Jul 14, 2009

Sake for Drinking and Sake for Tasting

If premium sake such as ginjo sake and junmai ginjo sake is considered to be sake for tasting, reasonably priced honjozo sake, junmai sake, or even futsushu (regular sake) can be taken as sake for drinking.

Last Sunday, at a brewery in Niigata prefecture, the toji master brewer, who is my good friend, and I were drinking sake sitting on sake boxes, that can contain eight 1.8-litter sake bottles.

The toji often describe his ideal sake as such sake that can be drunk without being aware of difficult questions about sake (such as those regarding taste, aroma, balance, etc.), and without being aware of sake itself, or sake that you can enjoy without being aware of when you have emptied the bottle (you only find the empty bottle suddenly).

I believe ideal sake described by the toji is truly "sake for drinking," which is usually low priced sake.

I have no intention to judge which sake is better, "sake for tasting" or "sake for drinking." However, I have a fancy that many of the heavy drinkers prefer "sake for drinking." While it goes without saying that low priced sake favors heavy drinkers from the aspect of price performance, it is also true that drinkers can drink sake like one the toji describes to their hearts' content without getting tired of drinking it.

In my opinion, such low priced and easy-to-drink sake, as well as premium sake, should be enjoyed broadly in public, which, I believe, will contribute to sound development of sake culture.

By the way, I brought the toji two cups of low priced cup-sake (Sawanoi Yusuijikomi, the cheapest sake from Ozawa Syuzou brewery in Tokyo), and he drank it with relish. I was very happy to see it.

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