Sake is an alcoholic beverage made by rice fermentation. The character sake (酒) in Japanese can refer to any alcoholic drink, while nihonshu (日本酒 meaning 'Japanese wine') is a specific type of drink that is called sake in English.
Even though sake is referred to as a rice wine, its brewing process is more like to that of beer. Where in wine alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, in sake starch is converted into sugars, which then ferment into alcohol.
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