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The Hyōgo Keizai Plus site has an article on a brewery that’s making it easy for buyers of its sake to tell when to use a wine glass – all they have to do is check the label.

Kasumi Tsuru from the Fukuchiya brewery in Hyōgo Prefecture is adding the silhouette of a wine glass to the “how to drink” section on its labels in effort to promote this (crazy) new way of enjoying sake.

The symbol is being added to the back label underneath the usual information such as what rice was used, where it came from and alcohol content, in the section where the brewery indicates the characteristics of the sake (based on the SSI two-axis graph) and recommends what temperature to drink it at (click through to the article to see a photo of the label).

Somewhat confusingly labelled “SAKE glass”, a wine glass is recommended over a traditional ochoko or sakazuki because it emphasises the aroma and mellows the flavour. The article describes sake in a wine glass as a reverse import to Japan after sake gained in popularity overseas. The “Sake that is delicious in a wine glass” competition was set up in 2011, making the drinking style even more popular.

The article explains how a tulip-shaped wine glass captures the aroma of sake, letting it concentrate and be properly enjoyed. It also claims that drinking from a wine glass eliminates acerbic notes and makes the sake taste sweeter.

Founded around 300 years ago, Kasumi Tsuru is going all-in for wine glasses to appeal not only to foreigners but also women and young people who never got into sake. Owner Yoshio Fukumoto says he finds the expression “wine glass” irritating, so he came up with “SAKE glass” and is trying to get it more widely used. He plans to create more “SAKE glass” products and start holding cookery events to get it into the common vocabulary. Fukumoto notes that even regular drinkers were surprised by the difference when they tried sake chilled in a glass, and that even he drinks it no other way when he has it as a nightcap.