|ABOUT SAKE||FAQ - D. TASTING SAKE &
PAIRING WITH FOODS
No. The traditional, premium Junmai-type sake is often enjoyed warm because warming draws out its complex and deep flavor. So while Junmai-type sakes can be enjoyed chilled, their real character shows best when warmed.
Refrigerate it until it is chilled but not cold.
First boil water in a pot and when boiled, remove it from the heat. Fill a ceramic sake carafe (tokkuri) or a small, narrow-necked glass bottle with sake and dip it into the hot water for a few minutes, until it is warm but not hot (a temperature of about 105˚F). Do not overheat the sake, and never boil it. Also, do not put the entire bottle into hot water; sake should be warmed only once before drinking.
Microwaving is not recommended. Gradual, even warming is necessary in order to preserve sake’s delicate flavor. It is also safer to use the method of warming sake in a pot of hot water. In a microwave oven the narrow neck of a sake carafe (tokkuri) or glass bottle can build pressure at high temperatures, posing the risk of injury to the user.
Because of its lighter alcohol level and versatile characteristics sake cocktails have become popular in recent years and new varieties are being introduced all the time. Unlike wine, with its tannins and acidity, sake’s subtle flavors mix well with and enhance the flavor other alcohols such as vodka and gin. (Please see sake cocktails recipes.)
ShochikuBai Classic, ShoChikuBai Extra Dry, ShoChikuBai Nigori have all been very popular.
To begin with, any alcoholic beverage drunk in excess will have harmful effects on the body, and drinking in moderation and responsibly is one of the keys to health maintenance. That said, sake does contain significant amounts of amino acids, and some of these amino acids are known to fight certain diseases.
Generally speaking, the rule of pairing of sake with foods can be best explored by considering the characteristics of the two fundamental sake types.
Junmai -type sake: With its full and complex flavors, enhanced by warming, Junmai-type sake is ideal with a wide variety of food, from delicate sushi to rich meat dishes. Different serving temperatures of the sake can also be tried, from slightly chilled to room temperature.
Ginjo type sake: Ginjo sake, produced with highly polished rice, has a clean and delicate flavor with a lingering sweetness. It is an excellent sipping drink, pairs well with light appetizers, and is sometimes enjoyed as a dessert wine. However, drinking Ginjo-type sake with dishes prepared with soy sauce or miso should be avoided. The rich Umami taste of these products will interfere with delicate Ginjo taste.