Talk about sake
Sake in U.S.Matt Hedges, a president of wine and sake distributing company, Vino del Sol. We ask about his business and sake marketing in U.S.
◆Attraction of sake ?
●One, it’s delicious! Two, it’s a category with much growth potential in the United States. Japan as well as the Japanese brewery’s ambassadors in the US (importers, distributors, hip retailers) have to keep educating the public.
◆Wine distributors in USA who also import Japanese Sake are increasing, what advantage do you see in Sake market in USA ?
●Premium sake like Manotsuru falls in line with premium wine with the accounts that sell premium wine tending to work with premium sake as well. As we are already developing and maintaining relationships with these same accounts, there is an advantage to put the two products together for offerings. Sake being distributed by U.S. Wine distributor opens up more doors in the US market as they have pre-existing relationships with the entire trade, not just Japanese-American retailers.
◆Why American people like sake ? How do you think?
●Sake is still generally misunderstood, especially premium sake. Many Americans when they here “sake” they think of the hot wretched stuff served at Japanese restaurants. However, premium chilled sake is becoming more popular. More and more restaurants (not just Japanese) offer sake pairings with tasting menus and some are starting to list sake by-the-glass. American people like to experiment, trying new things. Sakes fits very nicely in to that, but our challenge is teaching US consumers that Sake is many things, not just one particular item, but rather something that is as diverse and complex as wine.
Matt Hedges, In 2004, he co-founded Vino del Sol, a leading national import and distribution company selling in all 50 states. In 2008, after establishing a reputation as “the Argentine Wine Specialist, “Vino del Sol” began a collaboration with the famed Obata Shuzo brewery of Sado Island, Niigata.