Japanese sake is enjoying great popularity at restaurants and bars all around the world. I was surprised to watch a recent TV documentary showing a sommelier in France explaining to his customers the difference between ordinary Japanese sake and specially brewed types such as Kijoshu or Daiginjou. For sake professionals like him, it’s not so hard to remember sake brands, where in Japan a sake is produced, or even what specific ingredients are used.
However, for those who love Japanese sake, but don’t have such encyclopedic knowledge, is there any way to keep track of specific kinds of sake so you can remember it next time?
Sake Lover is a new service that can fill that role. Tokyo-based startup Sonic Garden recently introduced its iOS app, which allows you to record which restaurant or bar you’ve visited (it’s GPS-enabled), and what sake you’ve had. The app is available in both Japanese and English, allowing you to easily find a specific sake brand just by entering the first one or two letters into the app.
As for why the startup developed this app, CEO Yoshihito Kuranuki says that they hope to encourage consumers to have more sake and enjoy this particular aspect of Japanese traditional culture, and in the process maybe it can help local distilleries and breweries survive in this mass production era.
Sonic Garden was launched in 2009 following the management buyout of Japanese system integration company TiS Inc., where Mr. Kuranuki used to work. The startup is also known as a provider of business communication tools like Skip (social network platform for business), YourRoom (task management tool), and Message Leaf (a contact form plug-in).