True Sake FAQ
It is a must that people feel comfortable when walking into True Sake or speaking to us on the phone. We are the furthest thing from snobs or wine know-it-alls, because we ourselves have come from such limited and humble sake backgrounds. Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get from customers every day.
Why can't you ship sake to my state?
We have Prohibition Era laws in the United States that stipulate that certain states do NOT accept the interstate commerce of alcoholic beverages. Hopefully, these laws will eventually come off of the books, but for now we must honor them.
Do you carry sakes from breweries in the United States?
No. We have a credo at True Sake that we will not carry any sake made outside of Japan. This is not snobbish; rather it is a decision that allows you, the consumer, greater sake tasting opportunities. If we carried 10 or 20 sakes made in the U.S., Australia or China then we would have to eliminate 20 sakes that you could not find at your local supermarket. We'd rather give you a chance to try 20 sakes from small breweries in the furthest regions of Japan.
How many different kinds of sakes do you carry?
At the moment we carry over 250 sake selections. Is this too many to choose from? Not a chance! Our philosophy is that every person has had a perfect sake made for them, and it is our goal for the you of two to meet!
What so you mean by "freshest" sake? I thought sake doesn't spoil.
Sake degrades over time, and thus quality and flavor deteriorates. We have been duped into drinking sake that was past its prime, and it tastes bad! That is why we emphasize the fact that True Sake carries the freshest as well as largest selection outside of Japan.
Why not buy my sake at a Japanese grocery store or specialty wine shop?
We appreciate the fact that sake is intimidating. We ourselves went through the trials and tribulations of shopping for sake in Japanese grocery stores where people wouldn't give you the time of day in explaining or recommending sake. We also went to wine or liquor stores that sold sake, but had very little knowledge of the juice they were fronting. It was like a Ford dealer trying to sell a Porsche; they both have wheels and move but in the end they are vastly different. At True Sake, not only do we offer the best selection of sake, we have the passion and expertise to share with you the joys of sake.
What is sake? How is it made?
Sake is a rice wine native to Japan. The first bottle of sake was probably made when a farmer chewed steamed rice and spit it into a bucket allowing the enzymes in their mouth to break down the long chain starch molecules into glucose (sugar). The airborne yeasts attacked the sugars and turned them into alcohol.
If you want to learn more about how it is made, please explore the Sake 101 section of the web site.
I know nothing about sake. Where do I even start?
We know this isn't true, because most customers can in fact speak to the sakes that they have had - good and bad - hot and room temperature - expensive and cheap! A good start is to explore the Sake 101 section, check the Sake Starter selection. Or you can attend one of our sake events and tastings around the Bay Area. It is never too late to join this 1000 year-old fad. Start your own sake adventure today!
I thought sake is supposed to be served hot. Why do you recommend drinking sake slightly chilled or at room temperature?
Do you know why they typically serve sake piping hot at your local sushi haunt? Because the sake is not that good, and if you really heat it up then this masks the flavor of the bad sake. This is a throw back method to when sake just wasn't that good, when it wasn't as refined as it is today. The hotter you make it, the less you will taste how rough and boozy it can be.
But alas, it is only up to you at what temperature you prefer your sake. And if you have grown accustomed to the therapeutic nature of hot sake then select a sake that performs better when heated up. And also please note sake can be enjoyed at many different temperatures including chilled, cool, room, slightly tepid, gently warmed, warmed and hot. There have been many studies that indicate that sakes perform best at chilled temperatures, but once again it is up to you and what feeling you like.
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