Among the many exciting aspects of sake are the different grades with their own distinctive characteristics, like the savoury qualities of a good honjozo. Futsushu (ordinary/table) nihonshu has a mixed reputation, despite being the most common type of sake, accounting for 75% of all sake produced in Japan.
Compared to premium grades like a daiginjo, futsushu can be derided as being ‘low-quality’ and that is simply untrue. After tasting Choya futsushu sake, I can say that there’s a lot to enjoy about the category.
The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people and their connection to Japan. This connection takes many forms, and in the case of Justin Potts, it set him off on a life-long quest to learn all there is about nihonshu. A co-host of the amazing Sake on Air podcast, food and beverage entrepreneur and Master of Sake, Justin has plenty of stories to share about his love affair with sake.
Read on to learn about how his journey started, the genesis of Sake on Air and where he feels the industry is going.
The great thing about drinking sake is that it can be enjoyed in numerous vessels. From small ochoko cups to wine glasses, every vessel provides a new experience to enjoy, reflecting the wonderful diversity of nihonshu.
I’ve officially taken my sake geekery to the next level by investing in specially designed glassware that’s perfect for drinking Junmai (pure rice) sake. Crafted by the Riedel Glass Company, the Junmai sake glass really does make a difference when imbibing Japan’s national drink.
In an age of digital connection, podcasts are an excellent resource for learning new topics. As a fan of sake, I’ve enjoyed listening to the Sake On Air podcast, which regularly covers themes on nihonshu and shochu. But it’s not the only Japanese booze podcast in town. I’d also recommend listening to America’s first sake podcast, Sake Revolution.
Discovering new hobbies is a great technique for developing a positive mental health routine and in my case it’s been sake. Since setting off on my journey into the world of nihonshu, I’ve found it’s been a positive experience during times of poor mental health and I wanted to share four ways in which it’s helped.
Japan is known for having a unique drinking culture, best represented by sake/nihonshu in the west. But to leave out Japan’s national spirit, shochu, would be a massive disservice to the distillers who work tirelessly to produce one of the most versatile drinks in the world.
Education about shochu and its older cousin awamori is still lacking in western culture. But to help people learn more about it, Yamato Magazine has provided a glossary of essential shochu terms.
Immersing yourself in the world of sake is an exciting experience that can quickly turn into a life-long pursuit of knowledge. Just when you think you’ve mastered something, there’s a new kind of nihonshu to try or a different kind of rice to discover. Falling down the sake rabbit hole is rewarding, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the terminology.
To help, Yamato Magazine has created a handy glossary of useful sake terms to remember.