any sake connoisseurs?

Double Chili Cheeseburger
2008/10/31 12:51:21
I am going to this restaurant and was wondering if anyone could make a few recommendations on what sakes to try? They have an extensive list so I am a little overwhelmed. Thanks for the help
Poverty Pete
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/10/31 14:48:47
The quality of sake is largely dependent upon how highly polished the rice is. Typically, rice will be tumbled until perhaps 25% of the grain has been removed, leaving only the center portion. In the higher qualities, such as ginjo and daiginjo, it might be polished to remove 50 or 60%. This is the main reason expensive sake is expensive, since it takes a lot more rice to make the same amount of product. Most westerners will have difficulty differentiating between the very high grades. If I were in your situation, I might start with a ginjo, then work my way down. Personally, I prefer the sakes of Nara.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/10/31 15:29:48
thanks poverty pete. I'll have to see what I go with depending on the prices of the place. I'll keep the sakes of the nara in mind
Filet Mignon
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/10/31 18:58:15
all i know is that i like it---and--that,surprisingly,one of the largest makers of sake for Japanese consumption is in California!!!! That was a big surprise to me--but then i shouldnt have been so shocked since i know that Calif. produces very high quality rice and sells LOTS of that to Japan.(Found that out when ni lived in rice country of northern Cal. and had friends that grew it)
Rick F.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/10/31 19:39:25
Thanks for starting this thread. I've had sake maybe twice, once fairly generic stuff and the other very good (to my uneducated palate). I'd like to learn more about it. The time I had the good stuff I accidentally knocked the container over and lost all but a sip or two. Ouch!
Filet Mignon
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/10/31 23:07:02
I've always had good luck letting the sushi chef recommend one. You'll pay a little more, but if you let him know that you want a great sake at a reasonable price, he'll take care of you.

Always go with cold sake.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/11/03 09:49:51
Hi Fattybomatty.

I lived in japan 3x years, and yes, I have sampled my way around the sake producers.

I'll point you to three styles rather than specific brands. Stay within the style is safer than attempting to hunt down specific name brands.

My personal preference is to Ginjo, Daiginjo, and Junmai Daiginjo style sake's. They are clean, slight fruit, dry to semi-dry, and very drinkable compaired to other styles. "Tenkyu" is a favorite of mine from Yamanashi where I used to live. ***I would recommend getting tasting flights within these three styles, many restaurants offer this.*** And like any good wine lover - if you find something you LOVE - write down the name!

Nama-sake is interesting. Non pasturized and unfiltered it'll have a little cloudyness to it like a unfiltered wheat beer, and also more fruityness and a touch of sweetness usually. These are not common sake's to find and I enjoy trying them since they are very much an old school country style.

Nigori-Sake, Ko-shu, Kijo-shu I personally don't care for, though many people do like them. They are typically sweet to very sweet. Akin to a sweet sherry. I consider it a post-dinner drink and one is enough for me. If that.

I prefer my sake room temp. You get better flavor that way. Cheap sake benefits from being hot, smooths out the harshness. Premium sake is at it's best slightly chilled below room temp.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: any sake connoisseurs? 2008/11/03 20:38:53
I enjoy the unfiltered sake. It seems to have more flavor and less of that straight alcohal taste.