake-business-following-japan-earthquake.

Our hearts go out to all in Japan who have been hurt by this terrible tragedy.

A nice survey of the Bay Area sake scene in the SF Weekly: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-03-09/restaurants/sake-true-sake-off-the-grid-corkage-sozai-kasumi-ippuku-nombe-chotto-ozumo-takara-sake/.

Just got the latest newsletter from sake-world.com and noticed the new and improved Sake Dictionary iPhone app.  It looked pretty cool, and for only $0.99, I figured what the heck.  For such an affordable price, it’s pretty impressive.  It has nearly 200 terms defined and an audio pronunciation of each.  John Gauntner put this together, and as always has done a great job.  Check it out at http://itunes.com/apps/sakedictionary.

Nogne-o, a brewer of beer in Norway that has recently began brewing sake, will be offering their sake at a tasting at Sake Nomi in a couple weeks.  Here are the details from the Sake Nomi newsletter:

We hope you will join us Saturday, March 19, for what promises to be a very unique and historic saké tasting event, when we host brewmaster Kjetil Jikiun from Norway’s Nogne-o, Europe’s sole saké brewery.

Kjetil and some of his colleagues will join us from 2 to 6 p.m. for an “open house” tasting of 5 different saké not yet available in the U.S. It will be a great chance for you to ask questions about the brewing process and give Kjetil & crew some valuable feedback regarding their saké.

Admission will be $5/person, and even that will be waived with any purchase from the shop.

Sounds too good to miss!