Nick-San has branched out, creating its own labels of tequila and wine, as well as a champagne bar
By Michelle Alighieri
Twenty years ago, Nick-San introduced Los Cabos to authentic Japanese food and a one-of-a-kind brand of Japanese–Mexican fusion. That innovative spirit has continued. In 2012, the family behind Nick-San debuted its own tequila and wine—and, more recently, a champagne bar—always teaming with the best producers to provide clients with the best quality. Read on to learn about the history of these beverages and how they are being interpreted at Nick-San.
Tequila: The Spirit of México
Tequila is the most famous and representative Mexican beverage. Though known around the world, tequila is still an enigma to many: Not everyone understands what it takes to produce this beverage.
Tequila is the name of a town in the state of Jalisco, México. The town is the most recognizable producer of tequila and the agave plants needed to produce it. Contrary to popular belief, though, there are other regions legally authorized to produce tequila. These regions include greater Jalisco and specific municipalities within Nayarit, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, and Guanajuato.
The production of tequila is expensive, and it must be done delicately. The agave tequilana Weber, variety azul (Weber Blue Agave), plant takes seven years to grow, and most used to produce tequila are seven to 10 years old in order to obtain the best flavor and qualities. In order to have real tequila, it is important to follow some rules to ensure the quality and origin of the beverage. Tequila must be made from no less than 51 percent Weber blue agave. Higher quality or high-end tequilas are made from 100 percent Weber blue agave, as shown on the label. The aging must be in oak barrels. There may be maturation rooms, but these need to be within the designated regions.
In 2012, Nick-San made the bold choice to create its own brand of tequilas. As with all of its menu items, the restaurant wanted to provide guests with the highest-quality products available. So it partnered with Tequilas González Lara to produce three varieties:
Nick-San Silver or Blanco: This is perfect to pair with citric, creamy sauces and fresh salads. Consider pairing it with the yuzu sashimi, cilantro sashimi, tuna tostada, or the tomatoes-and-fresh-wasabi salad.
Nick-San Aged – Reposado: This is great to pair with seafood. Try it with the Black & White Sashimi, Fish Kara Age, and Chasoba. Nick-San Extra Aged – Añejo: Pair this variety with desserts, chocolate, or meat. Try it with the Beef Serranito, eel roll, or sesame ice cream.
Wine: A Good Pour
While wine has always been present in Europe, only in recent decades has it taken off in Southern Baja. The Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja can take much of the credit for that. And people are becoming more familiar with—and enjoying more and more—good pairings of wine and a great meal.
For that reason, a couple of years ago, Nick-San decided to debut its own house wines to offer clients a wine of good quality and value that pairs perfectly with the menu. Wine does not always have to be expensive to be enjoyed. The process of finding and fine-tuning took a long time, but Nick-San eventually adopted two wines.
The first is a white wine from the Guadalupe Valley; it’s a fresh and fruity blend of sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, and Colombard grapes. It has a nice gold color, and it is fresh in mouth and nose with notes of citric fruits and minerals. This is the perfect companion for seafood or white meat. Try it for a summer lunch—or basically all year in Los Cabos—with the Oysters Ponzu, the Hamachi Sashimi, or the popcorn shrimp.
The second, a red, comes from Côtes de Bordeaux in southern France. La Grange Clinet is a more structured wine with character. It is a combination of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc. This wine is a fruity red wine with intense notes of blackberry and hints of flowers and vanilla. This is a great wine to pair with red meat, spices, and grilled fish. Try it with Lobster Sambal, Hamachi Yaki Onigiris, cilantro onigiris, curry fish, or even Nick-San’s chocolate cake.
Champagne: A Touch of Bubbly
The world’s most glamorous drink is universally employed to toast special celebrations. It is produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France, where the only grapes used are chardonnay, pinot noir, and Meunier. There are two types of champagne that most people know, blanc and rosé. The first is made with the three authorized grapes without the skin to prevent from coloring the champagne, and the second one is produced with the skin of the pinot noir, which is a red grape to give the color “rosé.” Depending on the sugar content, you may have seven types of champagne, ranging from less sweet to sweetest: brut nature, extra brut, brut, extra sec, sec, demi sec, and doux.
If you are a champagne lover, consider visiting Privé at Nick-San Palmilla. It is the newest addition to the Nick-San Group and a high-class lounge. Privé has its own champagne bar, with one of the best champagnes in the world—Louis Roederer—as well as a large variety of champagne cocktails and a great catering service. You will be surprised to find the Nick-San sushi alongside lobster hot dogs, tuna burgers, and more.
Privé is the new place to be if you want to party on weekends with great DJ music. If you are looking for something more private, you can always ask them to host your birthday, private parties, bridal showers, even your wedding reception. You can be certain that you will love the Privé ambience and the great VIP treatment, along with the best drinks and food options, always with the highest quality that distinguishes the Nick-San Group. Privé Cabo, Nick-San, Palmilla Shoppes, San José del Cabo, (624)182-2809, www.privecabo.com.
Types of Tequila
Blanco/White/Silver: Clear, un-aged tequila that is normally bottled right after being distilled or matured for less than two months.
Joven/Gold: A white tequila that has not been left to rest or mature but to which colorants and flavorings have been added. These tequilas can be made with 100 percent agave but are more often made with 51 percent mixed tequila.
Reposado/Aged: Tequila that has remained in wood barrels for at least two months but no longer than a year.
Añejo/Extra Aged: Only bottles that have been aged for at least one year in an oak barrel can be labeled añejo, or extra aged.
Extra Añejo/Ultra Aged: The newest tequila classification requires tequilas be aged for a minimum of three years.