Sake reccomendations?

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Originally posted by Berno:
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Originally posted by Dave Tong BBP:
I recommend Sapporo instead.
Canadian beer?

No, that's Asahi.

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Originally posted by Berno:
So, I guess no one has tried a sake they have liked?

They all taste like meths to me, even the supposedly very good "Daiginjo" ones.
Some not too hard to find favorites:

Wakatake

Kubota

Hakkaisan

Kikusui

And I'll 2nd the Otokoyama.

One approach is to ask for the driest available in the price range you are after.

Etiquette dictates that premium sakes are served cold. Something like Ozeki might be okay to warm up with on a cold winter night, but kinda the 2 Buck Chuck of sake.

Also fun to explore are the seasonal sakes. These are usually small batch, non pasteurized and very fresh. Sometimes these can get too floral for my tastes but when I find winner, delicious!

Have fun!
Momokawa Nigori Genshu Sake Pearl. Served chilled. It has a lot of rice starch floating in it, so you have to shake it before pouring, and it comes out cloudy/milky in appearance. I really enjoy the flavour of this style Sake, and find it's excellent with sushi, and especially tuni, salmon, and shrimp sashimi.
Tonight with some excellent sushi, we had G Sake Joy, Junmai Ginjo Genshu Handcrafted. This is a really nice sake, smooth, light but quite intense, and I will go out of my way to source some to have in my home. But here's the kicker: this is made in Forest Grove, Oregon!

I am not a sake authority by any means, but this does not take a back seat to any fine sake I have had in the past. As our friend wine + art would say, Bravo!
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Originally posted by Berno:
Subject says it all/


hot or cold?

then when you decide, filtered or unfiltered(Nigori)?

Check out vineconnections.com in their sake section and they import quite a number and you can get information about several, including sweetness. Good luck.
most of them tastes the same in my opinion.

you really can't go wrong by just picking the style it was made.

which people above have mentioned

junmai just means it has been cut with some booze.

i liken sake to "what you pay for is what you get"

the more expensive it is, the more florally and delicate

the cheaper it is, the more fully bodied and at times harsh.

and I usually drink mine like i drink my scotch, neat. If it's cheap, I drink it cold to hide the alcohol and imperfections.
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Originally posted by g-man:
junmai just means it has been cut with some booze.

the more expensive it is, the more florally and delicate

the cheaper it is, the more fully bodied and at times harsh.

and I usually drink mine like i drink my scotch, neat. If it's cheap, I drink it cold to hide the alcohol and imperfections.

actually, anything labled 'Junmai' has been made with rice only and no added alcohol, and typically when you're trying to hide imperfections you serve sake warm not cold, as the flavors and aromas are almost always more muted...

for the most part i agree with your descriptors regarding cheap v expensive, but there's other factors as well, such as the designtation of the sake (not always correlated with price) and the associated acid and sugar levels in the sake, which taken together, in my opinion give more of insight into the style and flavor than price
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Originally posted by kumazam:
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Originally posted by g-man:
junmai just means it has been cut with some booze.

the more expensive it is, the more florally and delicate

the cheaper it is, the more fully bodied and at times harsh.

and I usually drink mine like i drink my scotch, neat. If it's cheap, I drink it cold to hide the alcohol and imperfections.

actually, anything labled 'Junmai' has been made with rice only and no added alcohol, and typically when you're trying to hide imperfections you serve sake warm not cold, as the flavors and aromas are almost always more muted...

for the most part i agree with your descriptors regarding cheap v expensive, but there's other factors as well, such as the designtation of the sake (not always correlated with price) and the associated acid and sugar levels in the Sake, which taken together, in my opinion give more of insight into the style and flavor than price


sorry, mistyped meant to type hasn't .

You get the best feel of a sake when it's just slightly below room temp. Most people have it cold or chilled which will mute nose and flavor. Some people have it warmed, which basically means it's been artificially heated to a very warm temperature.

Yes you cook something you change hte taste, and if you chill something you also change the taste.

Are you saying that me treating sake like a scotch means that I'm muting and hiding imperfections in my sake?

i would most certainly bet that in a blind, what you just said doesn't hold water irt sugar/acidity/whatever else you want to throw in there with sake =)
Do not quite agree there. You drink red wine at room temp, white wine chilled, does that mean you want to hide the flavours in the white wine? I dont think so. Each has an optimal drinking temp so does sake.
Basically low-level sake: chilled
Med-level sake: room temp
High-level sake: chilled, nothing wrong with that, just like Sauternes, Champagne...
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
sorry, mistyped meant to type hasn't .

