Sake is the general term refering to alcholic drinks.
It includes beer, rice wine, syochu (distrilled alcohol), whisky, and brandy.
But in some districts, it also refers to rice wine, which leads to confusion.
In order to avoid misunderstanding, you had better use the term "Japanese sake."
Sake (rice wine) is very popular because it is served cold in summer, hot in summer.
In hot summer, cold tofu is eaten with cold sake while in winter hot tofu is eaten with hot sake.
There is a hot spring resort which serves yukimisake (snow viewing sake).
Here people can drink cold sake viewing falling snow with their body immersed in the hot spring bathtub in open air.
In cherry blossom seasons, people often enjoy eating and drinking under the cherry trees in full bloom.
Snow viewing sake may be another version of cherry blossom sake.
To produce quality sake, high quality rice and water are indispensable.
Nigata Prefecture is one of the best sake production areas.
It is blessed with fertile land suitable for rice paddies.
In addition, it has a lot of snow in winter.
The snow falling in winter melts in spring and helps to create high quality water and rice. In fact, there are about 100 rice wine breweries here.
Roughly speaking, there are two types of rice wine; dry and sweet wine.
People usually drink red wine with meat and white with fish.
Similarly, dry sake suits salty dishes and sweet sake does sweet dishes.
For example, sashimi (sliced raw fish) with soy sauce is delicious with dry sake.
On the other hand, dry sake doesn't suit sukiyaki (sweet dish).
You have to choose rice wine suitable to dishes.
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