Showing posts from June, 2019

Saké TOP 5: Neutral Sake

In describing the balance of Sake flavors you probably already know there are sweet Sake, like  Nigori ("Cloudy") and dry Sake, such as Onigoroshi (" Demon Slayers"). In between, on a scale called the "Sake Meter Value", are semi-sweet and semi-dry Sake. More about that here. In between that,  you will find neutral Sake. Neutral Sake taste neither sweet nor dry, but this does not mean  they have no flavor. Far from it; Neutral Sake possess  both  characteristics - acids and unfermented sugars (as well as esters and phenolic flavors), in a balancing act that walks a tightrope right down the center of your tongue, engaging more of your palate than a sweet or dry Sake might. As popular as a sweet Nigori like Hakutsuru's Sayuri , or a refined, dry Onigoroshi like Wakatake Onikoroshi  are, it's no wonder that the most popular Sake in America is a Neutral sake, Kikusui's Junmai Ginjo . By the way:  If you wanted to offer three Sake for a grou

Saké TOP 5: Dry Sake

You tried a few Sake and figured out this much: You like 'em dry. Great! I wrote about what makes Sake dry or sweet here . In the U.S., the Sake Market has finally started to take hold, in part because they stopped referring to Sake in binary terms like "Sweet or Dry". But now many Sake menus will avoid the words entirely, opting for alternative descriptors such as "earthy", "minerally", or "bold". These can be helpful in deciding, but in Japan "Dry or Sweet" is usually the first and sometimes only  criteria used when selecting Sake, so let's agree to acknowledge that Sake's depth and breadth has many dimensions - including semi-dry, semi-sweet, and neutral, and   it's okay to use "Dry or Sweet". Much of the cheap, mass-produced Sake of poor-quality also survive in the dry-realm. One example (that's right, I name names!) is the classic Ozeki One Cup. Keep in mind, they do still have their time