Philadelphians gathered in the Millennium Ballroom at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel to experience the finest Japanese and U.S. saké, as part of the 5th Saké Fest. The Festival falls within the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia during March and April. Visitors were treated to samplings of rare and premium saké while also 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.

Lisa Simon of Simon Public Relations Group and Ed Markus of Event Navigators

Thom Cardwell and Carol Coombs from the Philadelphia Film Festival. Saké is the new drink of choice to be served with various types of cuisine. With thousands of saké varieties available in the United States, it’s no wonder that it is a growing presence in the alcohol beverage industry.
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.
Sake is wine. Sake is Fashion. Sake (sah-keh) is a fermented alcoholic beverage with a long history in Japanese culture. While often called ‘rice wine’ sake is actually more like beer than wine as it is made from a grain, rice, not a fruit as wine is. Sake is a fermented, but not distilled beverage, and should not be confused with shochu, another Japanese alcoholic beverage that is distilled. The alcoholic content of sake is higher than beer, generally between 12% and 18% alcohol by volume, and has a complex, even fruity flavor when made by a high quality manufacturer. Sake characteristics run the gamut from sweet to dry, fruity to earthy, with acidity and fragrance complexities that rival western wines. Sake is far from a simple drink.
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Special Thanks to Our Partners

Thank You to Our Volunteers

  • Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia Members & Staff
  • Vanessa “Euro Thrash” Jackson and the Philly Roller Girls
  • Maido! Kimono Ladies

Marnie Old – Old Wines, LLC
Participants enjoyed themselves
Some of the newer saké that people seemed to enjoy was the mojito and rose.
Hot Sake vs. Cold Sake
Historically, sake was served warm. The reasons were twofold. Firstly, this ancient drink was created before refrigeration and was therefore habitually served that way after methods to chill food and drink were developed. Secondly, sake was also historically a much more coarse beverage, and often took up flavors from the wooden casks in which it was stored. Many off flavors were also a side effect of the fermentation process, which were masked by serving the sake at a higher temperature. More recently, better brewing techniques, more refined strains of yeast and koji, and modern storage practices have created a very different product than in the past. A more refined product does not mean that all sake is the same, however. Just as western wines have subtle differences, so do sakes from different regions and different manufacturers.
Glenn, Richard Brian Penn
Mara Toukatly (congrats on your new home), Lauren Riley and Brett Silver
SAVE THE DATE: Their next exciting enterprise is the second annual Phiz Fest, previously a festival of champagne, now a festival of sparkling wines. It is slated for the grand ballroom of The Bellevue on November 12, 2009: