Tuesday, Sept. 30, 1997
Sake sales have been falling in recent years in the domestic market, and the Japanese industry is now hoping to make a breakthrough overseas, Haruo Matsuzaki, chairman of the new Sake Export Association, said Sept. 30.
He said the association will be officially launched Sept. 30.
"I hope people all across the world will discover through the SEA that sake has a lot of different brands and a wide variety of tastes," Matsuzaki, who is also a sake critic, said at a Tokyo hotel. The association was set up by 18 breweries nationwide in a bid to promote exports of sake, partly by educating overseas drinkers about the rice wine. The member brewers produce sake locally and have their own brand names.
"Misconceptions still persist in overseas countries, like the United States, that sake is always served hot or has just one taste," said John Gauntner, a writer on sake and assistant director of the new association. Gauntner will also be a member of the five-strong International Sake Institute in the U.S., a nonprofit organization that will also be formed Sept. 30 in Colorado.