寿司テーブル La Table de Sushi
Sushi Table Asian Bistro
Types of Premium Sake
Fermented rice wine made from koji and rice (between 15% and 18% alcohol). Sake is usually served warm in small cups and served at room temperature or chilled.
This can be translated as pure rice sake. Nothing is used in its production except rice, water, and koji, the magical mold that converts the starch in the rice into fermentable and non-fermentable sugars. Junmai-shu is made with rice that has been polished (milled) so that at least 30% of the outer portion of each rice grain has been ground away. The taste of junmai-shu is usually a bit heavier and fuller than other types, and the acidity is often a touch higher as well.
Honjozo is sake to which a very small amount of distilled ethyl alcohol (called brewers alcohol) has been added to the rmenting sake at the final stages of production. (Water is added later, so that the overall alcohol content does not change.) Honjozo, like Junmai-shu, is made with rice that has been polished (milled) so that at least 30% of the outer portion of each rice grain has been ground away. This, plus the addition of distilled alcohol, makes the sake lighter, sometimes a bit drier, and in the opinion of many, easier to drink. It also makes the fragrance of the sake more prominent. Honjozo often makes a good candidate for warm sake. Note that most run-of-the-mill cheap sake has an excessive amount of brewers alcohol added to it, which is not good. Honjozo has only a very small amount of added alcohol.
This is sake made with rice that has been polished (milled) so that no more than 60% of its original size remains. In other words, at least the outer 40% has been ground away. This removes things like fats and proteins and other things that impede fermentation and cause off-flavors. But that is only the beginning: ginjo-shu is made in a very labor intensive way, fermented at colder temperatures for a longer period of time. The flavor is more complex and delicate, and both the flavor and the fragrance are often (but not always) fruity and flowery.
Daiginjo-shu is ginjo-shu made with rice polished even more, so that no more than 50% of the original size of the grain remains. Some daiginjo is made with rice polished to as far as 35%, so that 65% is ground away before brewing. Daiginjo is made in even more painstaking ways, with even more labor intensive steps.
Junmai Ginjo and Junmai Daiginjo:
Some ginjo-shu and daiginjo-shu are also junmai-shu. So a junmai ginjo-shu is a ginjo -shu with no added ethyl alcohol. If a ginjo or daiginjo is not labeled junmai, then the added alcohol is limited to the same small amounts as honjozo.
Namazake is sake that has not been pasteurized. It should be stored cold, or the flavor and clarity could suffer. Namazake has a fresh, lively touch to the flavor. All types of sake (junmaishu, honjozo, ginjo-shu, and daiginjo-shu) can be namazake, or not.
That is unfiltered.
Special Designation Ingredients Rice Polishing Ratio Percentage of Kōji rice
Junmai Daiginjō-shu (純米大吟醸酒) Rice, Kōji rice Below 50% Not less than 15%
Daiginjō-shu (大吟醸酒) Rice, Kōji rice, Distilled alcohol Below 50% Not less than 15%
Junmai Ginjō-shu (純米吟醸酒) Rice, Kōji rice Below 60% Not less than 15%
Ginjō-shu (吟醸酒) Rice, Kōji rice, Distilled alcohol Below 60% Not less than 15%
Tokubetsu Junmai-shu (特別純米酒) Rice, Kōji rice Below 60% or produced by special brewing method Not less than 15%
Tokubetsu Honjōzō-shu (特別本醸造酒) Rice, Kōji rice, Distilled alcohol Below 60% or produced by special brewing method Not less than 15%
Junmai-shu (純米酒) Rice, Kōji rice Below 70% Not less than 15%
Honjōzō-shu (本醸造酒) Rice, Kōji rice, Distilled alcohol Below 70% Not less than 15%