Sake is an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. It is sometimes spelled saki or saké. In the Japanese language it is called nihonshu . Sake is often referred to in English-speaking countries as rice wine; however, this term is a misnomer.
Unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by means of a brewing process more like that of beer. Thus, sake is rice beer rather than rice wine. To make beer or sake, the sugar needed to produce alcohol must first be converted from starch.
The brewing process for sake differs from that of beer, in that for beer, the conversion from starch to sugar and from sugar to alcohol occurs in two discrete steps. But with sake these conversions occur simultaneously. Furthermore, the alcohol content differs between sake, wine, and beer.
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