Elliot Faber, co-author of Sake, recommends five favorite bottlings from great Japanese producers.
Miyasaka "Yawaraka" Junmai Gingo
Approachable and easy-drinking, this junmai ginjo
(a term that refers to how much of the rice kernel gets polished off before brewing) is ideal for the sake novice. $28; sakayanyc.com.
Tenzan "Jizake Junmai Genshu
Jizake means small-batch or microbrew; genshu means undiluted. Translation: This sake from Tenzan is medium-bodied, with distinctive stone-fruit flavors. $48; 1000corks.com.
Sohomare Tokubetsu Junmai Kimoto
A labor-intensive, 300-year-old production method makes this sake a study in contrasts. It’s rich yet crisp, citrusy yet full of savory umami notes. $30; astorwines.com.
Born Muroka Nama Daiginjo Genshu
Born brewery specializes in sakes that have a minimum of 50 percent of each rice kernel polished off, intensifying aromas. This one is light-bodied and great with both salads and sashimi. $45; truesake.com.
Ohmine Junmai Daiginjo
Wildly complex, this sake is brewed with water from a sacred spring in Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. $115; unionsquarewines.com.