Tonari Gumi Sake Tasting

tonari gumi sake tasting by tangerinee
tonari gumi sake tasting, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

I thought I’d post a photo from last weekend’s sake event, a fundraiser for Tonari Gumi‘s seniors programs. An annual event, it was up until a few years ago, the largest tasting of its kind in Canada, but since Toronto now has KampaiTO, it has been relegated to largest in Western Canada.

Additionally, the event included a big announcement for sake in BC. The Sake Association of British Columbia (SABC) has been officially formed–a consortium of sake importers, brewers, educators who are passionate about sharing their sake knowledge and encouraging the responsible enjoyment of sake in BC.

Big plans are in the works. Sake has turned a corner in BC. It’s finally happened! Stay tuned for more.

Via Flickr:
sake revelers enjoying western Canada’s largest annual sake tasting event.

Sake Making Class

moto by tangerinee
moto, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

There’s an interesting sake-making class being offered at the Nikkei Place in Burnaby next week. I thought I’d post the link in case anyone was interested in learning more on the basics on making your own sake hooch.

It appears the gentleman conducting the course is starting up a sake u-brew kit business. Class includes instructions and a take home kit. Not bad for under $60.

The courses are filling up quickly and the ones in English have a few spaces left. So if you’re interested, please check it out and sign up soon.


Tonari Gumi Sake Tasting Fundraiser

daiginjo sakes by tangerinee
daiginjo sakes, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

The 12th edition of Tonari Gumi’s annual sake tasting event will take place on Saturday, October 12th at The Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. It’s the largest sake tasting held in BC and not to be missed if you are interested in the good stuff.

All the local importers will be in attendance, so it’s a great opportunity to see what is available in BC and get a taste of some harder to find sakes–those which are not available at our local LDB government stores (and believe me, there are many as we sake lovers can attest and lament).

Tickets are still available. Please come and support a great cause. All proceeds go directly to funding the volunteer association’s many invaluable seniors programs.

I hope to see you there!

Seafood & Sake Pairing at Kingyo Izakaya on Monday, July 29th

glass o-chokko by tangerinee
glass o-chokko, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

I wanted to pass along a quick email to inform you of a great event coming up early next week.

Unfortunately, I can’t make it, but I’m hoping some of you can.
Kingyo is featuring some new cool sakes with some seafood pairing fun!
Join, Mariko Tajiri, Sake Specialist for That’s Life Gourmet, purveyors of fine wine and sake, at Kingyo for an educational and tasty evening.

Here’s a list of what’s in store:
Hakkaisan Sake (Niigata Prefecture) / 3 kinds of Carpaccio
Kuheji Sake (Aichi Prefecture) / Deep fried squid
Snow crab sushi
Beisuika Sake (Gunma Prefecture)/ Negitoro sushi

Price is $50 (not including tax and gratuities)
There will be lots of sake to taste!

Kingyo Izakaya
871 Denman Street, Vancouver
Call to reserve a spot: 604.608.1677
There’s a maximum of 8 for this event, so call ASAP for a seat.


Sake Pairing Dinner with Yamatogawa Shuzo

ImageHello Sake Friends!

Let’s start the summer right with a sake dinner at Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro, the city’s preeminent sake destination.

The focus will be from Northern Japan where Yamatogawa Sake Brewery produces their excellent, well-structured sakes, known for their brands: Rashiku and Yaemon.

Yamatogawa Shuzo is from Kitakata City in Fukushima. The town is famous for their high quality sake and exceptional ramen shops. Established in 1790 during the Edo Period, Yamatogawa Shuzo continues it’s dedication to using only the best organic rice to make their sakes.

Shuraku is offering what is sure to be a delectable 5-course dinner paired with Yamatogawa Shuzo’s awesome sakes to match. The event is priced well at $55 for all food, sake, taxes and gratuity included and will sell out quickly. Here’s a chance to check out a great brewery–with representatives from Yamatogawa in attendance who will share their vast knowledge of sake with you.

Please make sure you call Shuraku directly to book a seat for the dinner at 604.687.6622.

Wishing you all a happy summer and I hope to see you there!



Hakkaisan Tasting

sake bottles by tangerinee
sake bottles, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

A terrific event is coming up in a couple of days that I highly recommend you attend.

Timothy Sullivan of will be in Vancouver at Minami co-hosting a Hakkaisan sake tasting with Miki Ellis, the restaurant’s resident sake expert.

Sullivan is based in New York and is one of a few that have been deemed ‘Sake Samurais’ in Japan for their tireless efforts to promote and educate the public about nihonshu. He is also brand ambassador for Hakkaisan and this will be his first visit to our fine city.

Hakkaisan, from Niigata Prefecture, is an extremely popular premium sake brewery in Japan. Their sake is smooth like water. It’s dangerous sake because it’s so darn easy to drink! You’ll get to taste their entire lineup of sakes–a first in BC.

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013, 5pm-7pm
Minami Japanese Restaurant
1118 Mainland St (Yaletown)

$39 includes sake, delicious accompaniments from Minami’s award-winning chefs, tax and gratuity.

More info can be found here:

Hope to see you there!

Sake Social 2013

A long standing summer event in Vancouver is the Powell Street Festival–a Japanese Canadian cultural celebration. This popular event, in its 37th incarnation, will take place August 3rd & 4th at Oppenheimer Park, which was once the hub of Vancouver’s Japantown.

To raise funds for the festival, a special sake tasting will be held at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Saturday, June 1st, 2013 from 7-10pm. More info can be found here.

If you purchase tickets before May 11th, you’ll be given an early bird discount–$35 for 4 sakes and nibbles. A small fee will be charged for additional tastes beyond the initial 4 sakes. After the 11th, the price goes up to $45.

Sounds like a pretty skookum deal and all the large sake distributors in town will be present, promoting their wares. Not a bad opportunity to check out what’s new and exciting in the local sake market, and heck, for a great cause too!

Hope to see you there!