Compared with wine or beer, sake has wider range of serving temperature. Sake can be served anywhere from 5℃ to 60℃ (so huge range!). Sake has special names associated with serving temperature as follows:
The same sake can be enjoyed at different temperatures. How does it change? Its aroma, texture and flavour varies with temperature as you can see in the chart:
Then what is recommended temperature for the four sake categories? SSI (Sake Service Institute) tells that each type has suggested temperature to maximise its flavour and aroma. Kun-shu (薫酒): The recommended temperature is around 10-15℃. If the temperature of the sake is too cold, its fruity aroma will be diminished. With the suitable temperature, Kun-shu can match aromatic cuisines which use fruits or herbs and refreshing cuisines and tends to be enjoyed as an aperitif which is paired well with appetizers. Choosing foods which can be paired with fruity white wine too is promising! So-shu (爽酒): The recommended temperature is around 5-15℃ to enhance its refreshing and dry taste and So-shu is the most suitable to be chilled among the four categories because it has less bitterness which tends to increase in general by being chilled. It can be also served warm up to 50℃ to enrich its modest aroma and umami. It matches well light and simple cuisine like tofu and fresh seafood, but also oily foods like chicken sauteed becuse it helps wash oil or fat and refresh your mouth. Jun-shu (醇酒): The recommended temperature is around 15-20℃ or 40-45℃ to enrich its umami and texture. It is the most suitable to be enjoyed warm up among the four categories because of its richest flavour and umami from rice. It matches well rich cuisines with high umami such as grilled oyster and roast pork. Because it has rich flavour, it can be paired well with foods which can match well red wine. Juku-shu (熟酒): The recommended temperature is around 20-25℃ if its refreshment is stronger or 35℃ if its umami is stronger to enhance its deep and complex aroma and flavour. It matches weill cuisines that are rich and layered in flavour, such as aged beef and cheese. Among the four categories, Juku-shu has the widest variety of paired foods to match. It can be also enjoyed as digestifs with dessert.