Kurosawa-Ginrei, Hana Tsubaki Restaurant
Fun fact: The word “sake” in Japan refers to alcoholic beverages in general. Sake, as we know it stateside, is described there as “nihonshu,” or Japanese rice wine. Why not enjoy some nihonshu right here in Sacramento by ordering a glass of Kurosawa-Ginrei ($10) at the 41-year-old Hana Tsubaki Restaurant? It’s got minerality in the nose, coupled with a creamy lychee aroma. A taste yields medium-plus sweetness with a rich, full body. How to describe that natural candy flavor from the fermented rice? Grape Laffy Taffy. All the way from Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, this sake is nice to sip and pairs well with the broiled mackerel on the menu. 5006 J Street, hanatsubakirestaurant.com.