Mike Parker

For the sake of Sake

Friday, May 17, 2019 at 9:35 AM
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Sake (pronounced SAH-kay), also known as Japanese rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is kind of like wine, and kind of like beer, but is uniquely different from either.

Unlike wine, which is typically produced by fermenting the natural sugar content of grapes or other fruits, sake is a grain-based alcohol that brewed much like beer. But where beer brewing uses a two-step process of converting starch to sugar and then sugar to alcohol, the sake brewing process is a single-step conversion. The alcohol content of sake, typically ranging from 15-20%), is significantly higher than that of beer (3-9%), and a bit higher than that of wine (9-16%).

The best sake uses polished rice—that is rice processed to remove the bran which can produce unpleasant flavors. Sake produced with the highest percentages of polished rice boasts a pure, light taste, fragrant nose and clear appearance, and is considered the premium form of sake.

Of course, as with any premium alcoholic beverage, the better the quality, the higher the price.