Sake is finally picking up momentum in the United States, with stores like Sam's Wines & Spirits in Chicago reporting sake sales doubling over the past 12 months. What's more, savvy producers are putting names in English on their bottles, offering the chance to ask for a glass of "Wandering Poet" or "Cherry Bouquet."
Sake is made from steamed, fermented rice. For premium junmai and honjozo sake, at least 30 percent of the grain is polished away first. If more of the rice grain is removed, the sake can be classified as a ginjo or daiginjo; only a small percentage of sakes reach these top quality levels. In general, good sake should be served slightly chilled.