Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Four Classification Grades of Sake
Since 2015, Eiji Mori has served as the executive general manager of Sushi Roku, an Innovative Dining Group (IDG) restaurant in Newport Beach, California. Prior to this, Eiji Mori served as the general manager of Katana Sushi and Robata Bar, where he was the Sake Sommelier of all of IDG restaurants.
Sake (a Japanese alcoholic beverage) is divided into several classification grades based on how much of the rice kernel is ground out during the milling process and how much alcohol is added to the brew. There are four basic sake grades.
1. Junmai - Junmai sake consists only of rice, koji, water, and yeast. Since there is no distilled alcohol in this type of sake, it tends to have a fuller flavor and is a bit heavier than other grades. It also has a slightly higher acidity level and works well with a variety of foods.
2. Honjozo - Made from rice that has been milled at least 30 percent A small amount of distilled alcohol is added to this type of sake to improve its flavor and aroma.
3. Ginjo - When ginjo sake is brewed, at least 40 percent of the rice kernel is ground away. This creates a light and fragrant sake that is complex and layered. Ginjo sake can be made with added alcohol, as is the case with honjozo, or without added alcohol, like junmai.
4. Daiginjo - At least 50 percent of the rice kernel is milled out when daiginjo sake is brewed. Similar to ginjo sake, daiginjo sake is light, fragrant, and fruity, and can be either a junmai daiginjo, meaning no alcohol was added, or a honjozo daiginjo.