Pairing food and sake is similar to pairing food and wine. Sake is sometimes called "rice wine", however the process to making this alcoholic beverage is more similar to beer.
Like pairing food and wine the object is to first have fun and second to enhance the flavors of both the food and the sake. Sake is a versatile drink that can suits all types of different types of cuisines. Open your heart and mind up to the possibilities of sake and be prepared to be blown away!
Sake can be served chilled, room temperature, or gently warmed. The premium Sakes are best served chilled.
OTOKOYAMA TOKUBETSU JUNMAIThis tokubetsu Junmai has an earthy yet sweet aromatic nose that borders on ripe fruit. The strength in this Junmai rests in it unmistakable dryness and working acidity play. The flavor profile is very solid in the sense that it has a clean viscosity wrapped in a mouthful of dried fruit flavors and subtle earthiness. This is a very user-friendly dependable sake that is great for beginners and is well relied upon by old faithfuls.
SHO CHIKU BAI The most traditional style sake, it pairs perfectly with mildly seasoned dishes. Takara's main brand of Sake in Berkeley as well as Japan. It’s high quality and superior taste has made it the best-selling Sake in the United States — America’s favorite.
HAKAISAN JUNMAI GINJO Hakkaisan is one of the premier Junmai Ginjo’s in Japan (rated #2 in its type) and is quite difficult to obtain both here and there. This popular Ginjo has unique spicy nose of apples and roasted nuts, and this aroma translates over into the taste profile. It is obviously well built, as the consistency is overwhelming from first sip to the non-existent ending. Classic Niigata style brewing means that Hakkaisan has a superbly clean mouth texture and a whisper finish and should be tasted at least once in every sake drinker’s lifetime.
HAKUSURU JUMAI GINJO Uses only the finest rice, and Nada's famed natural spring water "Miyamizu", Junmai ginjo has been brewed with meticulous care and traditional methods. This flowery, fragrant Sake with silky, well-balanced smoothness can be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature. This sake is excellent with dishes like Sashimi, Cucumber fiesta, and the ahiahi roll.
GEKKEIKAN (OUR HOUSE HOT SAKE) Is the world's most popular Junmai-shu! It embodies the signature Gekkeikan style and represents over 370 years and 14 generations of sake brewing experience. It's characteristics are: herbaceous, grapefruit, and a light earthiness. Balanced acidity, mineral derived, with a clean, medium finish. This sake is good with dishes like super mussels.
SAYURI (NIGORI) is using only selected rice and rice koji, "sayuri" is brewed up carefully with the natural spring water from Mount Rokko. It has a refreshing aroma, natural sweetness and smooth aftertaste. The sake is good with our grilled fish dishes.
The more of the rice grain that is polished away, the more full-bodied and complex the sake will be.
*HONJOZO in which the rice is polished in such a way that a minimum of 70% of the grain remains.
*JUNMAI does not require a minimum percentage; however it is most commonly milled to a minimum 70% as well.
*GINJO AND JUNMAI-GINJO rice is milled so that only 60% of the core remains.
*DAIGINJO AND JUNMAI DAI-GINJO Is a further refinement, with a minimum of 50% polishing.
RICE, WATER, AND YEAST
In the process of making sake, another layer of complexity is added by using varieties of sake rice.
*Each type of sake rice contributes to the flavor of the finished sake. The "king" of sake rice is Yamada- Nishiki, which provides a full body and very complex sake. It is followed closely by Gohyakumangoku, and many others. Sake rice is very special, and the rice have been chosen for certain qualities.
* The "original" sake rice, discovered in 1859, is Omachi. Omachi is very rare, and very different than most sake rice. It tends to have more spice, earth, and is very complex. The aromas of sake are mostly influenced by the type of yeast that is used. There are traditional yeasts, more Umami, mushroom, soy notes, and there are modern yeasts, producing aromatic sake, flowers and fruits. Sake does not express territory, however it does express regional styles, which are driven by the climate, the minerals, and the hardness or softness of the water used and the style of the individual Toji- Brew Master.