SAKE NETWORK Discovery Selection

Your SAKE journey
begins here...

Each brand and bottle of SAKE can take on a variety of flavor and aroma profiles, so knowing which SAKE matches your palate can be overwhelming for beginners. Featuring a selection of distinct SAKEs, SAKE NETWORK's Discovery Set is your gateway to finding your personal favorite.

Scroll down to learn more about what makes each of the four main types of SAKE unique, what determines SAKE's flavor profile, our preferred picks selected from esteemed Japanese heritage breweries, and a special bonus gift for beginning your SAKE journey with us!

4 Types of SAKE: What's Your Profile?

As complex and varied as wine, SAKE offers a range of profiles that can typically fall within one of four broad types: Aromatic, Aged, Refreshing, and Rich. By understanding what each of these types encompasses, you can more easily find the ideal SAKE for your palate.

4 Types of SAKE: What's Your Profile?

What Determines SAKE's Flavor Profile?

Even within each of the four general profile types, there are endless varations from subtle to profound. But if you want to quickly identify what the SAKE will taste like even before opening the bottle, checking the bottle's SAKE Meter Value (SMV) and Total Acidity against this chart can give you a good idea of what to expect.

What Determines SAKE's Flavor Profile?

SAKE Meter Value:

The SMV determines whether the SAKE is dry or sweet using a scale between +15 (dry) and -15 (sweet).

Total Acidity:

The Acid Meter indicates the amount of succinic acid and lactic acid present in the SAKE on a scale of 1.0 to 2.0. The higher the number, the richer the flavor.

Alcohol Percentage:

SAKE is usually bottled at around 15% ABV. While the Ginjo SAKE family (Daiginjo, Ginjo, Honjozo, and Futsu-shu) are fortified with distilled alcohol, the purpose is not to increase the alcohol content but to help release the complex flavors and aromas that lay dormant.

Body:

Measured as full, medium, and light, body refers to the fullness and presence of the SAKE.

Serving Temperature:

SAKE can be served hot, cold, or room temperature. And both the flavor and aroma can drastically change depending on how you serve it.

Ingredients

The core ingredients of SAKE are rice, water, koji, and yeast, though what sets each bottle of SAKE apart is the quality of the ingredients and the region from which small brewers sources them.

Aromatic SAKE: Floral & Well-Balanced

Popular with international enthusiasts because of its fruitiness, aromatic SAKE boasts a sweet, dry flavor. To fully enjoy the aroma and taste, it's suggested to use a wine glass for drinking this type of SAKE.

When pairing with food, choose light cuisine like pickled vegetables, salmon or tuna carpaccio, sauerkraut, fresh mozzarella, fresh strawberries and bananas, or desserts like melon sorbet and gelato.

Aromatic SAKE

Featured SAKE: Sakuramuromachi Gold Omachimainosato

Omachimainosato

SAKE is usually bottled at around 15% ABV. While the Ginjo SAKE family (Daiginjo, Ginjo, Honjozo, and Futsu-shu) are fortified with distilled alcohol, the purpose is not to increase the alcohol content but to help release the complex flavors and aromas that lay dormant.

Omachimainosato
SAKE Meter Value:
3.5
Total Acidity:
1.5
Alcohol Percentage:
15.5%
Body:
Medium
Serving Temperature:
5-20°C
Suggested Pairing:
Salt-grilled Japanese sea bass, shrimp salad, lamb steaks, sauteed foie gras, and salt-grilled sweetfish

Aged SAKE: Complex & Robust

Naturally, aged SAKE comes with a powerful, complex aroma profile, and a sweet, acidic flavor. Aged SAKE is best enjoyed at room temperature, and drinking from a bell-mouthed ceramic cup helps maintain the strong aroma.

Aged SAKE goes great with chocolate, beef jerky, chorizo, Gorgonzola, vanilla ice cream and gelato, Mont Blanc, nuts, and liver pâté.

