Curious to know how many of us have saké on our list.
I spent a few years studying and selling sake and other Japanese beverage as the co-head of a program in Chicago before moving to LA and diving deep into wine.
The restaurant in Chicago had a Japanese focus, but my co-conspirator and I did what we could to convince industry friends with any influence to incorporate saké into their beverage programs as well. To our logic, it's common enough to stock a wide array of world beverage behind a bar (or in the cellar), even if the kitchen is a bit more geo-centric. Premium saké -- a tier of beverage wholly distinguishable from the cheap boxed swill commonly consumed hot -- is as painstakingly hand-crafted, nuanced, and food-friendly as beverages come, and for my part I feel it deserves better representation within elevated beverage programs.
With that said, I currently work with a program where we have one saké, and only because it's used in a cocktail. I have forsaken my former lover to envelope myself within this new passion. This doesn't mean I enjoy sake any less, or have left off being an advocate, as I do very much wish it weren't relegated as a niche beverage only appropriate with Japanese cuisine.
I know there are many sommeliers, working outside Japanese cuisine, who have incorporated saké into their lists. I'd love to hear from some of you, and about the challenges and successes you've had introducing guests to sake.
And for those of you who may be mostly unfamiliar with saké, or outright adverse to it, what have your experiences been with saké, and how would you feel about making saké available at your restaurant?
In reply to Stacy Ladenburger:
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