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Junmai Dai Ginjo

The pinnacle of the sake brewer’s art and the most fragrant, delicate, and refined of all sake. Junmai Dai Ginjo sake is brewed in a labor-intensive manner that avoids machinery and adheres to traditional methods and tools. It is the purest, made entirely of very highly polished rice whose outer kernel has been milled away by at least 50%, water, and koji mold, However, without the word “Junmai” in front of it, a Dai Ginjo sake may contain trace amounts of added brewer’s alcohol to bring out the aroma and flavor.

Pairs best with clean-tasting, lightly seasoned food so as not to overwhelm the nuances in the sake.
BtlDemiMiniGls
720 ml430 ml300 ml82 ml
Sharaku Woodblock Print Master (SMV 3)78.55.32.14.
Wakatake Onikoroshi (SMV 0)68.48.34.12.
Mu Nothingness (SMV 2)50.35.25.9.
Mizbasho Snow Flower (SMV 3)NA60.36.14.

Junmai Ginjo

Light, fruity, and fragrant like a Junmai Dai Ginjo, and also quite refined. Similarly to a JDG sake, a Junmai Ginjo sake is brewed using precise, labor-intensive methods and is fermented at colder temperatures for longer periods of time, resulting in more delicate, complex sake. To qualify as Junmai Ginjo, a sake must be made from highly polished rice whose outer kernel has been milled away by at least 40%, water, and koji mold. However, without the word “Junmai” in front of it, a Ginjo may contain trace amounts of added brewer’s alcohol to bring out the aroma and flavor.


Pair with light to medium -flavored food, and perhaps nothing too robustly seasoned.
BtlDemiMiniGls
720 ml430 ml300 ml82 ml
Taisetsu Gardens of the Divine (SMV 3)65.46.27.11.
Kikusui Chrysanthemum Water (SMV 2) 63.45.26.11.
Narutotai Beautiful Snapper (SMV 5)60.392310.
Mizbasho Snow Flower (SMV 4)48.33.19.8.
Okunomatsu Inner Pine Tree (SMV 4)45.33.19.8.
Hana no Mai Dance of the Flower (SMV 5)40.32.18.7.
Katana Sword (SMV 7)39.31.17. 7.

Junmai

Boasts a full, solid flavor profile. Junmai sake is less prominently fragrant than Ginjo or Dai Ginjo sake but features a richer body and a well-structured presence. It is typically clean and straightforward, with a slightly higher acidity than other types of sake. Made with only rice, water, and koji mold. The rice used must be polished by at least 30% with 70% or more of the kernel remaining.

A Junmai sake is a good, all-around sake and has the backbone to stand alongside more robust, seasoned, or rich foods (kind of like the red wine of the sake world).
BtlDemiMiniGls
720 ml430 ml300 ml82 ml
Kenbishi (Yamahai/Aged) Oldest Brand (SMV 0)75.52.29.13.
Hatsumago First Grandchild (SMV 2) 47.33.19.8.
Namahage Devil’s Mask (SMV 8)42.28.18.7.
Kikumasamune Taru Sake Cedar Cask (SMV 5)NA27.18.7.
Kurosawa Black Creek (SMV 2)36.25.17.6.
Sawa no Tsuru Crane of the Swamp Fairy Tale (SMV 1.5)32.23.15.6.

Tokubetsu Junmai

Similar to a Junmai sake’s flavor profile—boasts full, solid flavor and a straightforward presence. Clean and well structured, with a slightly higher acidity than other types of sake. “Tokubetsu” means “special,” and sake in this category requires more rice polishing than a basic Junmai (at least 40%, the same as a higher-grade Ginjo), or the use of very exceptional sake rice. Made with only rice, water, and koji mold, with no added brewer’s alcohol.

Pair with seasoned, more robust foods.
BtlDemiMiniGls
720 ml430 ml300 ml82 ml
Nanbu Bijin Southern Beauty (SMV 4)49.36.21.9.
Otokoyama Man’s Mountain (SMV 10)48.35.19.9.
Shirakabe Gura White Wall (SMV 2)46.32.18.8.
Okunomatsu Inner Pine Tree (SMV 0)44.29.16.8.

Nigori

“Cloudy Sake” or “Milky Sake” is roughly filtered, or may have had a portion of the rice lees (the fermented rice mixture) added back to the clear sake after filtration. The cloudiness adds fullness, body, and a distinct sweetness.

Nigori sake has a substantial flavor profile and may best be enjoyed as an aperitif or a dessert. It also complements richer, creamier, or spicier types of food.
BtlDemiMiniGls
720 ml430 ml300 ml82 ml
Dassai River Otter Festival (SMV 5)60.47.26.10.
Ohyama Great Mountain (SMV 4)NA33.18.8.
Hitori Musume Junmai Nigori (SMV 4) 40.27.16.7.
Only One Daughter
Yaegaki Many Fences (SMV –12)30.23.15.6.

Wine, Beer and Non-Alcoholic Beverages


Hot Sake & Cold Beer

sm.lg.
Yaegaki Dry Sake5.9.
Sapporo Draft on Tap5.
Kirin Ichiban5.8.
Orion Premium Lager 6.8.5
Echigo Koshihikari Rice Lager (17 oz)8.5
Echigo Stout (11.3 oz)8.
Echigo Red Ale (11.3 oz)8.

Non-alcholic Beverages

San Pellegrino or Acqua Panna Mineral Water3.
Non-alcoholic Beer: O'Doul's Premium5.
Ramune Japanese Soda: Original, Orange, Strawberry and Melon3.
Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Soft Drink, Lemonade2.

Red Wine

Gl.Btl.
Pinot Noir, Pinot Project, California10.35.
Malbec, High Note, Argentina9.31.
Syrah-Grenache, Le Charmel, France10.35
Cabernet-Syrah, Charles & Charles, Washington 9.31.

White Wine

Gl.Btl.
Chardonnay, Peirano Estate, California10.35.
Chardonnay, Esser, California11.39.
Bordeaux Blanc, Chateau Haut Rian9.31.
Sauvignon Blanc, Frog's Leap, (Organic) California57.
Sauvignon Blanc, Fire Road, New Zealand10.35.
Pinot Grigio, Stella Italia, Italy10.35.
SMV=Sake Meter Value or Nihonshu-do. A very general reference to a sake’s sweetness or dryness. 10 or so is quite dry. - 4 or so is quite sweet. 2 to 3 is neutral.