Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tips on how to order sake

You're in a restaurant and you've been presented with the sake list. Guess what? It's probably like no other list you've ever seen and that's because there's no uniformity in lists. Unlike wine, where most lists have the vintage year, varietal and brand name, sake lists rarely have a vintage year (though you can often find it on the label) and you may find the brand name or brewery and also a proper name and sometimes the region where the sake originates. At Kabuki in Hollywood (above), I tasted a sake sampler--the little card below comes with tasting notes--a good intro to a sake list.

You'll find some very useful tips here from San Francisco writer Tom Gray on how to order sake in a restaurant.  He suggests ordering Japanese sake over domestic, cold over hot (in a wine glass please!), no nigori (cloudy, roughly filtered sake) and Junmai ginjo which he thinks are the most wine like. All good tips.

Six things to know before ordering sake: Comes from Rory Moulton who also discusses nigori, he reminds not to pour your own sake, cold sake is best and avoid sake bombs!

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