Saturday, August 27, 2005


LA Times

Daiginjo. Means "super premium" and refers to a meticulously brewed sake made from rice that has at least 50% of its exterior polished off to reveal the "pure" starchy heart.

Ginjo. Premium sake crafted from rice polished down to 60%.

Honjozo. Made from rice polished down to 70%, with brewer's alcohol added to the mash. Drier than most other sakes. The added alcohol can make up only 25% of the total alcohol in the final brew.

Junmai. Sake to which no alcohol has been added, using rice polished so that 70% or less of the grain remains. Junmai tends to have more body and assertive flavors and less floral aroma than other styles.

Flavor Types

Kunshu. Primarily daiginjo and some ginjo. Delicate and light on the palate, aromatic and fruity with varying degrees of dryness in the finish. Good as an aperitif, with seafood and asparagus.

Sohshu. Light and smooth, a mix of junmai, honjozo and some ginjo. Moderately acidic with a light, clean aroma. Pairs well with sushi, seafood, chicken, tempura and light pastas.

Junshu. Primarily junmai, but occasionally honjozo. Has greater body and a bolder taste. Goes well with richer, creamy dishes, teriyaki, steaks and pâté.

Jukshu. Aged. Complements hearty foods like barbecue, fried foods, spicy dishes, meat sauces.

Other types

Gen-shu. Potent 20% alcohol sake, with no water added after brewing.

Koshu. Literally "old sake." Aged before bottling, it is full-bodied and mellow.

Kijo-shu. Amber-colored and aged, whose closest equivalent would be Port or Sauternes.

Nama-zake. Unpasteurized, raw or draft sake.

Nigori. Cloudy from sediments left in or returned to the brew; rich from the sweetness of rice.

Shizuku. Sake that has trickled through the bag filtering the fermented rice, drop by drop, without any of the usual pressing or squeezing.

I enjoy the Nigori.

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