December 6, 2007 2:40 AM   Subscribe

My best friend and I are sake (rice wine) lovers. Not lovers, because he's a guy. And ugly. But he's a great guy and I'd like to buy him some top quality traditional sake and a set of cups and bottle.

We've both probably never had good sake, so I'd like a local store where I could go and find a selection of the better ones. Most stores on the Gold Coast, Australia carry Gekkeikan sake, toted as the word's largest selling sake in the world (!), and that's pretty much it. I'm looking near a $100 price tag. Maybe I could get a couple of the better ones and find out what's best?

And for the sake set? Maybe I could buy that online, I've already found some good ones so far but I'm still searching.

posted by simplesharps to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I live in Niigata Prefecture; the home of Japan's best rice and sake. I greatly enjoy it ^_^

The top two brands in Japan are Koshino Kanbai which can be purchased here and Hakkaisan, which can be purchased here.

I only say they are the top because everyone here recommends them to me. They are both brewed in Niigata.

Trust me; worth every penny. Unfortunately most of the exported sake is terrible stuff. Gekkeikan doesn't even make it to the bars, it's so low quality. It's very unfortunate, I think.
posted by fan_of_all_things_small at 3:59 AM on December 6, 2007

Wine Library has a good selection of top notch sakes and RateBeer has a good database of ratings for sake.
posted by kepano at 4:08 AM on December 6, 2007

Two that I really like are Kurosawa and crazy milk.
posted by overhauser at 5:55 AM on December 6, 2007

I don't have any suggestions on the sake itself.

I'm not sure what your price and aesthetics are like, but sake sets are a standard product for studio potters in the US, and it might be nice to get something hand made and unique, rather than mass-produced. Of course, it might be hard to find them by searching, but I found a bunch of options by searching for "sake set wood fired" since mass produced ceramics mostly aren't wood fired. This wood-fired set is quite nice, but pricey. Here is another, with a much more controlled glaze surface.
posted by OmieWise at 6:23 AM on December 6, 2007

It may be worth a read of this article....

And I bet your friend would find your description of him just charming! (lol)
posted by keep it tight at 6:41 AM on December 6, 2007

this is not exactly what you were looking for but perhaps you two would enjoy trying to make your own sake. i found this guide to be a lot of help when i tried.
posted by phil at 6:48 AM on December 6, 2007

How is him being ugly relevant to your question?

Anyhow, Kurosawa is good stuff.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:42 AM on December 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

Mod note: A couple comments removed. If you want to argue about the phrasing of the question, please do so elsewhere.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:48 PM on December 6, 2007

Response by poster: Thank's guys for your suggestions, much appreciated. RE - ugly comment - We jib each other like that all the time, he's actually a good looking guy lol.

Keep 'em coming :)
posted by simplesharps at 2:29 PM on December 6, 2007

OmieWise is right. It's not like you're going to buy a sake set every week, so make the one you do buy a really great one that you'll enjoy drinking from for years and years (rather than a plain, functional vehicle for sake delivery). Trust me: It's hard to overstate how satisfying it is to pick up an item of tableware and be able to visualize exactly who made it, and when, and where.
posted by No-sword at 4:22 PM on December 6, 2007

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