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Watch: How to Read a Sake Menu

Tips from a sommelier

For the uninitiated sushi bar patron, sake might seem like a novelty drink best left to "bombing," but the Japanese rice wine deserves a closer look. Versatile and varied (if not often misunderstood), sake's myriad of classifications elevate any dining experience, and play especially well off of traditional Japanese flavors. Armed with a little information, any drinker can find the ideal sake for their meal.

On this week’s episode of Shokunin, host and sushi chef David Bouhadana visits master sommelier Monica Samuels at Shigure, a sake bar and Japanese kitchen in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, for a sake education. Samuels walks Bouhadana through a tasting of five types of sake, describing their tasting notes and pairing them with dishes from Shigure’s kitchen to display how the drink changes the experience of Japanese food. Watch for a detailed break down, sure to kick-start any curious drinker's own foray into the sake world.

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