Junmai Sake : Junmai Sake Vessels


I’m Beau Timken, master sake sommelier. And
in this segment we’re talking about Junmai, the category of sake. More specifically we’re
talking about what can you drink Junmai sake out of. By all means drink it out of anything
you want to. Drinking is a luxury. There is no right or wrong. Drink out of your cupped
hands if you want to. Again, it’s about how you feel what you want to do with your brew.
That said, there’s some rules of thumb if you want to adhere to, by all means, you can.
If you’re going to warm your sakes up, if you’re going to heat your Junmais up, which
we recommend doing, I would definitely recommend pouring out of a small little cup called an
ochoko. This is a tokuri. This is what you put in to a pan of boiling water, that you
turn the flame off and it slowly heats, you pour in to a smaller little vessel. Why do
people drink sake out of small little cups and why do you think you gotta shoot it? It’s
because a small vessel holds the heat longer. If you had a big vessel, the heat dissipates
too quickly out of a bigger tea cup size vessel. The smaller keeps the heat in there, keeps
it a hotter sake. So I recommend a little ochoko for definitely for heated or warm sake.
Room temperature sake, room temperature Junmai and chilled Junmai, I would recommend using
what I would call like a pub glass, a pub style Izakaya glass. Again, you can drink
out of anything. You can drink it out of a white wine glass. I, when I do my professional
tastings, I will, and my reviews, I will use three different vessels. I will use a white
wine glass, I will use sort of a pub style glass and will use a little tokuri, same as
that little ochoko, because I never know what people are going to drink out of . So I drink
out of all three and that way I can get a review and a blending of kind of feelings
and flavors. Acidity is the mover of all flavors and feelings and textures of sakes. The first
thing to hit the tip of your tongue and the last thing to leave your mouth. The wider
the bowl the better the distribution. If you’re drinking out of a little tight thing like
that, you’re putting all the flavor on the tip of your tongue. That’s why I like a bigger
little cup for Junmai, bigger little cup, for Junmai, the Junmai category. Just think
of like, you know Italian wine glass opened up. But this guy is really kind of one of
the good size pouring glasses and really holds Junmai styles either chilled or room temperature,
well. Again, drink out of whatever you want to. But if you want to see the performance,
definitely drink out of something with a little bit wider brim and by all means, enjoy.

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