Sake is an incredibly versatile drink that can be enjoyed at numerous different temperatures. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is also highly susceptible to changes in both aroma and taste when drank from various different types of vessels. Some types of cups or glasses are simply better suited to certain styles or temperatures. Therefore, this page is a brief guide to the various different types and styles of vessel that you are likely to encounter when drinking sake in a bar or restaurant, and more importantly, which are better suited to the numerous different styles.
Unfortunately, no one cup is perfect for every possible style of Sake. However, in this writers opinion at least, just two vessels from the above list are enough to compliment and even enhance virtually all scenarios.
The first of these is the ever more popular Wine Glass which is perfect for light aromatic Ginjo styles at temperatures ranging from lukewarm to chilled. The large bowl shape from a quality glass allows for the swirling of the liquid in the glass which accentuates the fruity aromas often present in this style.
For virtually everything else, a good Ochoko like those made of BizenYaki are perfect for more rustic earthy styles that are often found within the Junmai classification. However, Ochoko are extremely versatile and make for excellent vessels for warm sake. Lastly, these would also be my choice for a good Yamahai or Kimoto, although the wine glass is also good for these two variations when served at room temperature or below.