Although we once studied Japanese and can still count to ten (ichi, ni, san, shi, go…), we can’t read sake labels. This is a real hurdle when shopping for rice wine, but luckily this one has a vibrant red fish on the side and that’s all you need to know to grab it off the shelf. Please note that it should be a refrigerated shelf, because this a “nama” sake, meaning it’s unpasteurized and should be chilled at all times. Angel Davis of Fig and Thistle Market first turned us on to the Red Snapper and we were blown away at first sip. It’s also available from True Sake, but we purchased this can at Nijiya Market in Japantown while on a yuzu kosho resupply trip.
We call this a very food-friendly sake although it does clock in at 18.5% ABV, which is kind of the opposite reasoning we apply to wines: we usually tag 12-13% ABV bottles as the best dinner companions, not the fruit bombs weighing in at 15% ABV.
The Red Snapper’s semi-dry crispness and a punch of fruitiness was the perfect foil to a Baja Kanpachi filet that we ordered from Water 2 Table, and served sashimi-style with a dab of that yuzu kosho.
Photo: Bruce Cole