Sake is an alcoholic beverage from Japan that is made from rice. Sometimes, in English, it is called rice wine, although it is not a true wine, and is in fact made from a process more similar to beer. Sake typically contains about 15% alcohol, and it is served in a variety of temperatures, depending on the type of sake and the drinker’s preference. Now, here are the 5 best bottles of sake!
Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo
This sake is certified organic, with the USDA seal, and the bottle, too, is made with recyclable materials and renewable fibers. Momokawa Organic sakes are the first and currently the only sakes to carry the USDA organic seal. Each part of the sake process in the Momokawa brewery is certified in fact. This inexpensive sake also offers quite a bit of pleasure for one’s palate. The aromas from this sake are very fruity and slightly spicy, and this sake has a bold, complex, fruity taste. It is crisp and has a nice, smooth, clean finish. This sake contains 14.5% alcohol, and a 750 mL bottle costs approximately $12.
Obata Shuzo Manotsuru “Yososaku” Junmai Daiginjo, Niigata perfecture
This is a colorless sake which will appear a bit sticky in the glass, and it smells of rain water and fresh melon. It’s a very aromatic sake, and it’s taste is quite pleasant as well. Upon sipping this sake, one will notice its crispness and the delightful flavors of pear and melon, with a touch of creaminess that will linger on your palate. It reminds the drinker of a crisp breeze flowing through the trees on a beautiful summer night. The flavors of this sake can be thanks to the Obata Shuzo brewery location – on Sado Island. The brewery, established in 1885, uses world famous rice to make their sake, and utilize the pure groundwater from the island. A 720 mL bottle costs around $80.
Ichishima Karen Coy, Niigata perfecture
This is a very sweet “new world” sake, that has a lower than usual alcohol content for sake (10.5%). This sake is filled with fruity aromas and flavors. I could smell and taste Fuji apple, strawberry, peach, and lychee. This viscous sake, although quite sweet and more acidic than usual, is beautifully balanced. The Ichishima Shuzo brewery is quite prominent in the Niigata region and originated in 1790, being family owned and operated ever since. This brewery was one of the first to allow female brewery workers in Japan. The brewery also claims many gold medal wins from the National New Sake Competition. A 750 mL bottle can be purchased for around $20.
Murai Family Junmai Daiginjo, Aomori perfecture
This sake gives the drinker a taste of old Japan with it’s layers of spices and fruity notes. It is quite a dry sake, but it has a light creamy taste upon your first sip. This is a very clean and fresh tasting sake that is sure to please the drinker. The Murai Family has been brewing sake for almost 200 years, and they have won an astounding 56 consecutive gold medals. This sake has a 15.5% alcohol content and is best served just slightly cooler than room temperature. A 720 mL bottle is priced at approximately $69.
Moonstone Asian Pear
The Moonstone Asian Pear sake is delightfully flavored by the Asian Pear Apple, and it’s bold flavors allow for just a touch of sweetness to be present. This sake has a luscious aroma and its creaminess is ever present. It is quite clear but with a slight grayish tint, and this thicker sake has a clean taste, mellow taste. Moonstone offered the first fruit flavored sakes starting in 1997 and has some other blends worth trying as well: Plum and Raspberry. The company is quickly gaining popularity throughout the world. This sake has an alcohol content of 13.5%, and a 750 mL bottle sells for around $11.