Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo Sake
Continuing on Saturday, the next bottle we opened was, naturally, a sake. We were eating a lot of sushi and sashimi, and of course, what grows together goes together.
Junmai Ginjo refers to the grade of sake. The rice used to make it has to be milled before fermentation, and the more it's polished, the higher the grade of sake it will produce. This particular grade, Junmai Ginjo, means that the rice has been polished to at least 60% (40% of the rice grain has been polished off), as well as fermented at colder temperatures for a longer period of time. It produces a fragrant sake, with no added alcohol, and is generally just a grade below the most premium sake, Junmai Daiginjo.
This particular sake showed well. Flowery on the nose, there's good sweetness on the palate. Finished with a distinct rice character, that any Chinese person familiar with rice spirits will recognize. Elegant, and married well with the fish. Perfect at cooler temperatures.
I don't understand sake, but this is a good introduction to premium examples. Another review, from Vinicultured: A Wine Blog.