|Pouring 96 varieties of Sake|
Sake, as you may already know, is a beverage fermented from rice, a grain that to my way of thinking categorizes it rather closer to the beer family than to wine. On the other hand, sake is not carbonated and tastes far more like wine than beer, and not even remotely like gin, vodka or other spirits. So “when in Tokyo” do as the locals do, I always say.
|Beautiful Sake bottles on display|
The unique fruitiness, fragrances of flowers, hints of mushrooms, earth tones and the like -- in short, the sorts of things one might look for in wines from Europe or America -- are present in sake as well. In sake’s case, however, the nuances result largely from the specific yeast used (specified by number on most bottles for serious connoisseurs), the flavor of the local water, and so on. Thus, many of the joys of sake stem from an understanding of the drink’s terroir just as they do with western wines.
Richard Dare is an author, cultural commentator and executive who enjoys fine wines and good food.