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Old 02-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #11
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I googled a bit:
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Saki can be enjoyed at a variety of temperatures, from just above freezing to approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit. At each step of the temperature gradient, a single type of sake can have a subtly different taste. In general terms, sake becomes dryer and more flavorful when heated, and crisper and more aromatic at lower temperatures.

Warm sake has been enjoyed in Japan for hundreds of years. Warm or hot sake is referred to in general as "kanzake." Warmth increases the effect of the alcohol in sake, which is probably why most westerners who have enjoyed warm sake say that it "packs a punch." In actual fact, most sake has about 18 percent alcohol, similar to most wines. The flavor of the sake is increased by heating, as is its dryness. Because of this dryness, warm or hot sake is the perfect companion for plain foods such as sashimi (raw fish) or sushi. The dryness will also help to cut the oiliness of hot pot dishes made with fat or oil. If you are planning to serve warm or hot sake, the best way to heat it is by placing your tokkuri (jar) of sake in water that has been heated until it almost boils. The amount of time spent heating varies depending on how warm you want it to be. Generally, warm sake should be about 104 degrees F, and a good visual cue to judge this is to look into the tokkuri at the sake. If bubbles swell up on the sides of the tokkuri but do not rise, the sake is warm ("nurukan"); if the bubbles do rise, the sake is hot ("joukan"). You can use a microwave to heat sake, but you run the risk of boiling it accidentally, which could spoil the flavor of the sake.

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[QUOTE]Sake is a fermented alcoholic beverage with a long history in Japanese culture. While often called ‘rice wine’ sake is actually more like beer than wine as it is made from a grain, rice, not a fruit as wine is. Sake is a fermented, but not distilled beverage, and should not be confused with shochu, another Japanese alcoholic beverage that is distilled. The alcoholic content of sake is higher than beer, generally between 12% and 18% alcohol by volume, and has a complex, even fruit
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:08 PM   #12
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Sorry to say ISP problems prevented my post from completing successfully.

Quote:
Sake is a fermented alcoholic beverage with a long history in Japanese culture. While often called ‘rice wine’ sake is actually more like beer than wine as it is made from a grain, rice, not a fruit as wine is. Sake is a fermented, but not distilled beverage, and should not be confused with shochu, another Japanese alcoholic beverage that is distilled. The alcoholic content of sake is higher than beer, generally between 12% and 18% alcohol by volume, and has a complex, even fruity flavor when made by a high quality manufacturer. Sake characteristics run the gamut from sweet to dry, fruity to earthy, with acidity and fragrance complexities that rival western wines. Sake is far from a simple drink.Hot Sake vs. Cold Sake

Historically, sake was served warm. The reasons were twofold. Firstly, this ancient drink was created before refrigeration and was therefore habitually served that way after methods to chill food and drink were developed. Secondly, sake was also historically a much more coarse beverage, and often took up flavors from the wooden casks in which it was stored. Many off flavors were also a side effect of the fermentation process, which were masked by serving the sake at a higher temperature. More recently, better brewing techniques, more refined strains of yeast and koji, and modern storage practices have created a very different product than in the past.

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I don't particularly enjoy chilled saki. I'd rather drink a Chardonnay. I like hot saki, for a change, particularly with Japanese food. I usually switch to a chilled wine like Chardonnay when the food is served.
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