THE BOTTLES TO TRY
1 | Otokoyama Man's Mountain tokubetsu junmai
$34 for 720 ml
Pristine snow becomes the water that gives this dry sake its crispness. Made with rice that has been 40 percent buffed away for greater purity, it's best served chilled with rich seafood such as escolar or toro.
2 | Kanbara Bride of the Fox junmai ginjo
$35 for 720 ml
A refined sake—from at least 40 percent polished rice—that does its magic barely chilled and in a wineglass. Team it with big flavors like smoked fish and wild game.
3 | Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets junmai daiginjo
$32 for 300 ml
The highest grade of sake, with rice milled to at least half its original size, this is made with rainwater in an igloo in Hokkaido. Try it cool, with raw oysters.
4 | Kikusui Funaguchi honjozo namagenshu
$7 for 200 ml
Crack open a cold can and then match it with a rich dessert, like pineapple gelato or coconut cream pie. Be sure to refrigerate; nama means it's unpasteurized.
5 | Yuri Masamune futsu-shu
$23 for 720 ml
The equivalent of a great table wine, it's meant to be knocked back in ample quantities at any temperature and paired with simple grilled meats.
6 | Hanahato Kijoshu junmai kijoshu
$45 for 500 ml
Most sake is consumed young and fresh, but this is aged eight years. Treat it like port: Serve cool in a wineglass, accompanied by chocolate.
7 | Masumi Nanago Seventh Heaven junmai daiginjo
$65 for 720 ml
The twist here is an old-school brewing method called yamahai. Serve this earthy elixir chilled with pungent cheeses and cured meats.
8 | Dassai nigori junmai daiginjo
$36 for 360 ml
A milky-hued sparkling sake̬nigori indicates it's coarsely filtered and on the sweet side—with an effervescence ideal for fruit-driven desserts.
9 | Umenishiki Hitosuji junmai ginjo genshu
$34 for 720 ml
Bottled at cask strength—genshu, as pros say—this is stern stuff. Sip it over ice with hearty fare like steak or fried fish.