Sips: The Sake Passport

January 2014

Editor's note: Izakaya Den and Sushi Den delayed the launch date of their sake passport until Monday, February 17. Please contact their management for further details.

Despite regular conversations detailing favorite IPAs consumed, wineries visited, and craft cocktails discovered, I can’t remember anyone ever asking me about what kind of sake I enjoy. And frankly, I wouldn’t know how to answer. 

The rice wine originated in Asia at least 1,000 years ago—some say it's been around for more than 2,000 years—and yet, it’s still one of the least understood spirits.

In the name of education, brothers Toshi and Yasu Kizaki of Sushi Den and Izakaya Den are launching a program called the sake passport. On Tuesday, January 14, the sister restaurants will release a booklet listing 28 different sakes that range from floral to dry to sweet. “Sakes have a broad, palatable range,” says Izakaya Den’s beverage director Tee Paddock “This guide will help you get a better feel for what sake really is, and which types and tastes you prefer.” Paddock recommends trying Chokaisan, a popular, well-balanced floral sake, or his personal favorite, Nanbu Bijin, a high-grade sipper that is smooth and not overly sweet. Once you taste a sake, a staffer will stamp your passport.

The first person to complete the passport before March 30 wins dinner for four in Sushi Den's Denchu room (a private dining room) with a personal sushi chef and a complimentary bottle of the favorite sake from the passport. Bonus: The passport is free, and the sake selection ranges from $6 to $25, so you won’t break the bank just to participate.

Get it: Head to Izakaya Den or Sushi Den with ID in hand to obtain your passport. 

Sushi Den, 1487 S. Pearl St., 303-777-0826

Izakaya Den, 1487-A S. Pearl St., 303-777-0691