With wine, it's all about the grape, and this leads to boundless potential for conversation and enjoyment above and beyond flavors and aromas.

The same potential exists for sake and sake rice. In sake, the rice alone does not determine everything; the skill and methods of the brewers are still half the battle. Nevertheless, the choice of rice will lead to -- in general -- a discernibly unique flavor profile.

Sake rice has more starches, and fewer proteins and fats than table rice. Also, these starches are concentrated in the center of the grain, allowing the undesirables to be easily milled away.