How is the SAKE grade defined by? Daiginjo is not a brand!

Hi there! This is Taichi. I am a SAKE sommelier of SAKEMARU.
Are you guys enjoying good SAKE with the people you love? SAKEMARU is not only offering special SAKE but also delivering all kind of SAKE related information, like history of SAKE, manner, food pairing and restaurant information.

By knowing about SAKE more, I am confident that you can enjoy SAKE more than ever. The first topic is about the grade of SAKE. It is very basic buy, Daiginjo is not a brand, Daiginjo is one of SAKE’s grade. Did you know that??

The SAKE Grade

1.Two main types
SAKE is basically separated into 2 types. One is Junmai type which is no additional alcohol added. The other is Honjozo type which is a limited amount of distilled alcohol added. As a basic of SAKE brewing, distilled alcohol is used to make the aroma stronger and the taste drier. Junmai type is not always better than Honjozo. It is just a difference of brewing process.

2.The grade
The grade is defined by the polish rate of the rice. The brewery rice has a lump of starch in that center which is necessary for brewing. In general, the more rice is polished, the more the taste of SAKE become clear and smooth. However, the taste is not defined by only this grade. More over, since high-grade SAKE requires more rice to brew even same volume, the price goes up in parallel.

Eating and Brewery Rice

3.Highly polished expensive SAKE is more delicious?
As I wrote above, the rice brewed with the highly polished SAKE usually tends to have clear and smooth taste, also very expensive. People are easily to think “Junmai Daiginjo” and “Daiginjo” are more delicious than others due to expensiveness.
However, that understanding is just wrong. Each grade of SAKE has their own special features. For example, Junmai grade of SAKE tends to have very rich and ricy flavor, since protein surround the lump of starch in the center of rice does exist a lot due to polishing roughly. This protein creates the original taste coming from rice.
With these reasons, expensive SAKE made with highly polished rice is not always better than others. Please remember it is just the way to enjoy several different taste.