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What is SAKE?

JAPAN is home of about 2000 sake breweries or kuramoto (The president of a brewery) and each one prides itself on the distinct local character of it's sake.

Sake is known for 2000 years of unique Japanese traditional and culture.To understand the process of making sake, it helps to know that sake is brewed from water, rice, and yeast.

Japan Prestige Sake Association

++Special designations of Sake

The varieties of sake are determined by the quality of ingredients used and standards set by the Japanese government.

Daiginjo-shu ;
The highest quality sake brewed from rice which has polished to over 50% of its weight, koji (moulding rice) and water. It may contain all of these ingredients plus brewing alcohol.It has pleasant fruity aromas, and it still retains its fragrant aroma in your mouth.

Ginjo-shu ;
Higher quality sake brewed from rice which has polished to over 60% of its weight, koji (moulding rice) and water. It may contain all of these ingredients plus brewing alcohol. Its aroma of fruits or flowers is slightly rich and robust with a smooth, light and fruity taste.

Junmai-shu ;
Sake brewed from rice, koji (moulding rice) and water. It has its own unique character and it can be served with a variety of foods.

Honjozo-shu ;
Sake brewed from rice which has polished to over 70% of its weight, koji (moulding rice), water, and brewing alcohol. It is mild with crisp flavor.

Others ;
There are many other types of Japanese sake such as Namazake (Draft sake), Koshu (Age sake), Nigorizake (Cloudy sake), and even Sparking sake (Carbonated sake).

++Enjoy the wide variety of flavors offered by Japanese Sake

Japan stretches from the cold northern island of Hokkaido down to the tropical islands of Okinawa. So the various regions throughout Japan have very different climates and culinary traditions. These differences are used to produce a wide variety of sake flavors and styles.

Individual breweries also have their own histories, traditions and techniques, which contribute to the unique personalities found in each sake brand.

++Japanese Sake is the only alcoholic beverage
offering distinct seasonal flavors throughout the year

One of the biggest appeals of Japanese sake is the chance to discover unique flavors and styles developed for each season of the year.

For example, there are Haru-no-Shiboritate (Spring released draft sake) enjoyed between winter and spring, Natsu-no-Namazake (Summer released draft sake) during summer, and Aki-no-Hiyaoroshi (Autumn released draft sake) served in autumn.

These different types of sake also offer excellent affinities with the foods of their respective seasons. This means you can enjoy special tastes that only come around once each year.

In Japan sake is closely tied to events that express reverence for the seasons.

++Japanese Sake is one of the rare alcoholic beverages
that can be enjoyed at various temperatures

Japanese sake can be enjoyed at a wide range of temperatures from chilled to room temperature, lukewarm and even steaming hot. The flavor of warm sake, in particularly, can vary greatly based on its temperature. Warm sake also goes well with a wide range of foods.

Some people have said that sipping warm sake is similar to the sensation brought about by slipping into a hot bathtub made from Japanese cypress wood.

++Points for Selecting Good Japanese Sake

The first step is to sample many different types of sake, regardless of brand and price. When you are out at a restaurant, ask the staff to recommend a good brand of sake. Use the formula of "food taste x  sake flavor x temperature range + situation" to come up with an infinite number of delicious possibilities for matching food and sake.

-> Enjoy finding the best food and sake combination for you!

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