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Sake

Origins of Sake

What is sake?

Known worldwide as Japan’s national drink, sake is made from fermented rice that has been milled or polished to remove its outer layer or bran. Even though sake is sometimes referred to as white wine, it is actually produced through the brewing process in which starch is converted into sugars and fermented into alcohol. Sake is non-carbonated and contains around 14% to 16% alcohol. 

Standard vs. Premium

Types of Sake

Sake comes in two main categories — standard sake (futsushu) and premium sake (tokutei meishoshu). Essentially, the more the rice has been polished and the less grain left before the brewing process, the finer the sake. In standard sake, less than 30% of the grain has been removed. Premium sake is classified according to the degree of milling (the more polished the rice, the finer the sake) and fermentation techniques. Here are the main designations. 

Honjozo: At least 30% of the grain has been polished
Ginjo: At least 40% of the grain has been polished
Daiginjo: At least 50% of the grain has been polished
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