This guide is for people who like to drink sake occasionally, have a basic understanding of the different flavours of sake and would like to build upon this knowledge. If you are a complete beginner and don’t know where to start, but would like to learn how to enjoy sake, then check out our beginner’s guide. If you know a lot more about sake but would still like to brush up your knowledge with some general tips and advice, then you may benefit from giving our beginner’s guide a read.
Intermediate level sake recommendations
At the intermediate level, we recommend you excite your senses (taste and smell) with the Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi sparkling sake by Shirataki Shuzo. Imported directly from Japan, this sake is less sweet and drier than the popular sparkling sake from Mio. Its alcohol content is 11% compared to the 5% contained in Mio bottles. It’s crisp and easy to drink with refreshing notes of fruit. Available online and in-store.
Our sake sommelier Naoyuki Torisawa recommends the Yucho Kaze no Mori Akitsuho, also known as the “forest of wind” sake. This sake is particularly special and was imported from Japan. According to Torisawa, hard to get even in Japan as it is produced in limited quantities and enjoys elite status. It is unpasteurized and not heated twice so as to prevent fermentation. It has a fresh and lively taste; your tongue may even feel bubbles but not as strong as those experienced when one drinks sparkling sake. As it is undiluted, it is a powerful sake with a high alcohol content. Available online and in-store.
A savoury sake suited to intermediate level sake drinkers is the Kasumi Tsuru Kimoto Dry. Made with the traditional kimoto method of sake production, this sake has a more acidic taste. While powerful, its taste doesn’t linger and overwhelm the taste of any complementary side dishes or main meals, making it all the more enjoyable. It has a mellow taste which is announced when paired with any teriyaki style fish or meat. In fact, it’s so versatile that you can enjoy it with any kind of tempura dishes or white cod and nabe hotpots. It’s best enjoyed warm and is available to purchase in-store.
Lastly, Torisawa recommends the Nanbu Bijin umeshu for intermediate sake drinkers. Normally, umeshu producers will add sugar in their umeshu, however, Nanbu Bijin does not add any to theirs. Their umeshu is actually based on junmai sake and is thus drier containing a 9% alcohol content. This makes it the perfect complement to salty and sweet desserts. Available to purchase in-store.
We hope you’ve found our intermediate sake guide helpful, we look forward to welcoming you to our new sake room at Japan Centre Panton Street. Keep an eye out for our upcoming advanced level sake guide.
Check out our in-store Panton Street sake room:
Let us know in the comments below which sake you’ll be trying first.