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Sake Hot/Cold - Page 2

post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
sorry, also not true. warm sake has a depth that cold sake often lacks. it is completely dependent on the style and flavor profile. to say that the vast majority are better cold just shows that you really don't know sake.

I'm not going to get into an argument over taste, but I was glancing around the web to see whether I "really don't know sake". The "vast majority" of this site's top 100 seem to be recommended to be consumed on the colder side of spectrum. Also, while you may have access to some good stuff that is fine warm, in my experience (particularly in the US), the warm sake served in Japanese restaurants tend to be of a lower grade and an overall worse experience. If someone is interested in getting to know sake, I recommend that they start out buying good stuff in a specialty store and drinking it cold, as overheating it (which often happens in restaurants) tends to kill the taste and make sake into a one-note alcoholic beverage. YMMV.
post #17 of 41
When I bought a bottle recently, which I haven't tried yet, the person at the liquor store told me that the one I got should be served cool (says so on the bottle even). She told me that the cheaper ones are served warm to mask some of the less desirable flavors, and that the nicer ones are best served slightly chilled, a la red wine.
post #18 of 41
The rule of thumb is that good sakes are served chilled while cheaper sakes are served warm. I'm sure there are exceptions but that's the general guideline.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinc View Post
The rule of thumb is that good sakes are served chilled while cheaper sakes are served warm. I'm sure there are exceptions but that's the general guideline.

yes, most good sake tastes better cold.

Sake and Asian rice wines in general, huge can of worms. There are just so many ways sake is made - pasteurized, not pasteurized, what quality (what degree of milling/polishing) of rice, presence of distilled alcohol in the blend, filtered, unfiltered, and where the rice and the distillery come from, plus more. Niigata sake is well known.
If you are just wanting to try better sakes, look at the price tag, judge how ornate the packaging is (really cheap stuff comes in a tetra pack carton, cheap stuff has printed labels; more expensive sake will have ornate boxes and washi labels, calligraphied print, hand numbered batches, ribbons, etc, etc - if it looks expensive, it's probably good), look at the label and see what style it is, Ginjo and Dai-ginjo mean it's made from highly milled/polished rice. Junmai means 'pure/100% rice (no added alcohol) and 'nama' means fresh/raw, concerning pasteurization. There are other things, like the order of the pressings (kind of the same way olive oil is categorized, except the virgin pressing of rice is not the best pressing) and then factors that go into alcohol in general, like the water source.
Sake is cheap and not aged, so the price differentials are not going to be extreme as with whisky or wine.

Gekkeikan is the brand you're gonna run into across America for basic sake, that stuff is distilled in California. Here is a better Gekkeikan I had not long ago, a junmai ginjo. Still nowhere near the best, but definitely a step up from the cheap Gekkeikan. It'd be like PBR vs a Samuel Adams or something. (note slightly more ornate label, and it came with a box and a fancy ribbon, etc)
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ama View Post
barley tea.

Agreed.
post #21 of 41
Warm sake has almost always made me gag. I really don't enjoy it.
post #22 of 41
If I lived in Chicago and I weren't driving home, I'd love warm sake. It's really nice to have living in Asia (where we are served warm water half of the year) when you step in from the cold, which gets Chicago bitter cold or more here. 10 minute walk there and back but it does the job if you sit there and drink a few tokuris. I think it's nice in lieu of a mulled drink culture, it gets you warm and a little fucked up.
post #23 of 41
I prefer chilled. Over 90% of the time, I drink jyunmai-ginjyo or jyunmai daiginjyo and I think these taste better slightly chilled.

If it's a cold, winter day, and I'm in a casual setting, I will sometimes order a hot jyunmai.

I don't agree that you shouldn't drink sake with sushi. If you come to think of it, beer is a foreign drink, so recommending it as the BEST drink to go with sushi is a bit strange. Yes, it does go well with sushi and all other types of Japanese food, but I think sake does as well.
post #24 of 41
With something as delicate as raw fish, I prefer no beverage or maybe room temp water.

I tend to not drink much if I'm eating well prepared food.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
I prefer chilled. Over 90% of the time, I drink jyunmai-ginjyo or jyunmai daiginjyo and I think these taste better slightly chilled.

If it's a cold, winter day, and I'm in a casual setting, I will sometimes order a hot jyunmai.

I don't agree that you shouldn't drink sake with sushi. If you come to think of it, beer is a foreign drink, so recommending it as the BEST drink to go with sushi is a bit strange. Yes, it does go well with sushi and all other types of Japanese food, but I think sake does as well.

