Junmai: Pure Love

Hello, lovers! As Cupid flies around shooting aloof folks with arrows, we have a more fool-proof way to spread the love. Give the gift of Junmai saké.

Junmai (June-My) means “Pure Rice”. “Pure” because it contains only rice, water, yeast and koji. No added alcohol or flavors. Nice and simple – pure to its core.

Junmai saké rice can be made with ANY minimum polish. All our Oregon brewed saké is polished down to 60%. What do we mean by “polished down”? Imagine our milling machine as a giant rock tumbler. We add a batch of rice and gently tumble it for 24 hours until 40% of each grain of rice is milled away. This leaves the starchier center necessary to brew saké with (see image below). The 60% remaining is theRice Polish Rate’ or "semai-buai". This percentage is noted on most every bottle of saké.

Why do we polish off so much of each grain of rice? Seems like a waste, right? The outer portion of the rice contains much more protein and fat than the inner core. This protein-rich outer potion prohibits the starch in the inner core from converting to sugar during fermentation, making it pretty impossible to brew saké. It also can produce undesirable aromas and negative flavors in the more delicate, fruity and floral styles we specialize in crafting. Generally speaking, the lower the percentage of rice left after polishing, the cleaner and more refined the flavor, and the higher the grade of saké.

There are two other classifications for Junmai; Junmai Ginjo and Junmai Daiginjo. Junmai Ginjo is made with rice polished down to 51-60% and is classified as a super premium level saké. All Momokawa Saké is Junmai Ginjo. Junmai Daiginjo is made with rice that is polished down to at least 50% making it an ultra premium grade saké.

Note that if a name does not include “Junmai”, it implies that brewer’s alcohol is added to the four core ingredients for stylistic purposes. The term “Junmai” can only be applied to pure saké.

Ready to try some fresh Junmai Ginjo saké? Whether you’re sharing or drinking solo, Momokawa has you covered.

In the mood for something aromatic, floral or fruity? Well, rubies are red, violets are blue, and you can’t go wrong with Momokawa Ruby for two. Mildly sweet with hints of red berries, cherry, guava and mochi. You’ll find hints of tropical fruit, and grape on the nose. Going green? Momokawa Organic Junmai is a wonderful treat with notes of refreshing lime combined with delicate pineapple and cola flavors.

Maybe you’d prefer a rich, luscious and full flavored saké. Momokawa Pearl is creamy with bright and bold tropical notes like banana, pineapple and coconut with vanilla and pineapple on the nose. And of course, ladies absolutely LOVE pearls!

For a refreshing and smooth experience, Momokawa Diamond is a perfect pairing for dinner and dessert. This medium-dry and crisp saké has soft water notes, fall flavors of apple and pear with honeydew and mild anise on the nose. We'll state the obvious here...diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Want something bright and elegant? Look no further than Momokawa Silver. This silver-tongued saké lures you in with hints of mineral and citrus, elevated by green apple and spice aromas.

Whichever Junmai you choose this Valentine's Day (or any day), know that you’re enjoying a pure, clean, sulfite- and  gluten-free premium product. We know you’ll fall in love at first taste!

Not sure where to find Momokawa products? Shoot us a note at info@sakeone.com and we’ll direct you.

Stay tuned right here every Saké-Sunday for more tips, tricks and lessons to keep you fresh on saké. Next Sunday: Serving & Storing.