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Mar 8, 2014 08:40 AM

What's a good way to learn more about sake?

I like sake, but I don't know much about it. There are numerous Japanese restaurants near me and also lots of liquor stores, but I don't know where to start. What's a good book or website to start learning?


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  1. If you live in NYC, The shelves at Sakaya on E. 9th St. are filled with artisan bottles. I believe they have 150+ bottles. Sake is the only thing they sell. I'm sure they would be happy to educate and guide you.


    2 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        They sell some select shochu as well.

      2. I've found one of the best ways is to find a Japanese restaurant that will do sake flights. It was very helpful to have someone guide me through four or five small tastes of different types of sake side-by-side -- it made it easy to taste the differences between them.

        1. Depending on where you are; Izakaya are great ways to try different Sake and get some great small plates in the mix.
          Here are a couple in my area

            1. Here is a free, monthly newsletter with consistently interesting information: John Gaunter's Sake World Email Newsletter. His website also lists pamphlets you can buy/download.

              Also, Gaunter's book, The Sake Handbook, is an excellent resource (paperback, inexpensive.)

              Sakaya, as mentioned, is the best place in NYC for the range of sakes--and both Rick and Hiroko, the owners, can give you ideas about what to try, etc.

              Finally, another excellent online site us urbansake.com

              2 Replies
                1. re: penthouse pup

                  I second John Gauntner's books and website. I met him when I got into sake heavily back in the mid-90's. Then met up with him a few times in Japan 8-10 years ago. I learned so much that my brain felt like it was melting at times. But lots of premium sake helped... IN NYC look for sake events hosted by Timothy Sullivan. He's a certified sake master and teaches a lot. I'll try to remember to post about the next sake events in NYC I get invited to. The Japanese Consulate does several a year that I always go to.