Aged SAKE

Featured SAKE: Takasago Ohikoshu

Takasago Ohkoshu

From specialty brewer Kanaya Shuzoten, located in Ishikawa Prefecture, comes Takasago Ohkoshu. This aged pale-amber Junmai SAKE is from 1995, and presents a brilliant umami and moderately matured aroma.

Takasago Ohkoshu
SAKE Meter Value:
3.5
Total Acidity:
1.8
Alcohol Percentage:
15.9%
Body:
Full
Serving Temperature:
15-20°C
Suggested Pairing:
Steak and stewed meats

Refreshing SAKE: Light & Flavorful

Refreshing SAKE is the lightest to drink, and easiest on the palate for aspiring SAKE enthusiasts. You can enjoy its gentle aroma with smooth flavors.

This SAKE is best served very cold, and goes well with tomato and green salads, ratatouille, sauteed pea sprouts, fried squid, salmon with grilled chèvre cheese, lemon pie, and lime gelato.

Refreshing SAKE

Featured SAKE: Tsukinowa

Tsukinowa

The Tsukinowa Shuzoten brewery in Iwate Prefecture brings you Tsukinowa, a smooth and refreshing Junmai Ginjo SAKE with a subdued aroma and perfectly balanced flavor profile that's not too sweet or too dry. This medium-body SAKE goes perfectly with vegetables and seasoned fish dishes, and is best served cold for a supremely delicious experience.

Tsukinowa
SAKE Meter Value:
3.8
Total Acidity:
1.6
Alcohol Percentage:
16%
Body:
Full
Serving Temperature:
10-40°C
Suggested Pairing:
Seasoned fish, vegetable dishes

Rich SAKE: Bright & Creamy

Rich types of SAKE boast a creamy texture and woody aroma, with a flavor that is sweet yet slightly bitter. It's suggested to drink rich SAKE from traditional earthenware.

Rich SAKE harmonizes well with chicken and cheese gratin, lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, grilled sausage, pizza, and cheesecake.

Rich SAKE

Featured SAKE: Joyo

Joyo

Joyo rounds out the standard SAKE spectrum by offering a rich Tokubetsu Junmai from Joyo Shuzo brewery in Kyoto. Feel free to heat up this unfiltered SAKE just a little bit to enjoy the modest aroma and slightly dry flavor. Brewed with the most strict of water quality standards, this Junmai pairs beautifully with meats and traditional Japanese dishes.

Joyo
SAKE Meter Value:
5
Total Acidity:
1.6
Alcohol Percentage:
15%
Body:
Full
Serving Temperature:
5-10°C
Suggested Pairing:
Japanese cuisine (ramen, sushi)

Order the SAKE NETWORK Discovery Set Today!

To help you explore the world of Japanese SAKE, we've packaged the four featured SAKE above to create the SAKE NETWORK Discovery Set -- a selection of disctinct SAKE that can help broaden your understanding and enjoyment of Japan's quintessential libation.

Rich SAKE

In addition to our four-bottle sampler pack, we are happy to throw in a bonus bottle of sweet, indulgent ume-shu dessert SAKE from Yoshino Shuzo as a special gift to you!

Featured SAKE: Koshigoi Junmai Daiginjojikomi

Koshigoi Junmai Daiginjojikomi

SAKE NETWORK completes its Discovery Set with the Koshigoi Junmai Daiginjojikomi, straight from Chiba Prefecture in Japan's Kanto region. This ume-shu dessert SAKE fuses a Junmai Daiginjo SAKE base with pickled plums to bring you a highly aromatic and delectibly sweet drink that heightens the senses when served cold.

Koshigoi Junmai Daiginjojikomi
SAKE Meter Value:
5
Alcohol Percentage:
15%
Body:
Medium
Serving Temperature:
5-10°C
Suggested Pairing:
An apertif or dessert SAKE

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