Joy of Sake 2012 NYC!

Joy of Sake happens 3 times a year worldwide. We’re fortunate enough to have it here in NYC once a year. Last night (Thursday, September 20th) from 6-9pm more than 1,000 people gathered to try 359 different sakes and small dishes from 14 different restaurants.

Sakes were conveniently broken into category by polishing ratio:

Junmai 70% or less polishing

Ginjo 60-70%

Daiginjo B 40-50%

Daginjo A 40% or more polishing

These are also pretty much arranged by flavor profile since the more polishing that occurs, the smoother and more delicate the flavors will be. Needless to say, as a hardcore shochu drinks I spent most of my time exploring the Junmai and Ginjo tables. That’s where the most flavor comes through. I did manage to find, with the help of UrbanSake.com’s Timothy Sullivan and Rick Smith of Sakaya, a couple of sakes that had the dry, crisp finish of a shochu while retaining the sweetness and round mothfeel of a sake.

On the  basement Ginjo table that held most of the traditionally brewed sakes we found sakes with flavors ranging from fresh baked bread to hazelnuts. One other Junmai we found completely by accident tasted distinctly of strawberries.

While I’m a committed shochu drinker and still prefer that spirit to sake, I am gaining a deeper appreciation of sake with each of these events I attend. Joy of Sake is definitely the premier sake event in North America, reminding me once again why I love living in New York.

Kampai!

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