I know next to nothing about rice wine, I know even less about sushi.

I have major allergies to fish, so I can’t go there. Seaweed wrap just turns my stomach, because it’s got that “fishy” smell, so please don’t try to sell me on their non-fish rolls.

Now… being in the wine business gives me all sorts of opportunities; some directly related to wine, some indirectly related. Take, for instance, that Jose and I have a couple of restaurants as clients: Chinois Asian Bistro and Ume Japanese Bistro. They’re both owned by Chang and Kelley Liow, and Debbie Shu (Kelley’s sister). It’s family to family all the way, on every side of the fence.

Ume needed some images for their new Website, so I suggested that Jose and I go there during a lunch period. The day we were scheduled proved to be a bonanza… A group of eight hungry, adventurous men arrived, besides everyone else, and it seemed like these guys were determined to try every roll in the house.

Never, in my entire life, had I watched a sushi chef prepare his fish. This comes from someone who – although allergic to fish – was raised a Catholic. And, to be a “good Catholic” you had to eat fish on Fridays. Double that with a father who believed some day I would “learn” to eat fish, and you have an adult who has a lot of residual stuff going on.

FAST FORWARD: Photographing sushi chefs, with a big Oh… My… Gawd…

I forgot all the torture of my youth.

I watched incredulously as chefs wielded those knives so quickly that my head was spinning. (Sushi virgin, remember?)

And the end result just dazzled me in every way the sense of sight can be dazzled.

I can’t write about this anymore. From here, I went off and created videos.

You’ll “get the picture” with this first video.

Now, I’ve really got to get into rice wines… and began to wonder what I was missing.