Dai Ginjo or Daiginjo - A sake with added distilled alcohol and a milling rate of at least 50%, meaning that only 50% remains after being polished.
Genshu - Normally brewers will dilute sake to bring its natural alcohol percentage of 18-20% down to a more manageable 14-16%. The term Genshu is used to label sakes that have not gone through this dilution process.
Ginjo - A sake with added distilled alcohol and a milling rate of at least 40%, meaning 60% remains after the process.
Honjozo - A category of sake with a milling rate of at least 30%. This type of sake also includes added brewers alcohol to the mix.
Jizake - Roughly translated into "Local sake." Equivalent, and as overused, as the term "micro-brewery" in the United States.
Junmai Dai Ginjo - A category of sake that has a milling rate at least 50% for each rice grain, meaning that only 50% of the exterior grain remains.
Junmai Ginjo - A category of sake that has a milling rate of at least 40% for each rice grain, meaning that only 60% of the exterior grain remains.
Junmai – translates to “pure rice” and means that only rice, water, yeast and koji were used in production. No brewer’s spirits addition or any other additives.
Kanpai - Translated into "Empty Cup!" or "Cheers!" A very important word indeed.
Kimoto - A method of creating a "moto" or yeast starter by following the traditional brewing steps. Still used today for certain brews.
Koji - Blanket term used for the mold culture that is used in the fermentation process.
Nigori - Sake that is coarsely filtered. Typically cloudy with a sediment that settles at the bottom of the bottle and on the sweeter side.
Nihonshudo or Sake Meter Value (SMV) - The sweet and dry index of Sake attributes. The values are determined via a Hydrometer that measures the density of the fluid and are given a negative or positive number based on the density of the sake. The larger the positive number, the drier the sake; the larger the negative number, the sweeter the sake. A "0" value represents a sake that is between semi-sweet and semi-dry. Many back labels will include the SMV number.