Holy smokes, we have just beefed up our sake selection and we have a ton of new items to try. Sake has always been flying under the radar in the drink world but the times are a changing. We have seen a huge increase in the thirst for this lovely beverage, but what exactly is sake? Is it beer? Wine? Liquor? To help demystify sake it’s time for a little sake 101.
Many of the sakes that grace our shelves are premium quality sake that should be consumed cold like you would a white wine. You will also find the word “junmai” on a lot of the bottles as well. This is significant for a few reasons. First, sake that uses the word junmai either by itself, before a word, or after a word means that the sake is a pure rice grain sake. Some sake does have added distilled alcohol to it which can help richen the sake or enhance its aromatics. The second meaning for junmai refers to the level of polish the rice is given before they brew the sake.
Yes, I said BREW! Sake is made in a similar fashion as beer is, but it is technically not considered beer. There are only a handful of ingredients in sake. Typically you will find water, rice, and koji. These will be the only ingredients used in the brewing process for all junmai sake. Non-junmai sake may contain additives such as distilled alcohol, sugar, or amino acids.
Now that you are a sake expert it is time to try some our or new sakes. Goodbye boring beverages! Take home some of these tasty morsels as they can pair with just about any food.
Miyasaka Yawaraka Junmai “Matinee” Sake – 720ML $23.99
Hints of puffed rice, caramel, cream, and grains jump from the glass on this chuggable, only 12% ABV, sake. Pear and honeydew grace your palate and finish with a hint of citrus. This sake will pair with anything!
Ama No To Tokubetsu Junmai “Heaven’s Door” Sake – 300ML $17.99
With over 100 years of brewing experience Asami Brewery makes this lovely little sake that is dry and medium bodied. Slightly floral, nutty, and crisp on the finish this sake will have you reaching for more. Its core shows light apple and baking spice nuances that go great with risotto, pork, or mushroom dishes.
Mantensei Junmai Ginjo “Star Filled Sky” Sake – 300ML $16.99
This sake is super unique. It has been aged in tank for three years helping to develop super rich and savory flavors. A touch of dried honey and toffee lead way to a creamy stone fruit finish. Lightly fruity but dry, and dangerously delicious. Pairs great with any grilled meat.