What are SMV, Acidity and Amino acid for Sake?

Although my business is about sake, I'm a big fan of wine too! But it’s always difficult for me to find a wine I look for with the information I can get from its bottle. So I always ask a wine shop staff for their help. Interestingly sake has much information which indicates its aroma and flavor besides rice polishing ratio! It may not be on a label but in our product page you can find it for each Sake.

【SMV (Sake Meter Value, Nihonshudo)】
SMV is a numerical expression of the degree of dryness or sweetness in sake.It uses a specific gravity system which measures the gravity of sugar content. If the number is lower negative number (-), it indicates the sake is sweeter. If the number is higher positive number (+), it indicates the sake is drier. For example, a sake with an SMV of -5 is much sweeter than one with +2. However sweetness can be influenced by other factors too. For example, when you drink high alcohol spirits like vodka, your tongue must feel sweetness. This is because the higher alcohol content is the sweeter your tongue tends to feel. Also its temperature, acidity and amino acid can influence sweetness/dryness. Therefore SMV is an indicator for dryness/sweetness but just for your reference and keep in mind other factors too.

Each sake also shows its acidity in our product page. Sake mostly contains lactic acid, succinic acid, malic acid and citric acid. If the acidity is higher than 1.5, it's said that the sake has rich and dry taste. If it is below 1.0, the sake tends to have light and sweet taste. However each acid influences the sake's taste differently, so the acidity you feel can be different depending on the amount or the ratio of each acid. For example, if lactic acid is high, the taste is more soft and mouth-filling. If succinic acid is high, the taste is richer because of its umami and bitterness.

【Amino acid】
There is another useful numerical value in our product page, amino acid. As I talk in 'Is there taste difference like wine?', amino acid is one of the important distinctive characteristics for sake. Amino acid adds umami and richness in sake. It's said that if amino acid is higher than 1.0, the sake tastes richer, mouth-filling and strong. If it is low, the sake tastes lighter and drier. However, same as acidity, there are many kinds of amino acid in sake and some enhance more sweetness, acidity and bitterness than umami, so please check it just for your reference. We write more info like food pairing and comments from a tasting research in our product page, so please check them too to find your best sake!

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