There are two basic types of sake: Futsū-shu (普通酒?, Ordinary sake) and Tokutei meishō-shu (特定名称酒?, special-designation sake). Futsū-shu is the equivalent of table wine and accounts for the majority of sake produced. Tokutei meishō-shu refers to premium sakes distinguished by the degree to which the rice has been polished and the added percentage of brewer's alcohol or the absence of such additives. There are eight varieties of special-designation sake (Rice Polishing Ratio% is displayed in brackets):
Junmai Daiginjō-shu (純米大吟醸酒) Pure rice, Very Special brew (Below 50%)
Daiginjō-shu (大吟醸酒)Very Special brew (Below 50%)
Junmai Ginjō-shu (純米吟醸酒) Pure rice, Special brew (Below 60%)
Ginjō-shu (吟醸酒) Special brew (Below 60%)
Tokubetsu Junmai-shu (特別純米酒) Special Pure rice (Below 60% or produced by special brewing method)
Tokubetsu Honjōzō-shu (特別本醸造酒) Special Genuine brew (Below 60% or produced by special brewing method)
Junmai-shu (純米酒) Pure rice (Below70%)
Honjōzō-shu (本醸造酒) Genuine brew (Below70%)
How to serveSake can be served in many various ways to best suit the season and your taste.
Sake Test Filmwith Mats Bruzaeus and Mitsuo Otsuka at Izakaya MITSUO in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.
Our sommelierChief Sommelier Mats Bruzaeus had the pleasure of studying Sake over the years in Japan.