For beginners yet to fully experience the art of sake-brewing, there’s hardly a better place to start than with the best junmai ginjo sake.
Attaining both the junmai and ginjo label simultaneously isn’t simple. To qualify, sake brewers must polish the rice down to just 60% of the grain (compared to just 70% for a non-ginjo junmai) and not add any brewer’s alcohol after fermentation.
The result is that the finest junmai ginjo sakes slot in among the top-rated sakes, especially for newer sake drinkers who aren’t quite ready to jump into more expensive premium junmai daiginjo sakes.
Not sure where to start looking? Excite your tastebuds some of these top-rated junmai ginjo sakes…
Top junmai ginjo sake recommendations
Crafted using a yeast strain extracted from cherry blossoms, Kizakura Hana releases a delicate floral scent that places it among most unique of our top junmai ginjo sake picks.
The spring-like aromatics open up to a bloom of sweetness tipped with a hint of apple.
Both the light acidity and body makes Kizakura Hana a fantastic easy-to-drink sake for beginners, especially when served chilled and paired with fish & seafood dishes.
Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo
A floral and melon-like aroma introduces Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo to the senses, giving a quick sense of the easy-sipping sake that follows.
This lighter-bodied sake is remarkably well-balanced. It boasts a light-to-medium acidity that piques a dry finish with flowery and grape-like undertones.
This Hakutsuru sake serves well both chilled and warmed, pairing wonderfully with sashimi, crab, and savory veggies.
Brewed in the shadows of Mount Haku in Fuki Prefecture, Denshin Yuki represents junmai ginjo sake at its purest.
Using the area’s clean alpine run-off and local rice varieties, this sake goes down as smoothly as any.
It’s one of the most well-balanced sakes out there, featuring a slightly richer-than-normal body for a ginjo and a mild sweetness with touches of mango & strawberry.
Denshin Yuku pairs superbly with savory shellfish, octopus, and squid dishes.
Kikusui Junmai Ginjo
Another supremely well-balanced sake, Kikusui Junmai Ginjo charms sippers with a smooth and crisp finish.
Although its 55% rice-polishing ratio is shy of premium daiginjo status, it’s silky & fresh medium body could otherwise trick you.
The flavors creep beyond the category’s normally floral-forward notes towards more citrusy ones like orange.
Thanks to a piquant dash of acidity, Kikusui serves well with most meat & seafood dishes.
Tozai Well of Wisdom
For a toasty summer day, no junmai ginjo proves as refreshing as Tozai Well of Wisdom.
This sake, brewed with fresh local water in Fushimi near Japan’s cultural centre of Kyoto, delights the palate with a splash of watermelon and raspberry topped with a slight white pepper finish.
Tozai Well of Wisdom leans more towards sweet than dry. Its mild acidity lets it pair wonderfully with foods like barbecued meat and ceviche.
Situated on the very edge of daiginjo territory, Hakkaisan Yukimuro is as premium a sake as you can find in its category.
What makes this drink special is that, on top of being a bonafide junmai ginjo, Hakkaisan Yukimuro qualifies as both koshu (aged 3+ years) and genshu (undiluted) sake.
This unique combo results in a sake that’s more complex, richer, and stronger in alcohol content than most ginjos.
Its taste profile is creamy, much like you’d expect in from a nigori sake, but with a medium, rather than full, body.
You’ll also detect fruit-like flavors lingering about, particularly pear in the finish.
Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo
Sitting among the best organic sake, Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo is a refreshing alternative that sake sippers all around the world will love.
Unlike most of our recommendations, this American sake charms drinkers with tropical fruit flavors in addition to the citrusy ones that many ginjo fans would expect.
There’s a crisp blend of both pineapple and lime here, enriched with a medium body.
Served chilled, Momokawa Organic is at its best. Pair it up with sushi and sashimi to really watch the sparks fly.
Nanbu Bijin AWA Sparkling
Ranked among the best sparkling sake, Nanbu Bijin AWA Sparkling is an exciting addition to the junmai ginjo crew.
You’ll immediately detect a classic ginjo feel to this award-winning sake. It’s got a medium-body that opens up to a fruity aroma.
Unlike champagne, there’s no sugar added to Nanbu AWA Sparkling, leaving its semi-sweet pear and apple flavors intact and rounded out with an umami rice-like finish.
It’s paired well with seafood and cheese appetizers as well as an aperitif.