Now this is handy. Well-known Japanese knife seller Chef’s Armoury (based in Sydney and Melbourne) has launched an online sake shop, focused on making things easy for the Western consumer.
Sake is infiltrating our restaurants in a highly welcome way right now, but is not easy to get to grips with, given the big range of styles and the fact that you have to learn a whole new language of booze descriptions, like starting from scratch on wine varieties and styles.
Chef’s Armoury uses the language of wine to describe its sakes, so you’ll find descriptions like, “Palate of creamed honey, jackfruit and durian … A wine lovers’ sake, especially if you have a soft spot for the Rhone.” This describes a Nagaragawa Tenkawa Junmai Ginjosake ($15.45 for 300ml) that sits towards the sweet end of the spectrum on the website’s handy sweet to dry rating.
Or this for a Kubota Shuzo Onisakuza (750ml, $27.75): “There are some people peddling the idea that all high quality sake is to be drunk cold. This sake proves them to be the ultimate wankers … The palate has upfront sweetness with a rich, shoyu, umami character.
Full flavoured, jelly bean finish and oh so smooth. Fantastic warm sake - spicy. It’s nama (unpasteurised) so you need to store it in the fridge and warm it to order.” It’s not all this cheap; Chef’s Armoury also sells sakes costing more than $100, sakeshop.chefsarmoury.com/japanese-sake