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All You Need to Know About Sake and Sushi Pairing

Japanese and Americans love to pair sake and sushi. It's time to know the best sake preparation and find out why this is considered a classic favorite!

Many people say that sake and sushi is a perfect combination. Sake is a beverage that is enigmatic, unique, and versatile. Contrary to popular belief, sake is not rice wine.  It is closer to beer, and it has its own category. Unlike yeast that converts glucose or sugar into alcohol, sake is fermented using starch.

Basic Information About Sake

There are different types of sake including Junmai , Ginjo, and Daiginjo. The process of making it involves fermentation of polished rice with “koji” or a mold spore. This is followed by a second fermentation wherein yeast inoculates the fermented material. You'll find “SMV” in sake bottle labels, and this indicates the measure of sake's sugar.

There are also different factors that affect the flavor of sake. When sake is more polished, the starch is cleaner, and the taste is cleaner.

The robust rice flavor of Junmai makes it an “entry-level” type of sake because 70 percent or less of the rice remains unpolished. Ginjo consists of 60 percent or less unpolished rice with floral and fruity notes. It is refreshing and light despite being more nuanced as compared to Junmai. On the other hand, Daiginjo is 50 percent or less unpolished rice with a rich aroma. It is usually produced in smaller quantities, defying finesse and complexity.

How to Serve and Pair Sake

Based on Japanese etiquette, it is polite to pour sake for your dining companions before you fill your own glass.

When serving sake, it should be at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge. When warming it up, never bring it to boil. Make a double-boiler in a pot using a glass carafe. Many sake connoisseurs don't recommend serving sake hot because it eliminates its natural flavor.

Do you want hot or cold sake with sushi? As a food wine, sake has great versatility. It can be paired with almost anything that wine can hardly pair with, such as asparagus. Sake also comes in slightly smaller bottles (720 ml) than wines (750 ml), making the sake and sushi pairing one of the most sought snacks and meals in Japan!

Why Sushi and Sake Make a Perfect Pair

Sushi and sake complement each other. Try the classic Shimizu-No-Mai with hints of crisp Fuji apples paired with tuna hand rolls. The fruity flavor and crisp sake cuts the fresh meat of tuna so perfectly!

You may want to pair your favorite shrimp roll with a mellow and round sake, Sho Chiku Bai Nigori. It has hints of fragrant melon and creamy coconut.

Experience the same breath and smooth texture of mild shrimp roll. This is a very harmonious pairing! Sake is truly the perfect pair for sushi! Visit sushi.com for more.