Sake: A partial glossary
When choosing sake, “distinctions are important,” said Jim Clarke in Bloomberg.com. You wouldn’t order a scotch without knowing its provenance, and sake has more subcategories to consider. If you’re new to premium sakes, start with junmai—pure rice sake. Those labeled daiginjo have the silkiest finish, because they’re made from the most highly milled rice. Dassai 50 Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Nigori ($20/360 ml). Nigori sakes are unfiltered, resulting in fruity flavors and a milky hue. Here, carbonation puts “a fun spin” on the style. Taiheizan Tenko Kimoto Junmai Daiginjo ($72/720 ml). A kimoto sake is fuller bodied, and gets its “yogurt-like tang” from acids created by indigenous bacteria. Cowboy Yamahai Ginjo Genshu ($30/720 ml). Designed to pair with meat dishes, a genshu sake isn’t diluted with water, and delivers the heft and acidity of red wine.