Pure sake is really hard to find in the U.S. It's pretty delicate and not easily transportable. Though there's a great factory in Berkeley, CA that produces most of the sake that American's drink, it's nothing like the pure stuff straight from Japan.
Enter something the Japanese are great at: having an open enough mind to realize how technology can solve a lot of these problems. They've attached RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) labels to each bottle of sake and tags to the entire box. The tags use the nation's 3G network to talk to the home office and send info such as location and, more importantly, temperature. This allows them to ship the sake much farther than previous capabilities as well as make sure it arrives in the right condition.
I'd imagine that some wineries would pick up on this in order to make sure that their precious juice isn't sitting outside of a restaurant in San Francisco on the days that it snows (like it did last weekend). Most wineries are so anti-technology though, I wouldn't wait around too long to watch them do it.
RFID in Japan: Transporting Pure Sake Using Sensor Tags [Ubiks.net]
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Monday, March 13, 2006
Served up by Rick Dobbs at 10:38 AM