If you need a recommendation for beer, wine or spirits, just search online or ask a knowledgable friend—everyone has an opinion, and some are even worth listening to.
But sake exists in a unique space, where most people know and have probably tried the beverage, but few people—at least among American consumers—dive into sake the same way they geek out about beer and wine. Which makes scoring a trusted recommendation more difficult.
The new Tippsy Sake Club wants to bridge that gap, whether you want to learn everything there is to know about the category, or to just sit back while a few curated bottles show up at your door.
Tippsy Sake Club is the world’s first online personalized sake curation service, with subscriptions based on an individual's tastes and preferences. The company has spent years collecting data from sake breweries, and Tippsy's portfolio manager and Master Sake Sommelier, Sachiko Miyagi, processed hundreds of tasting/aroma notes to build the recommendation engine. All in, the platform has more than 400 sakes.
Tippsy founder Genki Ito says that while Japanese food is increasingly popular in the U.S., sake is still relatively obscure. It's served at restaurants, but most consumers don't have access to the information or product selection required to make informed decisions and grow the category.
"We strongly believe it's the access to selection, knowledge and stories that are missing in order for sake to become mainstream and be enjoyed by more people," says Ito.
That's one of the reasons he founded Tippsy, first as an online shop and subscription service, and now the Tippsy Sake Club as the personalized arm of the business.
When you sign up for the club, you'll start with a quiz and answer a few questions about your favorite flavors, whether you prefer chilled or warm sake, and what foods you like to eat. Then the site gets to work, finding bottles that match your preferences.
Club orders are customizable in quantity, frequency and price range, so you can choose what fits your lifestyle. Then it's up to you to rate each bottle after you taste it, as your ratings will impact how future shipments are curated.
Don't be shy.