Sake and food
By Asiaeuro Wines & Spirits April 16, 2021

Sake is extremely versatile and pairs well with food. It obviously is a perfect accompaniment of classic Japanese foods such as sushi, sashimi, and tempura.

If you are eating sushi or sashimi, then the ideal sake is chilled Daiginjo.

The light taste of Daiginjo also makes it more suitable for appetizers.

Japanese foods aside, equally delicious is sake with cheese, oysters or vegetables.

Sake is much higher in umami than other brews, so it can enhance the flavour of very rich dishes like stews and steak.

One rule to follow: pure rice sake is great with strong, rich cuisine while clean alcohol-added-style sake matches well with light cuisine.

Four unexpected foods to pair with sake


An unlikely combination it may seem, but pizza pairs beautifully with sake by virtue of contrasts.

Layers of melted cheese on a pizza means high fat content, each bite already substantial on its own. The right sake brightens this feeling by matching it with acidity, cutting through the tomato sauce — which is also acidic and lightly sweet — and cheese, and bringing balance to the overall meal.

A lean, dry junmai daigingo with some hints of fruit is a great accompaniment to pizza.

Spicy Thai

The multi-layered flavours of sweet, sour, salty, and umami make Thai food an excellent match for crisp and aromatic sakes.

For spicier dishes, opt for a sake with a hint of sweetness to temper the heat. It’s also a good idea to choose junmai gingo or junmai daigingo sakes of slightly lower alcohol content to not compound the fiery elements of the food.

Milder Thai dishes lean towards milder sakes as well, with sakes that have some fruity notes the perfect complement.


Barbecued food goes very well with junmai.

If your choice pick for grilled and barbequed meats is a rosé, pair with a namazake, or unpasteurized sake, which is livelier and younger than other sakes and very refreshing — served cold only.


Chocolate is an extremely difficult dessert to pair with because it requires the beverage’s richness, acidity, viscosity, and sweetness to all be in sync.

Depending on your chosen style of chocolate, look to match or top that sweetness level in the sake.

A sake with a creamier mouthfeel, such as nigori, makes sense in the context of many chocolates for that melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

Dark chocolate, with its higher cocoa content, lower dairy fat, and resulting bitterness, goes well with lighter sakes with more spice and earth flavours.

For a good selection of sakes to go with your meals, shop at

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