In other countries such as Indonesia, rice wine is called "Tapé", in Japan "Saké", in Korea "Takju" (or filtered "Vakju"), in Malaysia "Tapai" or in Thailand "Sato".
The production of Japanese wines
Rice sake is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of rice. In traditional wine production, where alcohol is produced by fermentation, sugar is contained in fruits (typically grapes). Rice wine, on the other hand, is produced through a brewing process similar to the production of beer - in which starch is converted into sugar and ultimately fermented into alcohol.
Buying rice wine - made from high quality rice varieties
In Japan, the national drink is usually served with a special ceremony in which it is gently warmed in a small stoneware bowl or porcelain bottle and drunk from a small porcelain cup called a sakazuki. As with wine, the recommended serving temperature varies by variety.
The rice used to cook rice wine is called saka mai 酒 米 or officially Shuzō Kōtekimai 酒 造 好 適 . In Japan, there are at least 80 different varieties of rice used for wine making. Among them are the popular rice varieties Yamadanishiki, Gohyakumangoku, Miyamanishiki and Omachi. The rice grains in these varieties are larger and stronger (if the grain is small or weak, it will break during polishing). They also contain less protein and lipids.
Sake rice is usually polished much more than rice used for food. The reason for polishing is due to the composition and structure of the grain itself. The kernel is rich in starch, while the outer layers of the grain contain a higher concentration of fats, vitamins and proteins. Since a higher concentration of fat and protein would result in tasteless flavors as well as contribute to rough elements, polishing removes the outer layers of the grain, leaving only the starchy portion of the grain (some remove over 60% of the grain during polishing). This desirable starch pocket in the center of the grain is called shinpaku. It usually takes two to three days for the rice to be ready for winemaking.
Water - an important element for the production
Water is one of the most important ingredients in the production of sake. It participates in almost all the important processes of winemaking - from washing the rice to diluting the final product before bottling. The mineral content in the water plays an important role in the final product. Iron binds to amino acid, giving the wine flavors and a yellowish color. Manganese also contributes to color change when exposed to ultraviolet light. In contrast, potassium, magnesium and phosphoric acid serve as nutrients to yeast during fermentation and are considered desirable. Yeast uses these nutrients more quickly and multiplies, resulting in more sugars being converted to alcohol.
While soft water usually produces a sweeter juice, hard water with a higher nutrient content is known to produce a drier type of wine.
The first Japanese region to become known for its high-quality water is Nada-Gogō in the Hyōgo area. Discovered was the fascinating water source called "Miyamizu," which produces high-quality water and continues to bring many wine producers to the region today.
The ingredient Kōji-kin
Kōji-kin (Aspergillus oryzae) is another important ingredient in Japanese wines. Kōji-kin is a fungus that secretes enzymes. During production, Kōji-kin spores are sprayed over the rice to produce Kōji (rice in which Kōji-kin spores grow). Under warm and humid conditions, the spores germinate and release enzymes called amylase, which convert starch to glucose. This process of converting starch into simpler sugars (e.g. glucose or maltose) is called saccharification. The yeast then converts this into alcohol through fermentation.
Sake Shop: What determines the style of wine?
Rice contains not only grains, which contain the starch needed for fermentation, but also the outer covering of proteins, fats and other elements. This composition can adversely affect the taste of the drink. And to solve this problem, the rice is polished. But starch itself can be an obstacle. The glucose-based compound, which must convert sugar into alcohol, is too complicated and I can not absorb the entire amount of starch. It must first be broken down, which is why the enzyme based on the fungus Kojikin (Aspergillus oryzae) comes to the rescue.
The wort is mixed with water and yeast to form syubo - sourdough, then moromi. Then the main fermentation begins. Parallel double fermentation (breaking down starch and converting sugar into alcohol) is considered the main difference between rice wine and any other drink, be it beer or vodka.
Ideal conditions for fermentation take place in winter at relatively low temperatures (10 to 20 ° C), and this lasts about two months. Premium beverages ferment in a colder environment. Due to the dependence on natural cycles, it is common to start making wine in the fall and finish it in the spring. After the moromi is finished, the mass is pressed, separating the clean seish and the white precipitate. The strength of sake is about 18-20%, but more often drops to 14-16%.
