Event calendar, Summer 2023
Wednesday, June 14 from 5:30-6:30PM
Wednesday Lessons: KYOTO
4/26/23: Wednesday Lessons with Brooklyn Kura. Zoom signup here
Wednesday, Nov 30 from 5:30-6:30PM
Wednesday Lessons: Heiwa Shuzo with FIFTH TASTE
Wednesday, November 30th brings our first Wednesday Lessons guest speaker: Bryan West of Fifth Taste! Fifth Taste is a sake-focused distribution company and they happen to have some of the most exciting sake in the market. They just opened up their Oregon outpost this month, bringing a ton of fantastic bottles never before seen in Oregon. Bryan will be talking about Heiwa Shuzo, a modern yet traditional, forward-thinking brewery in Wakayama whose products count among my absolute favorites.
Wednesday Lessons is a series of low-key, drop-in Wednesday classes at Sunflower Sake. No sign up needed, always reasonably priced, just show up and learn about sake, tasting 3-4 examples of the subject matter in question. Tuition is credited toward bottle purchases in increments of $5.
Price to attend is $15, but please never hesitate to reach out if the cost is an issue. Sunflower offers sliding scale tuition for interested friends low on cash.
🌻 Note that the regular menu will be unavailable after 5:30 on Wednesday, due to the class. Online orders placed by 5 PM can be picked up during the class, and the register will reopen from 6:30-7.
🌻 Sunflower is a tiny space with only 4 official "seats!" If you need accommodations, please reach out ahead of time so that I can make special arrangements for you.
Wednesday, Nov 2nd from 5:30-6:30PM
Wednesday Lessons: Namazake
Coming up next, NAMAZAKE! Namazake means raw sake, and refers to unpasteurized, or once-pasteurized, sake— while most standard sake is pasteurized twice. This class is all about pasteurization in sake, terminology, how pasteurization affects flavor and texture, things to look for, seasonality of nama styles, and food pairing.
$15 to attend, which can be credited toward bottle purchases after the class, up to $5/bottle for 3 bottles (=$15).
🌻 Low or $0 tuition is, as always, available by request. If you want to attend but the cost is a problem, please don't be shy! Send me an email or an IG DM.
🌻 Note that the regular menu will be unavailable after 5:30 on Wednesday, due to the class. However, any online orders placed by 5 can be picked up during the class, and the register will reopen from 6:30-7.
November 1-4th, 2022
It’s Mushroom Week at Sunflower Sake! 🍄🎉👯♀️
In celebration of the autumnal bounty, the following treats are available all week (or while supplies last):
🍄 KINOKO: Glass pours of @suwakura 's finest, Mantensei Kinoko: a savory, spicy sake with notes of graham crackers and apricot, served with a side of fried mushroom chips. Delicious warm! (GF/V)
♨️ MATSUTAKEZAKE: Carafes of steamy, cinnamony matsutake-zake: premium Junmai Kimoto warmed with matsutake slices (or choose your own base sake + add $2 for matsutake)
🤓🔎 COMPLIMENTARY ID: Mushroom ID help and foraging advice from an experienced forager 👋 + access to my little library of mushroom guides and books while you enjoy your sake 📚
Tuesday, October 18th from 5-7PM
Exploration Sessions: Sake & Zakuski with Chris Johnson from World Sake Imports
Saturday, March 19th from 2:00-3:30PM
Introduction to Sake w/ Vegan Food Pairings @ Sunflower Sake
When: March 19th, 2PM-3:30PM
Where: Obon Shokudo, 720 SE Grand Avenue, Portland
What: A 90 minute class and tasting with vegan food pairings, instruction by Sunflower Sake & food by Jun Okada
- 3 flights of sake (at least 7 total selections) covering the different styles of sake: junmai, ginjo, daiginjo, honjozo, natural sake, and so on!
- 3 vegan snack pairings, one for each flight of sake, lovingly prepared by Portland's own wizard of otsumami (bar food): Jun Okada~
- Discussion on how sake is made, serving temperatures, how to pair with food, how to store and serve, as well as history and all sorts of interesting facts.
To learn more and sign up, follow the link!
Saturday, March 5th from 1:30-3:00PM
Introduction to Kanzake @ Sunflower Sake
To learn more and sign up, follow the link!
Sunday, January 23 from 4-8PM
Sunflower Sake @ Frank Wine Bar
Sunflowers will be popping up in the South Waterfront next week: Sunday, January 23rd at Frank Wine Bar, from 4-8PM! 🌻🌻🌻
I'll be pouring a lovely range of handcrafted sake by the glass, as well as warm carafes and small snacks (not enough for a meal, but perfect for a bit of munching). A curated selection of retail sake as well as a collection of vintage sake sets will be available for purchase from 4-8PM. I've been hard at work the last few weeks trawling the estate sales and I'm excited to share these fantastic wares along with locally made sake sets from @cieslinskigoods 😊
If you can't make this one, I have a few more planned, so keep an eye out.
