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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Gourmet Gift - Consider Sake

Posted: October 18, 2005
by: T.Alexander

I just discovered a sake expert. Spend a little time with me now and get to know John Gauntner, former author of a semi-monthly column on sake for The Japan Times, Japan's leading English newspaper. John currently publishes a free monthly Sake World email newsletter. Mr. Gauntner not only knows sake, he has a passion for Japanese culture.


Sake is fermented from rice, is not carbonated, and contains between 15% and 17% alcohol. For the most part sake is not aged and has a shelf life of six months if kept in a cool dark environment after purchase. There are some varieties, however, that are deliberately aged, but in the sake world, there are no vintage years.  How interesting. How to serve sake…never hot, sometimes warm, mostly cool.

Mr. Gauntner’s top pick of “Super Sake Favorites” from about 1600 sake breweries in Japan is Yamagata, brand name Juyondai, described as elegant, fruity, and fragrant. For a sake enthusiast you might enjoy Mr. Gauntner’s books, The Sake Handbook or The Sake Companion. 

Now for the practical application, sake with a Japanese dinner party. Here are a few recipes to wet your appetite: Cucumber Ribbon Salad, Roasted Salmon with Wasabi Cream and Japanese Style Cheesecake. If you’re like me, a little too busy to pull this dinner party together in the kitchen, remember GourmetStation'scollection of Fusion dinners and entrees. Bon appetit.

Your Comments

If you're interested in discovering more sake experts check out Paul Tanguay, owner of RiceandZen.com.

He frequently updates his blog and also features a ton of sake info.

Posted by: Jennifer at Apr 13, 2006 6:58:09 PM