ASK BEAU” – “Where did the Sake Challenges go?”
Let’s go back before we go forward. Roughly 8 years ago I started taking sake bottles to western restaurants to break the sake must only be consumed with sushi paradigm. It was great fun paying corkage (There is very little “cork” in the sake world) and taking all types of sakes to American, Italian, German, French, Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, etc etc restaurants to watch the magical powers of sake blend and enhance dishes that folks would never imagine pairing with. I called it a “challenge” but sake almost always found a home at whatever ethnic dining table I would visit.
These excursions became so popular that the SF Chronicle sent a writer to cover me in action at a higher end Mexican restaurant and then the floodgates opened. I had lots of sake personalities asking to go on some challenges to try mainly their sakes in action. Different importers, distributors, educators, authors et al asked to tag along and it was quite fun. We learned a great deal. And we were all in it together, preaching the gospel that sake goes great with all types of cuisines.
Now everybody is doing his or her own challenges of sorts and I think it’s great. There are so many players out there continually trying to kick down the door of perception that I decided to take a pause. The sake community is funny in that people try to be the first at something or discover something new (I guess this is similar to the wine or beer world) and I felt that my Challenge had run its course.
Two years back I changed my very in-depth and detail write ups to summarizations to keep the reader’s attention. And today with “Blog” land I have been instructed to keep the Newsletter shorter, so the first casualty was the Sake Challenge. But alas the Challenge has spurned a new idea for me at the store. I want to start to accumulate customer’s individual favorite pairings that they do on their own and share that with other customers. One thought was a weekly white board that people could write their pairing successes for others to see. We get many folks coming in to ask what we would recommend to pair with this or that and then there is no follow up! Did it work? Was it awesome? Would you like to share?
So Casey, the short answer is the Sake Challenge has gone into hiding and the True Sake Posse Pairing Board or The Sake Pairing Club white board may be in the store the next time that you visit. And yes we give discounts to those who like to share with others, so dust off your sake and Western and Japanese food pairing books
Please send your sake specific questions to askbeau2 @ truesake.com. (This address is not for general questions and I only review the questions once per month. All other correspondence should use info @ truesake.com.)