Source image credit: ukiyo-e woodblock print from Utagawa Kuniyoshi entitled "Sake No Zashiki"
Intro to Sake w/ Vegan Food Pairings from Jun Okada
Postponed due to Omicron- keep an eye out for Feb-March Classes
A 1.5 hour class with vegan snack pairings at Obon PDX. Seats will be limited, vaccines required, and temp check for this indoor event.
Wednesday, December 15th
Neighboring pop-up Companatico is coming to Dame on Wednesday, December 15th from 3-8PM or sold out. Sunflower is teaming up by offering a special sake pairing for each sandwich, or a flight of 3 "hoagie sakes" so that you can choose your own favorite.
Vegan & vegetarian sandwich options available as well as Marie's fantastic homemade cookies (seriously, they're so good). Come hungry 'cause these east-coast style Italian hoagies are HUGE and so delicious. If you're anything like me you'll split it in half 'cause it's huge and you know that's enough food... then eat the other half on the drive home because you can't resist.
Wednesday, December 8th
YAKITORI NIGHT: $25
OH!NIGIRI - Grilling some yaki onigiri
WORLD SAKE IMPORTS - Flight included with yakitori, $5 otherwise
MARION ACRES - Good, pasture-raised local birds
RSVP by EMAIL (firstname.lastname@example.org) or IG DM with your preferred time-- 5:30PM or 7PM-- note that seats are very limited
(Or if you really just want to taste delicious sake and maybe eat a few yummy snacks (veg friendly snax available), just show up from 5-7!)
- Outdoor seating only
- Heaters to keep you toasty
- Set menu contains chicken, rice, soy, bonito (dried tuna) & trace wheat
- Tasting from World Sake Imports + plenty of glass pours & hot carafes
Come say HAY! 🍶🐓
Thursday, December 2nd
Sake for Wine Lovers: class and tasting at Civic Winery in Eugene
$35 per person, includes a light snack. Registration here.
Most people are introduced to sake through Japanese food: piping hot carafes, creamy nigori, and the infamous sake bomb. While each of these is pleasurable in its own way, they represent a tiny (and very simple!) piece of the sake puzzle. For wine lovers, this is like drinking Robert Mondavi and nothing else!
What you’ll learn in this class is that sake can be as diverse, complex and delicious as wine--particularly with food. Soft, gentle junmai ginjo with honeydew, peach, and strawberry notes, or wild, rich and savory junmai kimoto with mushroom, miso, and toasted nuts. Temperatures from ice cold to piping hot, and vessels in all sorts of shapes, sizes and materials. I always tell friends, introducing sake to your wine repertoire is like doubling your box of crayon colors!
The tasting lineup I’ve prepared offers a range of styles, regions, and brewing philosophies. What all of them have in common is their commitment to moving the industry toward more sustainable practices in agriculture and sake brewing. In their search for quality, identity and terroir, these breweries are also returning to traditional-- sometimes ancient-- methods and materials. These are the sake equivalent of the natural wine movement.
- Akishika Okarakuchi Super Dry Namazake: Dry and crisp. Served chilled. Osaka prefecture, organic.
- Yuki no Bosha- Cabin in the Snow Junmai Ginjo: Fruity and full-flavored. Served lightly chilled. Akita prefecture, organic.
- Tsujihonten- Gozenshu Omachi Bodaimoto Nigori: Savory and creamy. Served chilled. Okayama prefecture, sustainably grown rice.
- Terada Honke- Shizen no Manma Junmai Kimoto Muroka Nama Genshu: Wild and crazy natural sake. Served chilled. Chiba prefecture, organically grown rice.
- Tamagawa "Red Label" Junmai Yamahai Genshu: Rich, intense and savory natural sake. Served hot. Kyoto prefecture, sustainably grown rice.
- Mukai Shuzo- Ine Mankai Junmai: Sweet and complex. Served warm. Kyoto prefecture, organic heirloom red rice.
Friday, November 19th
Craft sake tasting at Beso Bar & Bottle in Lake Oswego
Enjoy a lineup of four delicious, handcrafted sake which together represent a range of flavors from melon, peach, and banana to soft herbs, mushroom and roasted nuts.
$5 to taste, credited toward any sake purchase. Full menu of bistro snacks and bites available for purchase from Beso. Indoor and outdoor seating available.
- Kameizumi “Eternal Spring” Daiginjo Namazake CEL-24
The first namazake I ever tried-- it knocked my socks off! A yeast bred specifically for this purpose creates intense fruity aromatics of mango, peach, kiwi and melon.
- Rihaku “Dreamy Clouds” Junmai Nigori
Dreamy Clouds is a serious nigori: crisp, dry, and refreshing, with subtle asian pear, yogurt, rice and herbal notes.
- Kanbara “Bride of the Fox” Junmai Ginjo
A bold marriage of fruit and savory characteristics, Kanbara is highly atypical for Niigata sake, featuring aromas of toasted nuts, white chocolate, and honeydew melon.
- Yuho “Rhythm of the Centuries” Junmai Yamahai
One of my favorite choices for warming and serving with meat. This sake is produced with a wild fermentation starter, aged 3-4 years, and tastes of miso, mushrooms, caramel and toast.