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Saké & Sushi & Sono - Up in your Face, Clean Living... new living!

With Án in their past, both Chef Hyun-Woo Kim and General Manager James Yang take control of Sono in the midst of transition. The sushi menu has been thoughtfully curated and the saké menu is on point.

Án was a focal point for business travelers to the triangle area and closed after a 10 year run. In the dark of night, the doors closed and the staff was left to pick up the pieces and figure out the next move.

The lifeblood of Án, the chef and General Manager, transitioned to to Sono.

Sono has been a hub for Downtown Raleigh and caters to a worldly palate. This is a new inception of the project has recently been welcomed by it's local inhabitants.

Listen to Max, Matt, James and Kim get into Saké and the pairing potential with such a diverse cuisine as sushi. We taste quite a few saké bottles over a conversation fueled by cuisine and flavors.




Sake 101

Why did the tradition of serving Sake hot begin?

Full-bodied, less aromatic sakes, like some bottles labeled junmai, are actually best enjoyed warm (around body temperature), as heat brings out their bold flavor and mutes any bitterness that may be present in a robust brew.

What is the purpose of polishing the rice for sake?

Rice used to make Sake is polished in order to remove the fat and protein. Removing the protein helps to avoid any harsh or unwanted flavors that can negatively affect the sake.

Semai-buai- is the term for identifying polishing ratio’s

Below is a chart for reference of polishing ratios; ( from )

  • To clarify Honjozo Sake’s have 10% or less Brewers Alcohol.

  • The reason Alcohol is added on a very basic level some brewers find that adding a small amount of alcohol to a fermenting rice mash enhances the vibrancy of the fruit taste and aromas. The addition of alcohol also helps the Honjozo to last longer.

  • Genshu are undiluted sake’s meaning no water is added to decrease the alcohol- this is in contrast to both Junmai and Honjozo

The alcohol added to make honjozo sake is referred to as "brewer's alcohol," or pure distilled alcohol. These days the alcohol is most commonly distilled from table rice, although some brewers use alcohol distilled from sake rice, which is said to produce a higher quality of flavor and aroma.

Nama= Unpasteurized sake

Omachi- Is a pure rice, (similar to heirloom, with no cross-breeding) It was discovered in 1866 and is grown most prominently in Okayama. It is one of the rarer rices grown and it is perceived as high quality. In comparison a more widely grown rice strain would be Yamada Nishiki.

The term Jizake- is a reference to a “craft” sake brewer.

Funaguchi -is an un-pasteurized and un-diluted type of Sake and as such it is surprisingly delicate.

Tokubetsu-Simply means special. Similar to wine it would be a special bottling or cuvee.

Please continue to listen to the NC F&B Podcast. We have other really great episodes!

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