As you might expect, we’re super excited about World Sake Day coming up this Thursday. In the build up to the big day, we spoke to store manager and in-house sake sommelier to discover his top 5 sake tips at Japan Centre…
Nao says: “Honjozo sake is a grade of sake brewed with less polished rice. It has a close resemblance of smell and taste to Junmai sake, but the main difference is that it has breweries alcohol added to the ingredients. Previously during the second world war, this method was used to cover the rice shortage. However, nowadays it is used as a brewery technique to produce a stable quality of sake with a smooth and fragrant finish. Hence, this sake is easy to drink continuously, with a light and crisp note that will delightfully accompany any meal.”
Nao says: “Kikuisami is a Junmai grade sake brewed with Dewasansan and Dewanosato, special types of sake rice grown in Yamagata prefecture. As you may know, the more polished the rice is the more elegant and fruity it becomes, as well as more expensive. This sake is slightly more polished than others in the same grade but comes at an affordable price. Please enjoy its slightly fruity and rich taste either chilled or warm!”
Nao says: “This sake is great for all celebrations. It’s a sweet, fruity sake that has been prepared naturally with Japanese rice, koji and water, then it has been lightly carbonated to give it a fun bubbly nature. In Japan, our F1 drivers spray sparkling sake like this instead of champagne! This sake can be enjoyed as an aperitif or during your meal. Suitable for the taste buds of even sake beginners, it is very enjoyable for all types of occasions.”
Nao says: “Here’s a great sake for sophisticated dinner parties with your friends and family. Taruzake sake is aged in wooden casks, giving it a fragrant woody note. The crystal clear water used to brew this sake is taken from the mountains of Toyama Prefecture, giving the sake an overall purity. It’s an enjoyable, mellow sake that doesn’t overpower. You can enjoy this one chilled, but I like it gently warmed up on a chilly evening.”
Nao says: “I strongly recommend this high grade sake. The polishing of the rice has a direct affect on the quality of the sake. With Gekkeikan Horin sake, the rice is 50% polished, which results in a dry, fruity flavour. This makes it perfect for first time triers of sake. Fruity sake is best served chilled. Gekkeikan Daiginjo is an example of sake which is produced to a high grade, and then brewed alcohol is added to adjust the fragrance and taste. This is in contrast to houris sake, which remains pure. We import all our Gekkeikan sake straight from Japan, so it’s the best quality possible!”
How will you be celebrating National Sake day? With a sake party, a visit to Japan Centre (where ALL sake will be 20% off ALL day, just saying) or perhaps an evening at our little brother Shoryu Ramen, where the team will be greeting each diner with a complimentary glass of house sake. Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Japan Centre – Japanese Food Hall Since 1976