In the final stage of production, Nihonshu is pasteurized by heating and stored for at least six months. However, it is possible to find styles to which these technologies are not applicable in order to preserve their fresher and fruitier taste.
Rice wine store delicando - the classification of Japanese wine styles.
There are two basic types of rice wine:
- Futsū-shu (普通 酒) and.
- Tokutei meishō-shu (特定 名称 酒).
Futsū-shu is the equivalent of table wine and accounts for the majority of wines produced.
Tokutei meishō-shu refers to premium wine distinguished by the degree of polishing of the rice and the additional percentage of beer alcohol or the absence of such additives. These include:
- Ginjo (吟 醸) - at least 40 percent of the grain is polished.
- Daiginjo (大 吟 醸) - at least 50 percent of the grain is polished.
Ginjo and Daiginjo are usually the most delicious varieties of premium wines. They are best consumed on their own (e.g., as an aperitif) or in combination with dishes with distinct flavors. They may have too strong a taste if combined with delicate dishes.
Premium products contain added alcohol - rarely only small amounts are used to add subtle flavors. This leads to the following premium classifications of Japanese wines:
- Junmai (純 米) - no alcohol added.
- Honjozo (本 醸 造) - a small amount of alcohol is added to enhance the flavor.
Ginjo Premium Wines in Sake Shop
Ginjo is simply the same as single malt for plain whiskey and the same as 100 percent agave tequila for plain tequila. Only eight to nine percent of the wines produced in Japan are in the ginjo class. If you read the word ginjo somewhere on the bottle, it means that the type of wine is better than 90 percent of the others. Since everything about traditional wines in Japan is very serious but not literal, non-Ginjo styles can also be included in the premium category.
Tokutei Meishoshu is the hapt label of Japanese wines that is special because of the method of rice production or polishing. This label includes all four classes of rice wine: Junmai-shu, Honjozo-shu, Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu. Each class has a general flavor profile based on the production method. However, the characteristics of different classes and styles often overlap, so it is not always possible to identify the class by tasting alone. Some wines taste much better than others in their class - very luxurious varieties do not show the sophistication and authority that another wine variety from the same category does. Class determinants are used for general positioning of wine varieties, and everything else is judged by taste and affinities. However, one thing is clear - all Japanese wines are delicious in their own way.
Junmai -shu is a pure rice wine made by fermenting rice without additives or added distilled alcohol. Regulations used to require that at least 30 percent of the rice grain be removed by polishing for Junmai -shu, but this was repealed in 2005. It is important that the degree of polishing is clearly indicated on the bottle. Junmai wine usually has a larger, fuller body and more acidity than other Japanese varieties. The aroma is usually restrained.
This is a rice sake variety in which at least 30 percent of the grains have been removed by polishing. Distilled alcohol is also added to the fermentation. This adds lightness to the flavor and moderately enhances the aroma of the wines. Honjozo are usually considered light, fresh and aromatic wines.
In this variety, at least 40 percent of the grains are removed by polishing. Distilled alcohol may be added during production, but it is not a must. If alcohol is added to the sake, it is labeled as ginjo; if not, it is given the Junmai Ginjo label. Ginjo is much lighter and more delicate than Junmai and Honjozo sake- Due to the higher percentage of shinpaku obtained by polishing, a lot of manual labor, special yeasts and a lower fermentation temperature, Ginjo is an ultra-refined, aromatic, complex sake that has attracted thousands of people to this phenomenal drink.
For these wines, at least 50 percent of the grains have been removed by polishing, and 70 percent for some species varieties. Distilled alcohol may also be added during production. Daiginjo is the pinnacle of sake art. Because of the composition of rice, it requires extreme care in preparation and fermentation and imparts some of the most amazing elegant, rich and delicate wine flavors.
