Here is a list of the 10 best sake to enjoy and how to pair them with food
Sake, a versatile product, is more and more in vogue! Wanna know which one to taste first ? This expert shortlist is waiting for you.
The sake champion: Adatara Ginjo, was voted best sake this year at the international wine competition, while Kimoto Hatsumago Densyo, was crowned champion in the Honjozo category. Both are sake with unique flavors that go perfectly with European dishes, which once again confirms the versatility of the japanese drink. Here is a top 3:
Sawaya Matsumoto Shuhari Saido 1292 (Matsumoto Shuzo, Kyoto)
This sake has a vibrant umami, bitterness and acidity. It pairs ideally with red meat, for example, grilled beef or tuna sushi.
Daigo No Shizuku (Terada Honke, Chiba)
This sake is sweet and very acidic. It is an unfiltered sake whose water is not added after the brewing process. It goes perfectly with cheese or cream sauce.
Matsunotsukasa Daiginjyo Jyunmai Shizuku 2008
This sake is removed from the purée without pressing it, so its taste is very elegant. Aging also gives it a smooth and round texture, and its aroma is surprisingly intense. Serve with sashimi, snapper, scallop or octopus.
Isojiman Daiginjyo Jyunmai Yamadanishiki Emerald bottle (Isojiman Shuzou, Shizuoka)
This sake also uses top quality Yamada Nishiki rice. It combines notes of white peach and melon, with clear aromas. To be served with sushi.
Tengumai Jyunmai Daiginjyo 50 (Shata Shuzo, Ishikawa)
The Tengumai Jyunmai Daiginjyo 50 is rather a Sou-shu sake, but in terms of flavor, more like a Jyun-shu. It is not highly filtered, giving it a good complexity. Ideal with sashimi or grilled fish.
Houraisen, Kuu (Sekiya Jyouzou, Aichi)
This Kun-shu or aromatic sake uses Yamada Nishiki rice from Hyogo and Tokushima prefectures. The sake ages for one year at a temperature of 10 to 12 degrees Celsius in order to bring out a complexity of flavours. Best served with a white fish sashimi or grilled river fish.
Izumibashi Kimoto Kurotonbo (Izumibashi Shuzou, Kanagawa)
This sake follows the Kimoto method, using indigenous bacteria to bring out its complexity and to express the terroir. After two years of ageing, it has a clear impression with umami. Enjoy it with fish or smoked meat.
Hizoukoshu, Ohmon Ginjyo Genshu (Ichishima Shuzou, Niigata)
Brewed in 2000, the long ageing process has given this sake its amber colour and its original hazelnut and chocolate flavour! Since it contains no water, it is highly alcoholic (20%). Food pairing recommendation: drink it either as a digestive or with aged cheeses.
Sawahime Prototype Jyunmai Gold (Inoue Seikichi Shoten, Tochigi)
Made according to the traditional Kimoto method. In this sake the 15% of the rice undergoes a polishing process. This method brings out the bold umami flavor. Thanks to its sweet taste, the best way to enjoy this sake is pairing with spicy dishes, crab with chilli and Chinese spicy dishes or with foie gras.
Jyunmai Daiginjyo Komyo (Tatenokawa Shuzo, Yamagata)
New since October, its use of rice polished to only 1% has had a huge impact on the sake industry. In fact, it attracted the attention of sake connoisseurs. It is very sweet with a light aroma of white flowers and rice flour. Best served with a red snapper carpaccio or beef dishes.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.