It's All About the FoodChristmas Baking with SusieJ

Recently in event Category

SakeFest! 2008

GR and I went to Sake Fest. Most memorable events: the catgirl, octopus salad from Fork, Gekkikan sake cocktails (a mohito and something with pineapple juice -- I'm happy to say I identified both the mint and the pineapple), crisp and fruity bubbly sakes, and best of all: dinner at the unfortunately named Lolitas on S. 13th.

Tasting wine makes me feel incompetent enough; it reduces me to the mantra of philistines everywhere: "I know what I like!" Sake just seems out of my league: I have few chances to try anything other than Gekkikan (I live in Pennsylvania, home of the most draconion liquor laws in the country). Additionally, I can't even distinguish between labels, let alone read them!

Sake Fest has been put on in past years, and seemed the perfect place to learn about sake. Its the perfect place to learn about new-to-you sakes if you are already comfortable with sake, but it was bad for a beginner.

There was no way for me to know what I was tasting or comparing. Each importer had their own printed material about the sakes they offered. There was an overall guide to all vendors and their wares, but it was merely a list -- not very useful. I eventually settled into a plan of tasting each table's cloudy sake to be able to compare apples to apples. At one table I just worked my way through four of their dryer sakes. (Turns out my cooking sake -- Fu Ki -- is dry. Who knew?) By the end of the night, I could apprecieate the difference between sweeter sakes and dryer sakes, and the cloudy (or milky) sakes. Of course, I liked the bubbly sakes.

Although the room wasn't packed, the tables were so small that it was a slog to get through and get a tasting cup. Attendees tended to get to the table, get a cup, stand right there blocking everyone else while tasting ... and get a taste of something else. Uniform materials about the sakes from each vendor would have been fabulous, especially if the material showed a picture of the bottle, the name in English, a general description (dry vs sweet), and a place for tasters to make notes. It could be part of the packet handed to attendees (drinkers?) with their fuschia wrist bands.

Honestly, I'd rather spend $55 on a few bottles and taste at home with friends!

    You can follow me @ChristmasBaking on Twitter.

    Powered by Movable Type 4.32-en