How to Choose the Perfect Glass of Sake

If you’re interested in Japanese food and cocktails, you probably love drinking sake. There is an art to choosing the right kind of sake to complement your Japanese dining experience. Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect type of sake to go with your Japanese food.

Determine Which Style of Sake You Like Best

Sake is available in two styles: junmai and fortified. Both contain alcohol and are brewed from rice. Junmai is the pure rice style of sake, and is crafted from rice, water, yeast, and koji. Fortified sake is most often found in Japanese restaurants, and is crafted from rice, water, yeast, koji, and fortified alcohol. Either is available in a daiginjo variety, which is soft, fruity, aromatic, and complex.

Be Familiar with the Different Grades of Sake

Each style of sake is available in different grades, which determine how polished the rice is, and how fragrant and refined the sake is. Junmai has an unspecified degree of rice polishing, while junmai ginjo contains medium polished rice. Junmai daiginjo is the most refined and contains highly polished rice. Futsu-shu is fortified sake that contains little or no polished rice. Honjozo contains slightly polished rice, and ginjo contains medium polished rice. Daiginjo contains highly polished rice.

Know Which Japanese Foods Pair Best with Sake

Middle-grade sake, such as junmai ginjo or ginjo, pairs best with all Japanese food. Higher grades of sake will detract from the taste of your food, as the sake is so flavorful and aromatic. The lower grades of sake are so delicate that you can’t fully experience their flavors if you drink them while eating Japanese food. In general, sake pairs best with fish, soba, udon, and salad.

If you’re interested in visiting a Japanese cocktail lounge San Jose to try sake, come see us at Genjo Japanese Steakhouse and Cocktails. Our cocktail lounge serves several varieties of sake, and you can also enjoy it with our delicious Japanese food. To learn more about our menu or hours, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

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