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Saké

Learn about Saké — the range of styles, how it’s made and more …

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What are the types and styles of Saké?

The categories of saké are established not by rice variety, but by their polishing, or milling, percentages. The further it is polished, the higher quality the resulting saké will be. Saké with the lowest milling requirement at no less than 30% milled, so that 70% of each rice grain remains, is simply called Junmai. A notch above Junmai in its milling requirement, Junmai-Ginjo requires milling of 40% of the rice grain so that 60% of each grain remains. Saké with the highest milling requirement at 50%, so that 50% of each grain of rice remains unmilled, is called Junmai-Daiginjo. Junmai sakés are made of water, koji mold, yeast and rice, and brewed in the absence of added alcohol.

Saké can be finely or coarsely filtered, sweet or dry, and simple or complex. It can take on many flavors similar to wine, including apple, banana, and other fruits as well as floral, herbal and spice notes.

How is Saké made?

Saké is made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the outer bran, exposing the center where the flavorful starch is concentrated. Once milled, the rice is washed, soaked and steamed. Koji mold converts the rice starch into sugar so that the yeast can then ferment this sugar into alcohol. While Junmai is brewed in the absence of added alcohol, some brewers, in search of other flavors, aromas and textures, will add a small amount of distilled alcohol during the brewing process.

What gives Saké its color?

Most saké is clear because it has been filtered. Nigori saké is cloudy because it is filtered with a coarser mesh than used for traditional sake.

How do you serve Saké?

Most high quality saké should be served cold at 41F-46F to preserve the inherent delicate aromas and flavors. Traditionally (until about 40 years ago) saké brewers used cedar casks for brewing and storing saké, which gave it a woodier and rougher flavor. Warming suits this style, and less refined styles, better.

How long does Saké last?

If properly stored in a cool (41F-58F) and dark place, it is reasonable to expect an unopened bottle of sake to last about two years. Once a bottle is opened, it should always be kept refrigerated and consumed within in two to three weeks.

