Tippsy Taught Me All About Sake And How To Pick Out The Perfect Bottle

Now that I know what I’m drinking, I love Japanese rice wine so much more.

I love sake, but I’ll be honest: until recently, I didn’t know much about it besides for the very basics.

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My understanding of sake was very minimal: Sake is a a Japanese fermented alcoholic beverage that is made from rice. Many people refer to it as rice wine.

But in the same way that there are many different kinds of wine and words to help you navigate the bottles you like best, there are lots of different kinds of sake, too. Enter: Tippsy Sake.

Tippsy is an online sake store and a subscription service that delivers six 10-ounce mini bottles of sake right to your door. These sakes are sourced from all over Japan from Kochi to Niigata.

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Each box comes with tasting notes explaining the type of sake, how polished the rice is (which affects the overall flavor), and what foods to pair it with.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Each box also comes with a beginner guide filled with maps that help connect you to the sake you’re drinking, terms every drinker should know, and helpful grids that explain the different kinds of sake and how they differ in flavor.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Before Tippsy, I never really understood what I was ordering or buying when I went to pick out a bottle at a store or a restaurant. Now, I know I love sake labeled “Junmai Daiginjo,” which made from rice that has been polished at least 50% and results in a light, aromatic, and refreshing taste.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Now, any time I’m picking out a bottle of sake, even if I don’t recognize the specific bottle I can order a bottle of junmai daiginjo and feel confident that I’ll enjoy the flavor. It’s like knowing you love Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc wine and being able to confidently order a bottle anywhere.

I also used to associate sake with Japanese food or sushi in particular, but now I’m learning to pair it with just about anything I’m cooking for dinner just like a bottle of wine.

Learning more about sake — the regions where it’s made, the brewing process, and the flavor profile I can expect from each different bottle —has made me really appreciate it more.

BuzzFeed / Hannah Loewentheil

If you want to try it out, order your first box of Tippsy Sake. Or you can just browse and order individual bottles from their online sake market.

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