5 Key Differences Between Wine and Sake

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  • Sake is a traditional fermented rice beverage in Japan that contains alcohol. On the other hand, wine is an internationally well-known alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes or other types of fruit. Fans of alcoholic beverages may be interested to know more differences between the two drinks.

    1. Aging Value

    sake and wine old wine

    There are many types of wine which are more valuable the longer they are aged, as the taste is believed to improve over time. In contrast, sake is generally meant to be drunk sooner than wine. Sake is best drunk within one year, as it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a year without a change in quality. There may be some sake which is deliberately aged but it is an exception.

    2. Aftertaste

    sake and wine

    Sake, which has a taste that will quickly disappear after it leaves the mouth, is regarded as a desirable characteristic. Thus, high quality sake is expected to not leave an aftertaste in the mouth. On the flip side, a long finish is a sought-after quality in wine.

    3. Umami

    Umami is one of the key flavors in sake. Umami refers to savoriness, and glutamic acid is an amino acid which is linked to the taste of umami. As sake contains higher amounts of amino acids than wine, sake has more umami taste than wine.

    4. Alcohol Content

    namazake

    Typically, sake contains higher alcohol content compared to wine. This is because the process of making wine involves the use of high concentration of sugar in the beginning which inhibits alcohol production by yeast. However, in sake, the amount of sugar is kept to a minimum at the start so the fermentation process proceeds without much inhibition of the alcohol production by yeast.

    5. Tasting Process

    sake and wine tasting

    In wine tasting, a tulip-shaped wine glass is used. The taster will begin by smelling the aroma directly from the glass, and then the wine will be swirled which causes contact with air, after which the taster will smell again. For sake tasting, a kikichoko cup is used and swirling is not included in the steps of sake tasting. This suggests that for sake, the retronasal smell is more essential than the orthonasal smell.

    sake and wine cups

    Hopefully, you learned something about sake and wine from this article. If you love wine and have not tasted sake, then please try it as you may enjoy its different qualities!

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