I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
I have tasted quite a bit of sake, but by no means did I really know anything about it until I read this book. Gauntner did a fantastic job of bringing together a lot of information about sake in an easy-to-understand format. There are so many things I loved about this book.
For starters, the chapters are all realitivilly short and yet are packed full of information. Each chapter is nicely laid out and are set up in a fashion so that they can be read in any order. Each chapter gives an overview of an area of sake and the chapters are broken up into three overall sections: Sake Secrets, How the Industry Really Works, and The Brewer's Art Revealed. Gauntner also includes an index and glossary for easy reference, which makes the topic very simple to face.
I also loved that, while Gauntner expressed his personal preferences on certain sake, he encourages the reader to try everything and find his or her own performance. His overall massage is to explore the world of sake deeply and figure out what you like. He does not try to force preferences on the reader and emphasizes how there is really no wrong way when it comes to sake. He gives suggestions in each chapter of specific sake and briefly describes the experience of each as well as the kura that make them, giving the reader a nice place to start in the exploration of sake tasting.
If you are at all interested in sake, this is the perfect book to start with. Easy and informative, perfectly written.