Saturday, May 29, 2010
Artisan Sake Maker's studio in Railspur Studios and to experience their locally made Osake Junmai Ginjo Nigori Genshu. I also tried several varieties of their Junmai sake, including the Junmai Nama Genshu, the Junmai Nama, and Junmai Nama Nigori. I purchased a couple of bottles of the Sake to take home. The premium Nigori has just a bit of carbonation, and so has a little more bit to it than your usual nigori sake. It was a bit surprising but also very good. Osake is now growing their own rice in Canada and expects to be making Sake with it next year.
Here's just a bit of Sake terminology for you:
Sake: Wine made from water, rice, yeast and koji
Koji: A mold used to turn rice starches into sugar that the yeast can then turn to alcohol.
Junmai: Pure, the Sake is made only with traditional ingredients and there is no added alcohol.
Nama: Micro-filtered rather than pasturized.
Nigori: Unfiltered sake. Includes particulates which are stirred up into the wine when serving. Usually a little bit sweeter and full bodied because of the rice particulate.
Ginjo: The rice is milled finer than for regular Sake, and contains only 60% of the grain (the outer part is milled away).
Daigingo: Even more of the outer grain is milled away leaving 50% or less of the grain.
Genshu: An undilluted strength of about 18-21% alcohol (note: Sake is usually more alcoholic that the equivalent volume of wine).
Just like there are wine and scotch regions, there are also "Sake" regions in Japan. I'm not well enough versed in Sake to know the various regions -- but I'm learning.