Specialty Wine 101 - Sake

Specialty Wine 101

Although Sake is known as rice wine, the process for making Sake is closer to beer. Sake can have many flavor notes, such as apples, chocolate, bananas, tropical fruit, melons, flowers, spice, chestnuts, sherry, and caramel. The following are a few types of Sake:

Genshu is an undiluted sake with an alcohol content of around 19%. Genshu is full-bodied and rich in flavor.

Ginjo is a special type of Junmai or Honjozo. All the rice used in Ginjo must be polished to at least 60% of its original size. This Sake is light and clean with a tangy flavor and aroma.

Honjozo Sake has added alcohol. It is always imported and is classified as a distilled spirit. Normally Honjozo tends to be lighter in flavor than Junmai.

Junmai is sake made of only rice, water, koji and sake yeast. The rice has been polished to 70% or less of its original size. It is usually full-bodied and slightly acidic.

To produce Nama, fresh sake is microfiltered once before aging and once in the process of bottling. Nama has a fruity, fresh taste with a pleasant aroma.

Nigori is a cloudy, unfiltered Sake that is milky white in appearance and sweet in taste.