You get the best feel of a sake when it's just slightly below room temp. Most people have it cold or chilled which will mute nose and flavor. Some people have it warmed, which basically means it's been artificially heated to a very warm temperature.

Yes you cook something you change hte taste, and if you chill something you also change the taste.

Are you saying that me treating sake like a scotch means that I'm muting and hiding imperfections in my sake?

i would most certainly bet that in a blind, what you just said doesn't hold water irt sugar/acidity/whatever else you want to throw in there with sake =)

not sure about much of what you're saying so i'll respond to what i can understand...

at what temp you get the best feel for sake is subjective... i did not say your personal preference for drinking sake at room temp hides imperfections... what i did say is that at the extremes (chilled vs warmed), a sake that is served warmed is almost always to hide imperfections and mute undesirable characteristics in the sake versus a sake served chilled.

i'm also not clear on what you're saying about "throwing in sugar/acidiy/whatever" as i wasnt referring to sake made by adding sugar or acid during the brewing process....

what i am saying is there exists a stronger correlation between the designation/type of the sake with its flavor profile then there is with its price... and that certain bottles of sake label their acid/sugar content... so that when looking at a bottle of sake you're not familiar with, if you note the designation (Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, Junami, etc...) plus the acid/sugar levels on the bottle, you'll get a much better idea about the profile of the sake then you would just by looking at the price
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Originally posted by kumazam:

what i am saying is there exists a stronger correlation between the designation/type of the sake with its flavor profile then there is with its price... and that certain bottles of sake label their acid/sugar content... so that when looking at a bottle of sake you're not familiar with, if you note the designation (Junmai Daiginjo, Junmai Ginjo, Junami, etc...) plus the acid/sugar levels on the bottle, you'll get a much better idea about the profile of the sake then you would just by looking at the price


if you note the designation, you'll see it is directly correlated with price.

which goes back to the original point that you can generally say the more expensive the more delicate florally and the cheaper it is the stronger, full bodied.
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Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Do not quite agree there. You drink red wine at room temp, white wine chilled, does that mean you want to hide the flavours in the white wine? I dont think so. Each has an optimal drinking temp so does sake.
Basically low-level sake: chilled
Med-level sake: room temp
High-level sake: chilled, nothing wrong with that, just like Sauternes, Champagne...


kumazam makes a better point, that it's clearly subjective on how to drink sake.
I personally don't drink my white wine chilled and my sauternes is never chilled.

my champagne if it's very expesnive is closer to room temperature than it is chilled.

but to say that chilling a wine doesn't hide its flaws is what I disagree with.

Either end of the temperature will hide one flaw over the other.

If it's too cold, it hides the spirits that might have been overpowering.
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Originally posted by g-man:
if you note the designation, you'll see it is directly correlated with price.

honestly, im not trying to pick a fight here or argue with anyone over this, but this is not true either... there is a general correlation with price and designation, but hardly direct... many, many other factors such as demand, reputation of the brewer, type of rice (there are dozens, i believe), region, etc, factor into the price, in addition to designation... it'd take me 5 minutes to find you Honjozo(s) that are more expensive than a Junmai or Ginjo sakes
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
if you note the designation, you'll see it is directly correlated with price.

honestly, im not trying to pick a fight here or argue with anyone over this, but this is not true either... there is a general correlation with price and designation, but hardly direct... many, many other factors such as demand, reputation of the brewer, type of rice (there are dozens, i believe), region, etc, factor into the price, in addition to designation... it'd take me 5 minutes to find you Honjozo(s) that are more expensive than a Junmai or Ginjo sakes


and you think it breaks the price paradigm that more $$$ means it's more delicate / florally?
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
and you think it breaks the price paradigm that more $$$ means it's more delicate / florally?

yep... if for example, we hold true that a Ginjo is supposed to be more delicate/florally than a Honjozo, im saying this holds true even when the Ginjo is less expensive than the Honjozo
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
and you think it breaks the price paradigm that more $$$ means it's more delicate / florally?

yep... if for example, we hold true that a Junami is supposed to be more delicate/florally than a Honjozo, im saying this holds true even when the Junmai is less expensive than the Honjozo


ya and that's where I'm saying I'd love to test out out blind, because I think it'll still hold. I did something in the past where it was two of each group, one cheaper and one more expensive and when it was blind the general results amongst the group came to what I stated.

i'd certainly love to do it again as I haven't done a blind sake tasting in over 6 years.

What format/examples would you suggest?
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
ya and that's where I'm saying I'd love to test out out blind, because I think it'll still hold. I did something in the past where it was two of each group, one cheaper and one more expensive and when it was blind the general results amongst the group came to what I stated.

i'd certainly love to do it again as I haven't done a blind sake tasting in over 6 years.

