Sake 101

Read our top tips to get you started on your discovery of sake ...

 

Ten facts about sake

  • Sake is pronounced sah-ke (think Ke for Kevin07), not sa-ki.
  • Sake is a rice based alcohol beverage brewed using water, rice, malted rice (koji) and yeast and is actually called Nihonshu or Seishu in Japan.
  • Sake’s flavour spectrum is broad and can range from light and delicate, aromatic and complex, rich and robust. There are twice as many esters prevalent in sake making than winemaking so there is a broad canvas of sake to enjoy.
  • Sake has been brewed in Japan for about 1000 years but the top 4 grades of sake ginjo-shu as we know it today have only been in existence for 40 years.
  • Sake is extremely food friendly. Unlike wine there are no tannins or high acidity to adversely affect the flavour of your food.
  • Sake tastes great with many cuisines, not just Japanese.
  • In Japan sake is known to have health benefits. It is also preservative free and gluten free. (as opposed to wine which requires sulfites to make it shelf stable).
  • Sake can be intimidating … indecipherable Japanese characters and labels are difficult to remember and hard to pronounce. Our goal at Sakeshop is to make choosing sake simple.
  • Sake classifications are based on the degree of milling of the rice grains. The more the rice is milled away the more fats and proteins are removed and the more expensive the sake.
  • Sake classifications give a very broad indication of flavour but there are many many exceptions. Unlike wine varietals there are no steadfast terroir guidelines to flavour.

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