A Complete, 8-Item Set to Start Up or Refresh Your Sake Section

A Complete, 8-Item Set to Start Up or Refresh Your Sake Section 17
As sake continues to move beyond Japanese restaurants, more customers are looking to their local retailer for a great bottle or cup to take home– which means now is the time to refresh and upgrade your sake section!

Even if you are starting from scratch, the selections below can provide a good foundation to building a solid sake shelf. The 8-item set includes the sizes and styles that suit the spectrum of retailers’ needs, and if you’re keen to dive into a larger set, we’ve included an expanded 14-item list with yuzu and ume sake at the bottom of this post.

Let’s start with some pro tips.

PRO TIPS:

  1. SIZE: Although many retailers have carried the half size (300ml) bottles in the past, we find the cups and full size bottles are now the best sellers at retail.
  2. STYLES: All major styles are covered in the 8-item shelf set, including Daiginjo, Ginjo, Junmai, and Nigori. This is really all you need!
  3. CORE SET: The set can even be pared down to a core set of Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto, Bijofu Tokubetsu Junmai, and Yuki no Tenshi ‘Snow Angel’ Nigori.

THE 8-ITEM SET

 

Wine and Spirit Label 1

#1 Hakurakusei Junmai Daiginjo Sake, ‘The Connoisseur’

  • Elegant daiginjo that is the pinnacle of Hakurakusei sake
  • Classic daiginjo fruitiness with savory, herbal notes from the Omachi rice
  • Pairs with a broad range of cuisine
  • Heirloom Omachi rice milled to 40%

 

Wine and Spirit Label 2

#2 Brooklyn Kura Nama Junmai Ginjo Sake, ‘#14’ [KEG]

  • Light bodied, delicate structure, soft aroma of flower and apple, notes of tropical fruit.
  • Calrose and Yamada Nishiki rice milled to 60%
  • Serve chilled and enjoy soon after opening
  • Pairs well with lighter dishes: fresh seafood like steamed halibut and raw oyster or an array of soft cheeses.
  • 15% ABV
  • SMV (measure of dryness): 0

 

Wine and Spirit Label 3

#3 Bijofu Tokubetsu Junmai Sake, ‘The Gentleman’

  • Light, fresh and delicious
  • Notes of passion fruit and freshly cut mint leaves
  • Local Matsuyama Mii rice milled to 60%

 

Wine and Spirit Label 4

#4 Kurosawa Junmai Kimoto Sake

  • Made in the high mountain region of Nagano from snow-melt water and locally grown rice milled to 65%.
  • Premium Junmai grade sake made from just rice, water, yeast and koji.
  • Traditional “kimoto” method that picks up ambient microbes from local environment, gives sake robust character and prominent acidity.
  • Rustic flavor profile of black walnuts and cacao nibs.
  • Serving chilled will keep the sake lean and acidic, gently heating to 100F or more will bring out sweetness and chocolate notes.

 

Wine and Spirit Label 5

#5 Kurosawa Nigori Sake

  • Nigori (‘cloudy’) style sake is meant to remind you of trying raw sake straight from the tank.
  • Retains rice in the liquid for texture and a pleasant sweetness.
  • Locally grown Nagano rice milled to 70%.
  • Pairs well with richer or spicier cuisine like Sichuan dishes, Thai red curry, Kung Pao Chicken, and even barbecue.

[NOTE: The Kurosawa Nigori is temporarily OOS through December.  Apologies, it will be back soon!]


 

Wine and Spirit Label 6

#6 Chibi Zumo Junmai Genshu Sake ‘Little Sumo’ [CUP]

  • Little Sumo is a Junmai Genshu sake: a style made from just pure rice and water and left undiluted to make a stout 18% ABV sake.
  • Balanced between sweet and dry with elements of fruit and nuttiness. SMV: +6
  • Aromas of melon and plum, and rich texture with flavors of Asian pear, banana and almonds. Packs a lot in a small package!

 

Wine and Spirit Label 7

#7 Yuki no Tenshi Nigori Sake ‘Snow Angel’ [CUP]

  • A delicate, silky, unfiltered nigori sake. Off dry with a touch of sweetness but balanced at 12.5% ABV.
  • Aroma of lily flowers and cantaloupes, smooth and creamy texture, flavors of Muscat grape and strawberries with a lingering finish.
  • Rich and delicious, this pairs well with big flavors: spicy foods, BBQ, curries and even ice cream.

 

Wine and Spirit Label 8

#8 Toyo Bijin Junmai Ginjo Sake, ‘Asian Beauty – Super Dry’

  • Gorgeous fruity, allspice, nutmeg notes up front but finishes bone dry
  • Perfect style to cut through fatty foods
  • Yamada Nishiki rice milled to 55%