Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sake Fever 2008 at the Palms Hotel Poolside and VINO LAS VEGAS gets a Sake education from the best

The first ever Sake Fever 2008 was held
at the Palms Hotel and Casino poolside.

More than 20 of the best sake BrewMasters from Japan made the long trip to pour over 150 of their highly acclaimed premium sake. Of all of the different wine varietals and appellations. Sake is a wine that most Americans ( Vino Las Vegas included ) do not

know too much about. Master Sommelier Louis Desantos with Las Vegas Southern Wine and Spirits informed us of this event as he knew we wanted to become more educated on the subject of Premium Sake. And besides all the proceeds from this event were to benefit the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute. The LRBI is dedicated to help and find treatments for Alzheimer's, Huntington's , ALS and other brain disorders. The institute plans to build a national resource in Nevada to benefit new treatments for memory disorders.

Our first step was to learn the basics of sake. There are four
major components. The first is of course the Rice. The rice
used in sake is alot more expensive than the typical American
store bought rice. There are around 60 types of rice with the best
being " Yamada Nishiki ".

The second component is Water. We know that wine grapes have alot of water in them. Sake is more like beer. Water represents
around 80% of the final product. Like Beer , Sake is made from grain and hops so it needs water to be added.

The third component is Koji. This is similar to the yeast that is added
sometimes to wine. Koji is a mold spore and its enzymes convert starch
to sugar and that is what ferments into alcohol just like wine.

The fourth component is important in wine, beer and sake. That is
Love. In all three, this is what sets one wine from another as well
as different beers and sake as well. This is the Brewmaster's
individual touch and blend that makes his product stand out from the others.

Elaine from Vino Las Vegas had the opportunity to speak with Monica
, Sake Ambassador from the New York division of Southern
Wine and Spirits. She took Elaine through an entire tasting of a sake
line. Most importantly she explained the different levels of sake and
let her taste premium sakes like Junmai Daiginjo. Monica explains in
her interview that at this level, Rice is polished down to half its size which
gives these highly rated sakes and elegant style with most being light
bodied with a very nice finish.

This was truly an extraordinary event. We also heard while walking around speaking to some of these sake Brewmaster's that there are plans already in the works for a bigger event next year. Vino Las Vegas will not miss that one if this first event was any
indication of what is to come next year.

In addition to the sake there was also great Asian cuisine provided
by the Little Buddha and the N9ne Group at the Palms Hotel.
The Palms Pool and Bungalows provided a beautiful backdrop as
guests sampled these premium sakes and food while strolling around the pool at the Palms

The evening concluded with some guests being invited to an after
at the newly opened Simon at Palms Place. Simons is a
renowned restaurant overlooking another pool at Palms Place.
Chef/ Owner Kerry Simon provided us and the Brewmasters world class cuisine served inside and outside in the private cabanas.

With most of the BrewMasters present , the after party was a unique opportunity to taste their Ultra Premium Sake and speak with them about the production process. This event was done first class complete with a sake cask tapping for the guests and great food. Louis DeSantos did
a great job with this event and for a very worthy cause. I hope you, our readers will be able to
attend this event next year. We are sure you wont be disappointed.

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott