The world’s largest sake-tasting event outside Japan returns to New York on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the city. This year, The Joy of Sake will feature a record 384 premium labels for New Yorkers to sip and savor along with a delicious array of sake appetizers prepared by 15 of the city’s top chefs.
The annual event showcases an unparalleled selection of junmai, ginjo and daiginjo labels in peak condition. Nearly half are ultra-premium daiginjos, made from sake rice milled down to its innermost core. And 223 of the sakes are not available in the U.S.—except at The Joy of Sake. This year, 172 sake breweries from 39 prefectures in Japan and three states in the U.S. are participating in the event.
All the sakes were submitted as entries in the U.S. National Sake Appraisal, which is the most rigorous blind tasting outside Japan. Ten experts under the auspices of the Japan National Research Institute of Brewing evaluate entries for aroma, taste, balance and overall harmony. Those with the highest scores receive gold and silver awards.
"The quality of entries was extremely high this year," says Appraisal organizer Shuji Abe. “One entry in the junmai category achieved a perfect score, which has never happened before.”
Every year, The Joy of Sake season kicks off in Honolulu, where upwards of 1,500 people make this the biggest sake celebration in the country. The event then travels to New York and lastly on to Tokyo, presenting the world's finest sakes to approximately 3,000 guests in total. In each city, chefs from top restaurants create original sake appetizers to accompany the junmai, ginjo and daiginjo sakes on display. This year’s participating restaurants for New York include wd~50, Brushstroke, Bond Street, Hakkasan and 15 East.
"In the last 10 years the amount of sake imported into New York has doubled as more and more people discover how good the premium labels can be,” says event organizer Chris Pearce. "The Joy of Sake is a celebration of the pleasures of the sake cup – and it's also one of the best annual food and beverage events in New York."
The Joy of Sake takes place on Thursday, September 26, 2013, from 6-9pm at The Altman Building at 135 W. 18th Street in Chelsea. Tickets are $95 in advance and $110 at the door, and can be purchased online at www.joyofsake.com or by calling 888.799.7242.