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Friday, April 1, 2011

Tequila, Yeah. But Hecho's Sake List Looks Awesome

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 8:38 AM

click to enlarge Seio Shimada of World Sake Importers in a recent staff training at Hecho.
  • Seio Shimada of World Sake Importers in a recent staff training at Hecho.

Tequila might prove to hog all the attention when Hecho ― the sushi and tequila place by Joseph Manzare and Masaki Sasaki ― opens, probably next week (it's in the former Midi space in the FiDi), but the premium sake list promises to be truly impressive. SFoodie managed to get a sneak peek at the list, and the selections look like they'll complement the mix of Mexican and Japanese flavors perfectly:

Eiko Fuji Ban Ryu (Yamagata)

Founded in 1778 and managed by the 13th generation of the family, the Eiko Fuji brewery was one of the leaders of the 1980s Jizake boom. True to the Yamagata regional style, this sake is light and fruity; however, it has a slight at smokiness and good acidity in the finish. "Ban Ryu" means "10,000 ways," a reference to the many foods, occasions, and temperatures at which this sake can be enjoyed.

Kasumi Tsuru Kimoto Extra Dry (Hyogo)

Founded in 1725 and managed by the ninth generation of the family, this brewery makes 90 percent of its sake as yamahai and klmoto, the most traditional ways of making the yeast starter. The town where Kasumi is located is famous for its crabs, and thus this sake complements raw bar items and shellfish. It has a nutty sweetness and a crisp finish.

Yuki No Bosha "Limited Release" Junmai Ginjo "Cabin in the Snow" (Akita)

Founded in 1906 and managed by the fifth generation of the family, this brewery is the fourth most award-winning brewery at the Japanese National Sake Competitions. It's won a gold or silver medal every year except one over the past 18 yeas. With anise on the nose and tropical fruit and strawberries on the palate, it finishes with a crisp, white-pepper spice.

Yuki No Bosha Junmai Glnjo Nigori "Cabin in the Snow" (Akita)

Nigori, or cloudy sake, still contains some of the rice solids from fermentation. Most nigorls are thick, made from lower-grade sake. This is a light or "usu" nigori, made from ginjo-level sake. Good chilled, with spicy foods or desserts to offset heat or complement sweetness.

Masuml Okuden Kantsukuri "Mirror of Truth" (Nagano)

Longtime sake drinkers find this comfortingly familiar. It is smooth at first sip, and displays a range of subtle, organic flavors and a pleasant natural sweetness, plus it's quite smooth.

Other sakes on the list:

Taihikai Tokubetsu Junmai (Ibaraki)

Takehara Jumai (Hiroshima)

Expected to open next week:

Hecho: 185 Sutter (at Kearny), 835-6400.

Lou Bustamante tweets at @thevillagedrunk. Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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