- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; Notations edition (September 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 188065637X
- ISBN-13: 978-1880656372
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,797,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sake Pure + Simple Paperback – September 1, 1999
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About the Author
Griffith Frost is Chairman of the International Sake Institute. As CEO of SakeOne, near Portland, Oregon, he oversaw the creation of the first U.S.-brewed premium sake.
John Gauntner lives in Japan and writes frequently on sake connoisseurship.
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Top Customer Reviews
O-sake! Keep in mind that new sakes come out annually and so the names of many of the sakes listed in the book are long gone. However, many of the breweries mentioned have newer products available. A few of the sakes mentioned are still available as well. I order mine from Specsonline.com, which is a distributor in Houston, Tx.
The only critical review of this book is by someone who prefers 'warm' sake. Certainly, some sakes are best enjoyed in heated form. But EVERYONE knows (talk to anyone from Japan) that the premium sakes, especially daiginjo varieties, are best chilled and I prefer mine refrigerator cold, about 38 degrees F.
Every summer is a summer of sake for me! Kanpai! or Sugoi! as the authors suggest as an alternative sake toast.
While only one out of every hundred glasses of "wine" served in the US is sake, if you look world wide it's one out of every five glasses. That's a staggering number of sake drinkers out there! The US is slowly catching up in their appreciation of this rice wine with its delicate flavors.
The book provides a wealth of information in a fun, easy to read format. For example, did you know that premium sake is virtually hangover-free? That's because the impurities that cause hangovers - called cogeners - are polished away from the rice grains in those higher end sake. Also, sake doesn't use sulfites, another cause of headaches for many wine drinkers.
Many sake bottles have a "born on date" on them - for good reason. Sake does not last forever. You generally want to drink a sake within a year of its date. Also, most sake is best appreciated cool. You can best taste its delicate flavors that way. Yes, in the wintertime the Japanese do warm up some sake to help fight off the winter chill, sort of like mulled wine. Even then, though, they are only warmed to about 102F. They should never be "hot". Think of heating up your Chardonnay - all you would taste then would be the alcohol fumes!
The book is part information, part tour guide. You get a list of sake bars, sake retailers, sake websites and even sake breweries in the US where you can visit and watch the process live.
The small size makes it easy to carry with you when you're out on a road trip, to figure out where to stop next as you hunt down sake locations.
Down side? I can get a fair number of sake from the stores around me, and pretty much NONE of them were the ones mentioned in this book. The only ones the book had that I'd seen were the ultra-cheap Gekkeikan. I'm not sure if they were writing about sake available on the West Coast which we don't get on the East Coast, but I found that very odd.
Still, there is a lot of great information here, including how to taste and throw a tasting party, recipes, and more. A perfect way to get into the world of sake and broaden your horizons!
Since reading the book I have begun drinking some of the author's recommendations cold, instead of scalding hot, and the taste is so pleasant and goes down easily (perhaps to easily). In the three weeks since buying the book I now have served sake numerous times with friends, once the fear of the unknown subsides, everyone has had a great time tasting various flavors and brands.
The authors pit themselves against each other at times to defend their opinions and it is a refreshing way to learn more about sake. I am ready for a newsletter or a continuously updated sake` web site from these competent author's.
There are suggestions of what foods to eat or serve with sake (no, not sushi!) and several recipes. I also learned a neat factoid: the standard Japanese toast, "Kampai!," is written with two kanji characters, "dry" + "cup," with the obvious meaning of "drink up!"
As Japanese Food Host at BellaOnline, I'm happy to find a resource whose focus is brands of sake that are available to American readers. My only quibble is that not all the brands mentioned toward the rear of the book (where there's a list of what the names mean) are otherwise described or rated. I'd like to have seen more!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To truly enjoy the flavor of sake, it *must* be warmed.Read more