Seems like many of the most enjoyable times in my life start with me saying something along the lines of, “I don’t know much about…” the ellipses being filled with any number of things that I do not know much about.

The best thing about not knowing much about a thing is that you get to learn about said thing. Learning in my line of work generally means eating, drinking, listening patiently, and doing some book readin’. While I love the book-type research, I’d have to say eating and drinking is by far my favorite way to learn.

So, let’s take it from the top. “I don’t know much about… Sake.”

I’m essentially a sake numskull. I know it can be unfiltered and cloudy. I know it can be filtered and clear. I know it can have a surprisingly dynamic flavor profile. I know it’s brewed from rice. I know it can fuck you up. That’s about it.

One of my favorite books Alcoholica Esoterica notes that sake was traditionally made by aid of the entire village, which would start the brew by chewing rice, spitting it into a tub, and allowing the enzymes to do their thing. Gross, interesting, but not helpful in understanding more about sake..

I think it’d be best to learn by drinking.

If you’re in the same boat, Tanuki wants to give you something of an education beginning tomorrow (Nihonshu no Hi—International Sake Day—the start of the sake brewing season) and running through Saturday.

All three days in the cozy confines of Tanuki, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of premium sakes from brewer Huchu Homare. Here’s a description of one option (from the Tanuki press release):

Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo “55” Floral, fruity, funky and complex, it accurately precludes the matching flavors of this sake. It finishes lively to the end, with a bright, snappy acidity. Great on its own, an apogee of ginjo sake, showing how nihonshu can rival any beverage for complexity, showmanship, depth and range.

Yeah! In your face, wine! Booyah!

What’s even better than premium sake at Tanuki is the fact that all week you can stop in for $1 pours of the good stuff, which means that school is in session, and it’s looking pretty inexpensive.

Oh, and there’s also a special chef’s omikaze menu if you’d like something to go along with your sake. Just putting that out there.