Sake. Most people will have come across Sake as a body-temperature alcoholic drink served in Japanese restaurants, usually with Sushi. Most people know it’s made from rice and that it comes from Japan … and that’s usually where the knowledge ends. But Sake is carving out a clear niche among the wine cognoscenti as an alternative to grape wines. This rise in popularity is, no doubt, fuelled by the increasing number of sushi and other Japanese restaurants in the UK and by the growing realisation that Sake has huge variety and subtlety. This pleases connoisseurs and importers alike. One of the indicators of Sake’s rising import is its place within the International Wine Challenge, held this year at The Barbican in London. As someone who knew precious little about Sake, I was pleased to attend a seminar given by Kenichi Ohashi, as part of the Discovery Tasting sponsored by the Sake Samurai Association. The main thrust of the seminar was to compare the two styles of Sake: junmai and non-junmai.
The Sakes we tasted included Daiginjo limited, Masuizumi; Junmai-Daiginjo, Masuizumi; junmai, Masuizumi, and Karakuchi, Masuizumi from Masuda Shuzo-Ten.

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