Did you know there are dozens of sparkling sakes available in America? In retail stores, some sparkling sake are sold for less than $5 a bottle, while high-end Japanese restaurants in Las Vegas and New York serve sparkling sake, a medium size, for $300 or more.
Why is there so much difference in price? The answer is there are 2 types of sparkling sake: naturally carbonated and artificially carbonated. Naturally carbonated sake, as it takes more time and care to produce, tends to cost more. So, if you are extremely thirsty or if you need any sake to wash down some extra wasabi stuck in your throat, you can pick less expensive one. However, if you would like to try authentic sparkling sake, you want the naturally carbonated one.
Here, Sparkling Sake “NATURAL” Junmai Ginjo has reason to call itself natural because 1) it only uses rice and koji as ingredients, 2) it is naturally carbonated, and 3) the carbonation occurs with in-bottle fermentation.
Though no flavor is added, the “NATURAL” has aromas of white chocolate, nuts, and ume plum. And apple jelly with a fruity, frothy light body and a breezy pear, spiced apple, and radish finish. The brewery uses only Tohoku (Northern Japan) Sake Rice and Koji (steamed rice covered with Koji mold) as ingredients. Like champagne, fermentation occurs within a small 300ml bottle to contain its carbon dioxide, creating sparkling sake that is both high quality and delicious.
On top of that, “NATURAL” is categorized as Junmai Ginjo, super premium grade of sake using rice with more than 40% of the outer part milled. In fact, NINKI-ICHI is the only brewery out of nearly 1,000 breweries in Japan that produces only Ginjo (super premium) or Daiginjo (ultra super premium). In other words, NINKI-ICHI does not produce regular sake but specializes in Ginjo and up. Also, NINKI-ICHI sticks to “Handmade” style by declaring “our craftsmanship culture cannot be replaced by machines”. NINKI-ICHI is also known to use traditional wooden tanks and wooden tools to produce sake that is rare.
How about experiencing truly natural sparkling sake made by an uncompromising brewery?
Sake type: Junmai Ginjo Sparkling
Polishing rate: 60%
Rice grain: Tohoku Sake Rice
Award: Gold Medal at Kura Master 2019, Tokyo International Movie Festival Official Sake
This sake matches perfectly with dishes that highlight its fresh ingredients. Also recommended as an aperitif for palate cleanser. (ex.) Fresh oyster in shells, lobster roll, whitefish baked in salt.