Cold Sake Is Getting Hot

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Many people know sake as a hot, often medicinal drink served at Japanese restaurants. But the rice wine is breaking out of its place in the U.S. as a mere sushi sidekick. More refined artisanal and premium sakes, served chilled, have been turning up on the wine lists of top non-Asian restaurants. In New York City the wine list at the posh French-inspired Chanterelle features a wide variety of sakes. In San Francisco, sake is paired with the smoked meats at Memphis Minnie's Barbecue and is sold at a sake-only retail store, True Sake, which stocks more than 125 brands. The beverage is also the subject of a major exhibition running through June at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, Calif.