? Sushi as we know it today was made after beer was introduced to Japan.
post #26 of 41
cold and unfiltered. only way to fly.
post #27 of 41
Hot Sake is for certain types of sake's. Usually they are stronger and more aromatic. I don't eat food with it like this.

Cold Sake is eaten with snacks. I've never thought of having Sake with Sushi. Snacks include all the beans, octopus, servings of meat, etc...

Taste is purely on your preference for dryness.
post #28 of 41
im not sure where this idea of not drinking sake with sushi comes from. japanese people totally drink sake with sushi. if you're a sake snob, however, you would limit your choices to lighter fruity crispy ginjos, honjozos, nigorizakes, and leave the daiginjos to sip by itself.


there's really no wrong way to drink sake. like wine or whiskey people like different things.

the best thing you could do is either chill the sake and then slowly taste it and see how the flavors change as it oxidizes slightly and warms up. or super heat the sake (but reserve for cheaper ones) and then slowly taste it to see how the flavors change as it cools down.


IN GENERAL drink slightly chilled (wait 10 minutes out of refrigerator)

however (also like wine and whiskey), there is a more customary way of drinking sake that's a little more complicated (although again boundaries can be iffy and generalizations while useful are not absolute)


i'll break it down from according to temperature

white wine temperature (45 +- a few)
daiginjos - 35% or less polishing ratio)
junmai daiginjo - daiginjos that are made with only rice (and water, koji, yeast). regular daiginjos may have a little alcohol added at the end
namazake - unpasteurized
nigorizake - unpasteurized and unfiltered (cloudy). this is kind of like the dessert wine of sake as it can be sweet. the ones i've had were not as sweet and had some fizz.
shinshu - new, young sake

generally flavors and aromas are lighter and can be overpowered by acidity and alcohol at higher temperatures. eg daiginjos are expensive because of the subtle flavors, that get lost at higher temperatures.

room temperature
ginjo - 50% or less rice polishing ratio. alcohol at the end.
junmai ginjo - "only rice" ginjo". no alcohol at the end.
junmai - "only rice". no alcohol at the end. generally around 70% rice polishing ratio
tokubetsu junmai - special junmai. around 60%. not a controlled term. it can refer to method of production like kimoto and yamahai or lower rpr
honjozo - true brew or authentically brewed. technically not very different from ginjos as they also have alcohol at the end, but generally they're made with a different purpose of bouquet in mind, whereas ginjos emphasize flavor. personally, well i guess i havent had enough yet.
tokubetsu honjozo - special honjozo
kimoto, yamahai - traditional production methods. its a little complicated to explain to difference between the two, but they're both labor and time intensive. short summary: modern methods add lactic acid in the beginning to limit wild yeast and bacteria growth. kimoto, yamahai methods control the temperatures to change the influence of koji (bacteria that breaks down the starches into glucose. operates at. works at low temps. not a lot of things can grow) and yeast (converts glucose to alcohol. works at high temps. at higher temps a lot of other things can grow.).

generally hardier than the above category. more full bodied, rounded flavors and can stand up to alcohol and acidity at higher temperatures.

body temperatureish
koshu - sake aged in bottles and tanks
genshu - cask strength or undiluted sake
taruzake - wood aged sake

hot (kan) to piping hot (atsukan)
regyura-shu - aka regular sake. cheap stuff, not a lot of flavor. made to be drunk warm or hot.


most imported sake bottles have a gamut of stats in teh back. some things that can help you when buying sake

sake meter value or nihonshudo - refers to the sweet/dry scale. runs from about -4 to +13. + = dry end, - = sweet end. about a +3 is neutral.

rice polishing ratio or seimei buai - lower means more polished, more polished means more "pure" subtle aromas. it also generally means more expensive.

region - like impolyt mentioned niigata is pretty famous (a lot of prize winners and top notch toji (master brewers). two other big ones nada and yamagata.

rice - it's complicated but yamada nishiki is generally considered the best overall.

yeast - look for the yk35 strain. topnotch strain. the national competition in hiroshima has two categories. one for yk35. one for everything else which has about 10% of all the sakes entered.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nahneun View Post
? Sushi as we know it today was made after beer was introduced to Japan.

I would be surprised if sushi, which was fast food for commoners, was made to go best with some foreign exotic drink like beer that was just introduced to Japan around the same time.
post #30 of 41
i would imagine sushi with raw fish didnt get popular until refrigeration got popular
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