Are you searching for a new beverage to expand your drinking palate? Then stop reaching for the same old wine and beer. Instead, shake things up with unfiltered sake, such as Sho Chiku Bai Nigori Silky Mild. You can also indulge yourself with a limited release Sho Chiku Bai Junmai Daiginjo. With the trusted sake brand of Sho Chiku Bai, the choice is yours.
Whether you need something for a special occasion, to serve casually with dinner or to enjoy outside on a summer’s day, sake is a delicious alternative to traditional wine and beer. It also offers just as much variety and flavor complexity. Depending on its preparation and mix of ingredients, sake can be full-bodied, aromatic or dry.
So if you’re looking for something smooth and bursting with flavor, explore the varieties of Takara Sake’s Sho Chiku Bai. Whether you want a beverage to pair with a meal or enjoy on its own, you can find an option that will provide an exciting introduction to the world of sake.
What Is Sho Chiku Bai?
Sho Chiku Bai is the name of the main brand of sake we brew here at Takara Sake USA Inc, and its name is full of meaning:
“Sho” means “pine tree” and stands for health.
“Chiku” means bamboo and represents vitality.
“Bai” means plum and signifies beauty.
Together, these words symbolize prosperity and happiness. The Sho Chiku Bai sake brand was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1933. Today in Japan, under this renowned brand, there are 63 lines of sake and a total catalog of approximately 135 sake products.
In March of 1983, Takara Sake, USA released the first American-made Sho Chiku Bai sake — Sho Chiku Bai Classic Junmai Sake. Since then, we have proudly expanded our sake brewing, all of which are worthy of the Sho Chiku Bai label under the Takara mark. Today, in Berkeley, CA, Takara Sake USA produces 13 originally brewed types of Sho Chiku Bai products — which you can find on this page.
As with many other kinds of sake, all Sho Chiku Bai products are made by fermenting rice grains in water with yeast and koji, the mold spore that triggers the fermentation process. Each of these batches then goes through polishing, washing, pressing, filtering, pasteurizing and aging to achieve just the right flavor balance. An exceptional sake requires skill and precision to produce, which is probably why there are only a few trusted brew masters and capable brew teams in America.
There is an amazing variety of types and styles of Sho Chiku Bai sake produced and bottled here in Berkeley, CA. Some of the main ones are:
Sho Chiku Bai Classic Junmai: This round, well-balanced and full-bodied sho chiku bai classic sake has an earthy complexity that can be served warm or room temperature. FOOD PAIRING: It is ideal with light to full-flavored foods including noodles, sushi, tempura and meats. Mild cheeses such as Gruyère and Manchego also pair well. Serving Temperature: Room temp. (72˚F) to warm (105˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Extra Dry Junmai: This Junmai sake is dry, clean and crisp, and it’s full-bodied at a warm temperature. FOOD PAIRING: Spanish tapas, Marcona almonds, dry and mild white cheeses, sliced ham, croquettes as well as fried potatoes or tempura pair fantastically with this sake variety. Serving Temperature: Room temp. (72˚F) to warm (105˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Tokubetsu Junmai: With this variety, you will find a round and well-balanced sake with a medium body and earthy complexity. FOOD PAIRING: This sake pairs well with light to full-flavored foods, such as mushroom quiche, grilled eel and roast chicken. If you’re serving it at room temperature, pair it with blue cheese or white cheese. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F) to warm (105˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Nigori Silky Mild: This Nigori sake type is bold and textured while also being sweet, fruity and creamy. FOOD PAIRING: For food pairings, this option goes best with Unagi, grilled marinated chicken and pork (tangy BBQ), as well as spicy Thai, Chinese or Indian dishes. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Nigori Crème de Sake: This Nigori sake variety is sweet with a soft and creamy texture. FOOD PAIRING: It pairs best with Indian curries, Thai coconut soup and miso ramen. You can also pair it with fish dishes like macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi and steamed cod with a miso glaze. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Junmai Daiginjo: This variety is a full-bodied sake with tropical fruit aromas and a decadent finish. FOOD PAIRING: This Junmai Daiginjo is great as an aperitif or served with creamy oysters, sushi or white rind cheeses like brie and cambozola. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F) to cool (60˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai REI Junmai Daiginjo: A Junmai Daiginjo type, this option is soft and full with a floral note, along with a hint of melon with a lightly creamy finish. FOOD PAIRING: This option pairs best with light to rich foods, such as sushi, fresh crab and more fully flavored tempura, sukiyaki, yakitori (charcoal grilled chicken) and a variety of meat dishes. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Premium Ginjo: This Junmai Ginjo type provides a delicately fruity and mellow taste with a silky texture. FOOD PAIRING: It is great as an aperitif or paired with delicate foods such as white tuna, steamed cod, fresh oysters or amaebi. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Takara Sierra Cold: This sake is also aJunmai Ginjo type, and it is light, fruity and pure. FOOD PAIRING: It is wonderfully refreshing at a picnic on a hot day. Pair it with light chicken or mild cheeses and seafood. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai Organic Nama: This Junmai Nama sake is nutty, earthy and complex. FOOD PAIRING: It pairs best with cold soba noodles, sushi (including mackerel), broiled lobster, cold, thinly sliced smoked duck and creamy cheeses such as gruyère and cambozola. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai SHO Junmai Ginjo: Junmai Ginjo type. Bright, versatile, well-balanced, refreshing. FOOD PAIRING: Delicately-flavored foods including white tuna, toro, amaebi, scallops, king crab legs, and mild, creamy cheeses. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai SHO Ginjo Nigori: A Ginjo Nigori type, you’ll find this sake variety to be velvety, floral and fruity. FOOD PAIRING: Try it is crispy french fries, Kansas City-style barbecue, Thai coconut curry noodles and Mexican mole sauce. Serving Temperature: Chilled (50˚F).
Sho Chiku Bai SHO Junmai Organic: This option is silky, light and earthy, with a noticeable and mouthwatering finish. FOOD PAIRING: Pair this Junmai sake with lightly seared Japanese steak, roasted mushrooms, salt and pepper fried chicken, mushroom chawanmushi, Spanish cod fritters or mac and cheese with truffle oil. Serving Temperature: Cool (60˚F) to room temp. (72˚F).
Where to Buy Sho Chiku Bai Sake
Wondering where you can find Sho Chiku Bai types of sake to drink or take home? You’ll find us at your favorite restaurants and grocery or liquor stores, in 49 states — sorry Delaware, but we’re working on it. If a product is out of stock, try asking the store manager to order it for you. Our distributors are standing by. You can also order Sho Chiku Bai directly via our online store, depending on regulations in your state. Please refer to our online store’s Legal Limit page for details.
At Takara Sake, we prides ourself on producing original varieties of the finest sake. With more than a century of experience that started in Japan, we are able to mesh traditional brewing methods with modern technology to provide a uniquely American drinking experience. Every item we offer is made from only the highest quality ingredients, which are carefully nurtured through an exclusive and stringent brewing process. The result is sake that is not only exceptional, but also accessible and affordable.
To start your flavor journey, and fall in love with Sho Chiku Bai for yourself, visit us online today. Or, why not drop by Takara Sake USA’s Sake Tasting Room in Berkeley, California when you’re in the area? We’d love to see you there.