Sake Fest PDX- 4/12 from 6:30 to 9 pm at Governor Hotel



Portlanders will gather in the Heritage Ballroom at The Governor Hotel (map it) on Thursday 12 April 2012 - 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm - to experience the finest Japanese and US sake brands, as part of Saké Fest PDX.

 Your ticket purchase INCLUDES all food and all saké sampling stations - even rare & premium saké varieties - while learning how to pair the traditional Japanese drink with a wide variety of food, including cheese, desserts, chocolate and a wide range of fusion, Asian and continental cuisines. ALL for only $59.

Polished rice for brewing sake.


Your Saké Fest PDX ticket purchase also includes a FREE souvenir sampling glass … a modern glassvessel donated by our friends at Momokawa Saké.

Many premium and several rare sakés will be available to taste, as will regionally micro brewed "jizake", which means small, regional saké brewer. Prominent local chefs will prepare and serve a selection of food samples that complement any type of saké.

 Saké Fest was created in Philadelphia by Ed Markus & David Wagner, owners of Event Navigators, an international event production company specializing in fundraising events for non-profit organizations.

 A portion of the net proceeds from Saké Fest PDX benefits the Japan-America Society of Oregon (JASO)

Saké is more than a drink to be served with Japanese food. It is a beverage that is as versatile as wine. It can be enjoyed with cheese, chocolates, and all varieties of ethnic foods. Similar in profile to wine, saké is valued for its fragrance, impact, sweet or dry finish, acidity, presence and complexity.

For additional information call 215-915-5506 or email 

Get prepped with a brief guide to understanding what sake is all about:

A Brief Guide to Saké

Saké is an all-natural rice-based fermented alcoholic beverage. It is made like beerand served like wine, with tasting characteristics and alcohol content very similar to wine.

Saké was first made in China roughly 5,000 years ago, but was later dramatically improved in Japan. Today, there are over 14,000 different sakés produced by 1,800 brewers worldwide, primarily in Japan.

Saké is made from four ingredients: rice, water, yeast, and koji, an enzyme. The starches in rice are concentrated in the center of the grain, and for premium and super premium saké, the outside of the grain is polished away. This exposes the heart of the rice that contains the starch that will be converted to fermentable sugars. The degree to which the rice is polished determines how the saké is classified.

Most saké is aged for about six months, either in tanks or in the glass bottle. It is important that saké is kept at a controlled temperature, and can be consumed up to 3 weeks (and often longer) after opening the bottle with little to no change in flavor or quality.

Main types of saké include:

Junmai - Made from rice, water, yeast and koji only.

Junmai Ginjo - Junmai Saké with 40%-50% of the rice grain polished away. (or Junmai Sake with a polish ratio of 50% - 60%)

Junmai Daiginjo - Junmai Saké with 50% or more of the rice grain polished away. 

Honjozo - Saké with a small amount of brewer's alcohol added.  This brings out flavors & aroma.

Nama - Saké that has not been pasteurized. Namazake must be kept chilled. 

Genshu - Saké that has not been diluted with water.  Alcohol content can reach 20%.  (there are also well made sakés that only reach 16 - 17% alcohol)

Nigori - Unpressed sake - leaving a white, cloudy layer.  The taste is often sweet but can be dry.


Some of the sake that will be featured at the event includes:



Plus many more! Look forward to seeing you there!



Kiku and yuzu_75 - created by Tom Lindstedt of biwa

The cool nights in Portland as of late have made for perfect evening strolls, with our latest leading us to biwa, close in SE, to share the flavor filled small plate portions and a couple new drinks. Their cocktails include (or/and highlight) the top quality ingredients from the kitchen paired with the intimate below ground setting making a recipe for a great evening outing. I ordered the Kiku, "tom's [Lindstedt] biwa take on the "chrysanthemum": sake, benedictine, pernod, up. Awesome!", and awesome it was. The benedictine added rich complex notes to the sake. The pernod was most present on the swallow and lent a pleasant anise nose making for an excellent remix of an old classic, simply by swapping the dry vermouth for the sake. My girlfriend and partner in crime Arielle, had the yuzu_75 (not pictured), biwa's "french 75" comprised of "yuzu sake, sparkly wine". Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that lends a delicious tart flavor to contrast the mild sweetness of the sake, blending well and leaving us both extremely satisfied and eager to return to try their extensive list of shochu, a distilled Japanese spirit made from a variety of ingredients but primarily rice, barley, sweet potato, or sugar cane "enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or mixed with hot water."