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The Niconico News site covers the release of some new glasses – not for wine, but for sake. Specifically, for junmai.

It opens by reminding the reader that Western drinks like wine, whisky and beer aren’t the only things that have their aroma and flavour changed by what they’re drunk from – sake also changes depending on whether it’s served in an ochoko, a glass cup (like the 180 ml “one cup” packaging) or indeed from a wine glass.

With that in mind, Austrian wine glass maker Riedel has produced a glass especially for junmai, which the article reminds us is made without brewed alcohol and is therefore richer in rice-derived flavours, generally with more umami, depth and roundness to give a more nōjun (full bodied/strong finish) result than the the aruten equivalent.

The Riedel Extreme Junmai spent eight years in development to find the ideal shape for emphasising these junmai qualities. The article comments that the long stem makes it look like it’s for something other than sake.

The glass is big and oblong with a large diameter rim to allow the drinker to fully enjoy complex and deeply layered flavour. The bowl is slightly squared off, drawing out the rounded rice-derived umami and allowing soft, creamy texture to linger longer in the mouth. The rim serves to control the flow of sake, and sits lightly and smoothly against the mouth. One glass will set you back JPY 3,240 (tax included).

The company also launched a glass specifically for daiginjō in 2000, with an elongated egg-shaped bowl similar to a wine glass to emphasise the typical fruity daiginjō aroma and give a different experience to drinking from a small sake cup.