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  • Tozai Living Jewel Sake (720ML) Front Bottle Shot
    Tozai Living Jewel Sake (720ML)
    Junmai from Kyoto, Japan
      3.8 27 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $15.99
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      15 99
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    • Rihaku Dreamy Clouds Sake (Unfiltered) (300ML) Front Bottle Shot
      Rihaku Dreamy Clouds Sake (Unfiltered) (300ML)
      Junmai-Ginjo from Shimane, Japan
        4.1 18 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        18 99
        18 99
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      • Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML) Front Bottle Shot
        Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML)
        Junmai from Kyoto, Japan
          3.6 28 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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          17 99
          17 99
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        • Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (300ML) Front Label
          Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (300ML)
          Junmai-Daiginjo from Hokkaido, Japan
            4.1 28 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $33.99
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            33 99
            33 99
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          • Rihaku Wandering Poet Sake (720ML) Front Label
            Rihaku Wandering Poet Sake (720ML)
            Junmai-Ginjo from Shimane, Japan
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $34.99
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              34 99
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            • Rihaku Wandering Poet Sake (300ML) Front Label
              Rihaku Wandering Poet Sake (300ML)
              Junmai-Ginjo from Shimane, Japan
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                19 99
                15 99
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              • Mukune Root of Innocence Sake (300ML) Front Label
                Mukune Root of Innocence Sake (300ML)
                Junmai-Ginjo from Osaka, Japan
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $18.97
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                  22 99
                  18 97
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                • Rihaku Dreamy Clouds Sake (Unfiltered) (720ML) Front Label
                  Rihaku Dreamy Clouds Sake (Unfiltered) (720ML)
                  Junmai-Ginjo from Shimane, Japan
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $26.39
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                    32 99
                    26 39
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                  • Ama no To Heaven's Door Sake (720ML)  Front Bottle Shot
                    Ama no To Heaven's Door Sake (720ML)
                    Junmai from Akita, Japan
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                      35
                      24 99
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                    • Shimizo-No-Mai Pure Dawn Sake (300ML) Front Label
                      Shimizo-No-Mai Pure Dawn Sake (300ML)
                      Junmai-Ginjo from Akita, Japan
                        3.2 11 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                        13 99
                        13 99
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                      • Alakey Soju (720ML) Front Label
                        Alakey Soju (720ML)
                        Junmai from Japan
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                            24 99
                            24 99
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                          • Mantensei Star-Filled Sky Sake (720ML) Front Label
                            Mantensei Star-Filled Sky Sake (720ML)
                            Junmai-Ginjo from Tottori, Japan
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $42.98
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                              45 99
                              42 98
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                            • Gekkeikan Sake Front Label
                              Gekkeikan Sake
                              Junmai from Hokkaido, Japan
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                                  8 99
                                  8 99
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                                • Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (720ML) Front Label
                                  Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (720ML)
                                  Junmai-Daiginjo from Hokkaido, Japan
                                    4.8 9 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $59.95
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                                    70
                                    59 95
                                    Save $10.05 (14%)
                                  • Fuki Plum Wine Front Label
                                    Fuki Plum Wine
                                    Junmai from Hokkaido, Japan
                                      4.9 22 Ratings
                                        Currently Unavailable $9.97
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                                        13 99
                                        9 97
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                                      • Mukune Root of Innocence Sake (720ML) Front Label
                                        Mukune Root of Innocence Sake (720ML)
                                        Junmai-Ginjo from Osaka, Japan
                                          0.0 0 Ratings
                                          Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                                          44 99
                                          39 99
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                                        • Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (300ML) Front Label
                                          Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (300ML)
                                          Junmai from Kyoto, Japan
                                            0.0 0 Ratings
                                            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                            10 99
                                            10 99
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                                          • Tozai Living Jewel (300ML) Front Label
                                            Tozai Living Jewel (300ML)
                                            Junmai from Kyoto, Japan
                                              0.0 0 Ratings
                                              Currently Unavailable $8.95
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                                              12
                                              8 95
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                                            • SakeOne Moonstone Asian Pear Sake Front Label
                                              SakeOne Moonstone Asian Pear Sake
                                              Junmai from Japan
                                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                                  Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                                                  11 99
                                                  11 99
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                                                • TY KU Junmai Ginjo Sake (720ML) Front Label
                                                  TY KU Junmai Ginjo Sake (720ML)
                                                  Junmai-Ginjo from Japan
                                                    3.5 16 Ratings
                                                      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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                                                      23 99
                                                      23 99
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                                                    • SakeOne Ruby Tokubetsu Junmai Front Label
                                                      SakeOne Ruby Tokubetsu Junmai
                                                      Junmai from Oregon
                                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                                          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                                                          13 99
                                                          13 99
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                                                        • SakeOne Silver Tokubetsu Junmai Dry Front Label
                                                          SakeOne Silver Tokubetsu Junmai Dry
                                                          Junmai from Oregon
                                                            0.0 0 Ratings
                                                              Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                                                              13 99
                                                              11 99
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                                                            • Tozai Well of Wisdom Sake (720ML) Front Label
                                                              Tozai Well of Wisdom Sake (720ML)
                                                              Junmai from Osaka, Japan
                                                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                                                  Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                                                                  24 99
                                                                  19 99
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                                                                • SakeOne Y Sake Ginger Daiginjo - Rain (half-bottle) Front Label
                                                                  SakeOne Y Sake Ginger Daiginjo - Rain (half-bottle)
                                                                  Junmai from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                                                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                                                      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                                                                      17 99
                                                                      17 99
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                                                                    • SakeOne Y Sake Semi-dry Daiginjo - Sky (half-bottle) Front Label
                                                                      SakeOne Y Sake Semi-dry Daiginjo - Sky (half-bottle)
                                                                      Junmai from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                                                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                                                          Currently Unavailable $20.99
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                                                                          20 99
                                                                          20 99
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