Cherry Blossoms and Sake, a Perfect Pair

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Modern hanami celebrations are usually picnics or barbecues held in parks or on riverbanks and range from calm and relaxing to downright rowdy depending on the crowd. The most popular parks are packed with food vendors offering favorites like fried noodles, octopus balls, and candied fruit but many people bring elaborate picnic spreads of rice balls, pickles, fried chicken, and of course, beer and sake!

There are so many great places in the city for hanami festivities, from Central Park and Randall’s Island in Manhattan to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Hunters Point Park in Queens and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is hosting an official Hanami Festival from Tuesday, April 23 - Friday, April 25th.

Whatever your plans for cherry blossom viewing, we have amazing sakes to pair with your favorite Japanese food. Little Sumo Junmai and Yuki no Tenshi Snow Angel are both perfectly picnic-sized! Little Sumo has notes of plum and honey balanced with nutty almond and pairs well with rich flavors - try it with fatty tuna sushi or cheese. Snow Angel is a nigori, or unfiltered, sake with a soft, round finish and hints of melon. It’s wonderful with spicy snacks or big, savory flavors like burgers and BBQ. We also offer Brooklyn Kura Blue Door Junmai, made right in the heart of Brooklyn. This sake is full-bodied and earthy, a great match for your favorite ramen but also wonderful with pizza or Thai food.

Canned cocktails are another party favorite and our newest Social Hour cocktails are centered around the popular Japanese citrus yuzu. The Sunset Yuzu Fizz is tangy, fresh, and addictive - perfect for warmer evenings.

Order ahead or swing by the store for these great sakes or other wine pairing suggestions for your favorite Japanese dishes and picnic foods to celebrate hanami.

Tipsy is a woman-owned wine and spirits shop in New York City. We offer more than 200 varietals for every palate and budget, as well as artisanal gifts and glassware. In addition to our retail presence, we produce educational wine tastings for law firms, nonprofits, and companies of all sizes. Our team of women sommeliers is also available to lead wine tastings for private events, engagement parties and bridal showers. To book a tasting or order client gifts, email