Saké Fest PDX is on the horizon, returning to the Sentinel Hotel next Thursday June 25. It’s a great event for saké fans and novices alike, as there is a full of array of styles to try, plus a variety of foods to pair them with. Try a few different sakés and it quickly becomes apparent how versatile a drink it is, happily taken with all types of food, sweet or savory (and not just Japanese). There are over 130 samples of saké, plum wine and beer, with some rare Japanese bottles being poured, as well as what are known as jikaze, from regional saké brewers. Brands from the US will also be represented, including Oregon’s SakéOne brewing facility, which is behind the Momokawa and Moonstone labels.

There’s an abundance of food (you’ll need it with all that booze—seriously), offering real diversity: Various types of Japanese eats from the likes of Noraneko, Yakuza, Yama Sushi & Izakaya and Hokusei; plus Smallwares, The American Local, Davis Street Tavern, and Jamaican and Hawaiian specialties from FiMi Kingston and Bamboo Grove, respectively. Chizu is supplying the cheese and the likes of Sticky Island Treats and Xocolatl de David have something for dessert. This year there is limited early admission for those who don’t like crowds, but I’m not sure it’s worth the 20 bucks for an extra hour, as even when busy you can get round everything within a couple of hours, and it starts to thin out towards the end anyway. For the dedicated saké drinker there is a special pairings dinner on Wednesday 24 for $95. Saké Fest PDX, Sentinel Hotel, 614 SW11th, June 25, 6.30-9 pm, $55 ($65 on door); early entry at 5.30 pm $75; tickets available here