Choosing sake

A guide to the styles

Premium sake is served chilled ― never warm ― to allow its subtle flavors to be appreciated. Sake is brewed in many styles, ranging from light and fragrant to smoky and full bodied.

Among light, dry sakes, we liked Hakusan and Sho Chiku Bai Premium Ginjo Sake. We liked Momokawa Diamond Junmai Ginjo Medium Dry as a medium-bodied sake. Plan to spend between $10 and $20 for a good-quality domestic sake, more for an import.

Many brands are sold in 1.5-liter bottles ― perfect for a party. If the bottle has a date, buy sake that is less than a year old. Shop for sake at an Asian market or a well-stocked wine store, or buy online at www.sakeone.com, which offers detailed sake descriptions.