What format/examples would you suggest?

i blind taste sakes very frequently with friends too, a friend that's a chef does a once a month sushi dinner at her home where we all bring different sakes that is a great experience, its not uncommon to have almost a dozen different sakes...

...and to add what i was trying to say before, designation is just one of many influences on flavor/profile... even moreso, rice (believe there are more than a doezen different grains used), brewing method, house style, etc... play as much if not more of a role than designation, and definitely moreso than price...

id recommend finding a local purveyor you trust and try a couple different tastings... its just like wine, beer, or any other beverage...

one ive done with friends before is taking different sakes from the same house that milled different rices at the same (or close to as possible) designation, it's like trying a clone flight of Pinot's from a winery... i think you'll find the differences to be very apparent and many paradigms shattered
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
ya and that's where I'm saying I'd love to test out out blind, because I think it'll still hold. I did something in the past where it was two of each group, one cheaper and one more expensive and when it was blind the general results amongst the group came to what I stated.

i'd certainly love to do it again as I haven't done a blind sake tasting in over 6 years.

What format/examples would you suggest?

i blind taste sakes very frequently with friends too, a friend that's a chef does a once a month sushi dinner at her home where we all bring different sakes that is a great experience, its not uncommon to have almost a dozen different sakes...

...and to add what i was trying to say before, designation is just one of many influences on flavor/profile... even moreso, rice (believe there are more than a doezen different grains used), brewing method, house style, etc... play as much if not more of a role than designation, and definitely moreso than price...

id recommend finding a local purveyor you trust and try a couple different tastings... its just like wine, beer, or any other beverage...

one ive done with friends before is taking different sakes from the same house that milled different rices at the same (or close to as possible) designation, it's like trying a clone flight of Pinot's from a winery... i think you'll find the differences to be very apparent and many paradigms shattered...


In Ny i can find almost any producer, throw me some names and styles.

While, I dont doubt the slight nuances you are mentioning with the various method and rices, I'm still very skeptical that in a blind tasting you would say, pick out a 10$ sake that is delicate and floral, or pick out a 100$ sake that is heavy and harsh.
quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
In Ny i can find almost any producer, throw me some names and styles.

While, I dont doubt the slight nuances you are mentioning with the various method and rices, I'm still very skeptical that in a blind tasting you would say, pick out a 10$ sake that is delicate and floral, or pick out a 100$ sake that is heavy and harsh.

heavy and harsh... what happened to stronger and full bodied Confused, and of course, at the extremes you're going to find it hard to compare and find an excellent $10 sake and a crappy $100 sake, not exactly earth shattering there, and not where i thought the direction of this conversation was going... Roll Eyes

really, try some of the same type of tastings for sake you would do with wine... two breweries i really like are Heiwa and Kuji (Nanbu Bijin)... Otokoyama as mentioned above is good as well... if you can find some from Heiwa and Kuji they would be a great comparison just between two sakes, about the same price ($35-40 or so for Junmai-Ginjo) and completely different styles, i find the Heiwa's to be much more fruity and a great compliment to fried foods like tempura and broiled fishes, whereas the Kuji's are much more floral and crisp, perfect for sushi, though YMMV... the point being at the same price, you can have very different sakes

good luck!
quote:
Originally posted by kumazam:

heavy and harsh... what happened to stronger and full bodied Confused, and of course, at the extremes you're going to find it hard to compare and find an excellent $10 sake and a crappy $100 sake, not exactly earth shattering there, and not where i thought the direction of this conversation was going... Roll Eyes

really, try some of the same type of tastings for sake you would do with wine... two breweries i really like are Heiwa and Kuji (Nanbu Bijin)... Otokoyama as mentioned above is good as well... if you can find some from Heiwa and Kuji they would be a great comparison just between two sakes, about the same price ($35-40 or so for Junmai-Ginjo) and completely different styles, i find the Heiwa's to be much more fruity and a great compliment to fried foods like tempura and broiled fishes, whereas the Kuji's are much more floral and crisp, perfect for sushi, though YMMV... the point being at the same price, you can have very different sakes

good luck!


the convo wasn't about finding stuff int eh same price range,

it's saying that buying sake where if you were looking, the price point is a great guide to the flavor profile.

it's not like wine where you can easily find a crappy 100$ vs say a 50$ vs say a 30$ bottle.

"
the more expensive it is, the more florally and delicate

the cheaper it is, the more fully bodied and at times harsh."

you certainly would not find that correlation with wine.

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