August 2007

True Sake In The News - Spirit Magazine, Market Watch, SF Chronicle

Posted by admin in 2007, August, News, Newsletter

sake in the news aug 2007The mission of sending out sake's siren call continues in whatever media outlet is smart enough to take notice. This month we got "picked up" by two extreme opposites - an In-Flight airline rag and a hard-core beverage industry publication. The first take is from Southwest Airlinesand is sort of funny, because I was interviewed for the piece but the way they wrote it makes it look like I wrote the thing! Basically they called and said where in the US should we drink sake and why? So I picked several spots that mean different things to sake! Since it is a short piece I will post a link here and then will add the text below.

The second hit was from a "Marvin Shanken" publication called MarketWatch, which is not available on-line - sorry! It is pretty much a trade rag for the wine, beer and spirits sector. And they did a very nice job covering the "angles" of sake in today's restaurant settings. "Sake's New Age" by Bridget Eldridge in the July-August issue. They used several of our store's photos and the usual suspects in the sake world get quoted, but I think that I spent the most time speaking with Bridgett so the take is heavily skewed to the True Sake impressions of sake. That said there are several glaring mistakes with some of the numbers that she aggregated.

Lastly, there is a summary of the Cocktail event that I spoke at in New Orleans in the SF Chronicle. This is a cocktail-centric event that flew me down to speak the gospel of a fermented beverage to those devilish distilled folks.


From Southwest Airlines - Spirit Magazine:Sake BarsThink sake is just sushi's sidekick? Think again. The finest rice wines require no accompaniment, taste best when chilled, and reward your palate with intense flavors that range from floral to fruity to nutty. Beau Timken, author of Sake: A Modern Guide (Chronicle) and proprietor of San Francisco-based spirits shop True Sake, has traveled the world in pursuit of the finest varieties. Here he shares four of his favorite spots to sip a modern vintage.

  • Ozumo (San Francisco) 
    With 85 different kinds of sake, Ozumo has the widest selection on the West Coast. Pine floors, cushioned banquettes, and soft lighting create an elegant setting for newcomers to try a flight—a sampler arranged according to intensity—for an instant education. Veterans should consider a rare bottle like Tedorigawa Mangekyo, limited to just 200 in the United States.
    161 Steuart St.
  • Shibuya (Las Vegas) 
    Visitors to the MGM Grand shouldn't skip Shibuya. Named after one of Tokyo's super-trendy neighborhoods, the bar's fittingly sleek design features traditional Japanese woodwork. The glass-walled sake cellar houses vintages from Hiroshima to Hokkaido. Ask Shibuya's full-time sommelier for a recommendation. I prefer sakes from the Niigata prefecture, the Napa Valley of Japan. Try the sushi with Shibuya's fresh wasabi grated straight from the root.
    3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
  • Sasaya (Los Angeles) 
    Designed with lots of exposed brick and wood, Sasaya is a cozy, comfortable izakaya—meaning "sake culture," but it might as well mean "sake pub." Ads adorn the walls promoting 16 sake varieties that change every six months. Order a dry, smooth Otokoyama or a sweeter, spicy Kikusui. If you're unsure, tell the bartender your favorite wine, and he'll give you a comparable recommendation. 'Izakayas are sake pubs where people go after work to relax—the Japanese equivalent of the bar in Cheers'
    11613 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Decibel (New York City) 
    Located in the basement of an East Village tenement since 1993, Decibel sells sake for common folks. Relax in the hip, unpretentious atmosphere while sampling recommendations from the sake-savvy waitstaff. I like the dry, light Suishin and the fragrant, full-bodied Umenishiki. An intimate bar setting, small tables, and generously poured servings make Decibel a perfect place to learn about sake without worrying about price or pretense.
    240 E. Ninth St.

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