An ancient Japanese saying, “Sake never fights with food,” only begins to hint at its pairing power. Though an age-old Japanese tradition, the fermented rice libation has recently been garnering increasing international recognition for its food pairing potential – and not just with Japanese food. The variety of sake styles actually offer diverse flavor profiles, ranging from light, floral and smooth to fruity and full-bodied. One of the main factors that affects the flavor and mouthfeel of sake is how much the grain of rice is polished. More milling results in a fragrant, lighter sake, and less milling creates a fuller-bodied, bolder sake.
In general, there are five basic types of sake: Junmai-shu, Honjozo-shu, Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu and Namazake. Here is just a sampling of the different types you might find on our sake menu at Red Ginger.
Dewazakura “Oka” Cherry Bouquet
A favorite among enthusiasts, a lovely aroma and clean taste, floral rather than fruity, a touch of pear and hint of melon.
Food pairing: salads, sashimi, summer rolls, light-flavored food. Served chilled.
Akitabare “Koshiki Junzukuri” Northern Skies
Rich, subdued, rounded, mild texture and earthy aroma, a well-crafted traditional sake.
Food pairing: cheese, mushrooms, chicken, fried foods, meat pastry. Served chilled.
Akitabare “Suirakuten” Heaven of Tipsy Delight
Aged for two years after brewing, luscious, juicy melon andmuscat grape characteristics, nuanced and gentle, fascinating.
Food pairing: cheese, sautéed mushrooms, grilled chicken,grilled seafood, fried foods, meat pastry. Served chilled.
Try beginning your next meal on board Marina or Riviera with a glass of sake to open up your appetite. For those new to sake, Culinary Director Franck Garanger suggests starting out with a Junmai sake, the most traditional style of sake. Cheers, or as they say in Japanese, kanpie!