Hawaiian superstar chef Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant empire stretches from Tampa to Tokyo. Yama-guchi has a deep reverence for traditional sake styles, not only because of his Japanese heritage, but because sake works so well with the flavors found in his cooking.

Yamaguchi and another American sake aficionado, Grif Frost, owner of the SakéOne brewery in Oregon, collaborated on the first American daiginjo sake. Like tête-de-cuvée champagnes, daiginjo sakes are the pinnacle of their makers’ art. The original rice grains are polished to 48 percent of their original size, a process that eliminates the impurities and fatty acids and retains only the sweet inner core of the grain.

Y Saké comes in four versions: Wind, Sky, Rain, and Snow. My favorite, the Snow version, is a traditionally styled rough-filtered sake with creamy texture, rich flavors, and cereal tones. The cloudy texture is intentional — in fact, it’s a good idea to turn the bottle over once to distribute the sediment evenly before serving. With its rustic look, Y Saké Snow is a good choice for traditional Japanese meals.

BUYERS GUIDE


NAPASAKI, $25
Soft and Sedate
Works well with fusion cuisine

HAKUSAN PREMIUM SAKE, $7
Fruity and Citrusy
Great with shellfish cocktails

Y SAKÉ SNOW, $26
Rish and Creamy
Serve with sushi