"" What's She Eating Now?: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sake But Felt Too White To Ask

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sake But Felt Too White To Ask

Last night I went to Timothy Sullivan’s The Elements of Sake at the Astor Center. Sullivan is the mastermind behind UrbanSake.com, a treasure trove of information for all things sake. In roughly 2 hours, his class demystifies the intimidating sake classification system and covers some essentials about sake history and tradition. And then there is the tasting: 7 premium sakes covering a range of styles, which are of course available for sale at Astor afterwards at a 10% discount for class attendees.

As evidenced by my recycling bin, I drink a lot of sake. That said I still learned quite a bit about the brewing process and what to keep in mind when comparing sakes and attempting food pairings (Sullivan also brings his vast knowledge and enthusiasm to an advanced class which focuses on matching). Also of note is the Astor Center itself. The pictures here do not do the facility justice. They have thought of every detail from an electronic class polling system to individual sinks between the desks (though I confess I did not do any pouring out during the tasting last night). Astor hosts a bevy of classes and events on wine, sake, spirits, beer and food and is definitely worth checking out. Happy tasting!

The Astor Center

399 Lafayette Street @ E4th

The Elements of Sake

Timothy Sullivan

Cost: $65

Next class: Wednesday July 29th, 6:30-8:30


  1. How are you supposed to remember what he taught you after 7 glasses of sake? [insert innapropriate spit-or-swallow joke here]

  2. This class was a very useful introduction to sake, even for frequent drinkers with some knowledge. It was also an opportunity to try some of the more popular sakes imported into nyc as well as some that we almost surely wouldn't have tried otherwise. The teacher was very entertaining and quite knowledgeable, with smart answers to even the weird questions. Best of all, the pours were generous, which can be trouble if you ahve a lightweight drinking partner and have to do the heavy lifting. Makes me think I should launch my new blog, whatshedrinkingnow.com.