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Only 2 things to remember when you choose Sake for beginners

Only 2 things to remember when you choose Sake for beginners

For sake beginners, picking out a bottle of sake or ordering sake at a restaurant seems like it should be a complex process. You may have no idea what to buy or where to start. But when you choose sake, there are only 2 things to remember.


Step 1: Is the Sake made from only rice and water?

Sake is basically made from fermented rice and water. But for some types of sake, a small amount of distilled alcohol is added. In cheap sake, a large amount of distilled alcohol might be added to increase the volume of sake produced. The sake that is made from only rice and water is called a "Junmai"


Step 2: Rice Polishing Ratio

The grade of sake is determined by how much the rice is polished. The polishing removes undesirable fats so that only the starch center of the grain remains. The normal polishing ratio is about 30% of rice polished away. But the sake that is made form the rice at least the outer 40% of the grain is polished away is called a "Ginjo". Premium Ginjo sake is much more delicate, balanced, fragrant, and complex than non-premium sake.




No added alcohol Some added alcoho
Junmai Daiginjo

Junmai Daiginjo brewed with very highly polished rice (to at least 50%). Generally light, complex and fragrant.

Daiginjo

Daiginjo brewed with very highly polished rice (to at least 50%) with added alcohol. Generally light, complex and quite fragrant.

Junmai Ginjo

Junmai Ginjo brewed with very highly polished rice (to at least 40%). Light, fruity, refined.

Ginjo

Ginjo brewed with very highly polished rice (to at least 40%) with added alcohol. Light, aromatic, fruity, and refined.

Junmai

Junmai brewed with very highly polished rice (to at least 30%).

Honjozo

Honjozo is made with rice, water, koji and a very small amount of pure distilled alcohol to help extract flavor and aroma. Light, mildly fragrant, easy to drink.