Sake Shop: High quality wines made from rice at delicando
Buy Nihonshu Sake
Nihonshu is made from 25-70% polished grain of certain rice varieties (Yamadanishiki, Miyamanishiki, Gohyakumangoku, Omachi, Haenuki, Devakirari and some others). The higher the degree of milling of the rice, the higher the quality of the finished beverage. After milling, the rice is washed, soaked in water and steamed. All these processes take several days.
Water plays an important role in the production of wine, but is considered the second most important ingredient in the composition of Japanese beverages after rice. Historically, sakakure (production facilities) were located around well-known springs - today many companies are proud of their small crystal clear springs.
Buy sake bri delicando - Bijito Junmai Ginjo
This light dry rice sake is produced by the Kizakura Brewery in Kyoto, founded in 1925. The Ginjo designation means that the grains have been milled to at least 40 percent - which in turn means that they are better and more delicious than ordinary Junmai. Junmai Ginjo is also distinguished by the fact that no additional alcohol was added to it after fermentation. The wine is more coherent, harmoniously rounded. The taste is dominated by white lilac, the fruit and minerality are complemented by seaweed. A subtle hint of coriander, black pepper and licorice.
We at Reiswein Shop delicando advise: This is how the wine is drunk.
As you already know, people in almost every culture have figured out how to get drunk in their own way - thus, the Japanese have been making rice wine for millennia. And, of course, the traditional drink has its own special subtleties.
In terms of strength and taste, rice sake is in no way similar to vodka. It usually contains 15% to 18% alcohol.
Red wine is sometimes heated to make mulled wine. Is it worth arguing that all red wine should be drunk hot? Of course it isn't! And just as it would never occur to anyone to make mulled wine from expensive good wine, high-quality rice sake is never drunk hot. In Japanese restaurants, cheap table sake is served hot - it has no particular flavor subtlety, so there is no shame in heating it.
Consumption culture based on serving temperature
At the end of the 20th century, sake grew in popularity abroad, but lost its leading position at home. In Europe, the drink is used as a product in its own right, as well as in cooking and bar mixing.
Sake is traditionally drunk from an elegant porcelain bowl, the rim of which is moistened and dipped in sea salt. The optimal temperature for consumption of Japanese wine, at which all the flavorful properties of the drink are best developed, depends on the variety. After opening the bottle, the drink should be consumed as soon as possible, before the oxygen oxidizes and destroys the flavor.
Some varieties of rice wine are heated to 17-20 degrees. In autumn and winter, alcohol is usually drunk from a temperature of 38 degrees. One of the rules for sake consumption is "Quality nihonshu is drunk cold. Low quality - hot". In particular, this is due to the fact that when the temperature rises, the delicious bouquet is slightly muted or not felt at all.
Buy sake and benefit from useful properties
Japanese wine can have a positive effect on the human body only in reasonable quantities. Scientific studies in Japan have demonstrated the following beneficial properties:
Consumption of wine can improve memory and speed up thinking processes.
Wine helps to normalize blood pressure.
It stimulates blood circulation.
The drink can improve the work of the heart muscle as well as protect the consumer from diseases of the cardiovascular system and heart attacks.
It slows down the development of malignant tumors and serves as a good cancer prevention.
Rice sake slows down the aging process.
As an alcoholic beverage, it serves as a good antiseptic.
Rice wine based compresses are used when bruises need to be removed.
It helps with chronic fatigue, anxiety and insomnia.
The drink contains 7 times more amino acids than classic red wine. They have a positive effect on human immunity.
The wine is actively used in cosmetics: it helps to tighten pores and slightly lightens the skin. A special rinse is prepared, which also contains vinegar and mineral water. The mixture also makes the hair manageable, shiny and silky.
Buy rice wine: An original accompaniment to your evening meal.
Real Japanese wine is an ideal solution for the consumer who wants to create a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere at dinner. Sake goes well with Japanese cuisine, especially with raw fish products such as sushi and sashimi, but also with raw meat. In addition to Japanese cuisine, sake goes well with Asian and Mediterranean dishes. Today, people are trying to successfully combine sake with French and Italian cuisine.
This drink is also characterized by excellent lightness - this makes it possible to combine the drink with a wide range of snacks. In addition, on the basis of a high-quality product, you can easily create an impressive variety of cocktails.