perjantai 2. tammikuuta 2009

Sake

A friend of mine asked about sake (酒) in Facebook. For some reason I was not able to save my text there so I copy the text here.

Alko sells nowadays two good quality sakes: Okunomatsu Tokubetsu Junmai and Okunomatsu Junmai Ginjo.

The US produced Gekkeikan which is also sold in Alko is not good but I sometimes use it for cooking. The Japanese usually warm low quality sakes because they think it masks the flavors and aroma. Good sake is not generally warmed.

There are many producers and I really don't know them well because the availability in Finland is so poor. All the sakes I tasted in Japan were much better than the Gekkeikan sold in Finland so if someone does not like sake because of it I recommend to try again.

Note that good sake is very delicate drink and doesn't keep well even in an unopened bottle. Something like three months is the upper limit.

Try to find word "junmai" from the the bottle. See Wikipedia about the classification of sake. Prizes are won often by honjōzō which has a little addition of distilled alchol

Well, I could of course email to Japan and ask for recommendations

3 kommenttia:

tei kirjoitti...

Thanks!

There are a lot of Sakes available here in S'pore even in regular supermarkets or grocery stores, let alone Japanese markets, which are abundant.

We have some Gekkeikan, which claims to be of Japanese origin (since 1637). It is much much smoother than any of the sakes I ever tasted in Finland. That's why I wondered if it is any good :)

What about the alcohol content? This is 13-14% by volume.

ari kirjoitti...

There was a better variety of Gekkeikan in Alko but it's no longer available. It is better than the US one that is still sold in Alko but also twice as expensive and not really worth the higher price.

I have no reason to believe that Gekkeikan would have no premium quality sakes. It's not their fault that only mediocre varieties are imported to Finland. I would also be a little skeptical if a Japenese person put down US sake. The Japanese tend to think Japanese equals to better in things like rice and sake.

Yes, 13-14 % is normal alcohol content. The bottles have much higher percentages and I think that's something like kantavierreväkevyys (whatever that is in English) or the sake isn't really sake but distilled liquour like awamori.

tei kirjoitti...

In beer brewing "kantavierrevahvuus" is original gravity (i.e., measurement of amount of sugar before fermentation), but I am not exactly sure how it translates to alcohol content, since the ABV of the final product is calculated from the original gravity and the final gravity (after fermentation).

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