Storage & Food Pairing
Since sake's color and aroma can change due to temperature and exposure to UV rays, it is best to store it standing upright, in a cool, dark place around 20℃ (68°F), and out of sunlight. For ginjo-shu with refined aromas and fresh-tasting namazake, refrigeration is recommended. After opening, try to finish the sake within a reasonable amount of time.
Tasting of sake reveals a pleasant taste that can't be characterized as sweet, acid bitter or astringent is called umami. Compared to wine and beer, sake is richer in amino acids and peptides that produce umami. Umami is sometimes described as "savoriness."
“What do I eat with sake?” Although Japanese food is the most common pairing, many are surprised to learn that sake can be easily paired with a variety of cuisine. Unlike wine, which has significant levels of acidity and tannin that must be taken into consideration when pairing with food, sake’s lower acidity and no tannin makes it a very likable accompaniment for a meal. More and more, sake is gaining recognition for its subtle and complementary characteristics, and restaurants are adding it to their beverage offerings. Here, we offer some basic tips on pairing sake with different kinds of food. Whether it be fried, spicy, or hearty dishes, there is a sake pairing for you!
The character of a sake can be classified into four types.
The unique character of each sake's aroma is the result of different production methods and ingredients. These characters can be classified into four types, based on these aromas and flavors.
Food pairings for each type.
Cuisine that brings out the flavors of ingredients like vegetables and seafood is suited to this kind of sake. (White fish carpaccio, vegetable tempura)
Light and Smooth
This type of sake pairs well with light food that has a clean aftertaste. (Dashi Maki Tamago, Sashimi)
This type of sake goes well with food that uses umami-rich ingredients high in protein. (Cheese, Eel broiled in soy-based sauce)
This type of sake pairs well with food that emphasizes the umami of chicken, pork, milk, or other ingredients. (Braised diced pork rib, Yakitori)