Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Vintages is the fine wines & spirits business unit of the LCBO which had arranged for this major sake event. The event was priced at $125 per ticket and was sold out at 150 attendees.On May 16th, I was honored to attend a historic sake event with Team Hakkaisan in Toronto Canada. Alcohol sales in this part of Canada are regulated by the
The Vintages Sake 101 event started off with a world class sake lecture by none other than leading sake experts John Gauntner and Haruo Matsuzaki. John gave a 20 minute introduction to sake lecture and Matsuzaki-san guided guests for a structured tasting, sampling a variety of sake styles including the delicious Hakkaisan Honjozo, which he said was a stellar example of this style of sake.
After the seated lecture, guests were invited into the reception room to taste the all the offerings from all the breweries attending. Hakkaisan was pouring their full line of sakes but also included their stand out Daiginjo as an added bonus. I was pouring some of my favorite Hakkaisan sakes for the guests and they really enjoyed the “tanrei karakuchi” or “clean and dry” body that is so cherished at Hakkaisan. I was joined by Hakkaisan Brewery Representative Kumiko Kurosawa and sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton who were both dressed in beautiful kimono and helped pour and introduce Hakkaisan Brewery to all the eager Toronto attendees!
The event was a huge success and I could tell that Canada is ready for more sake events in the future. Can’t wait to return and introduce more people to Hakkaisan!