Text Size:-+

Japanese Wine (Not Made From Rice)

The Japanese have a particular love of wine. I'm guessing it sprung up along with their penchant for buying impressionist and cubist paintings in the early 1980's during their economic bubble. But what then was a flagrant use of enormous wealth has settled into a more moderate appreciation for wine as a luxury item. Most of the Japanese businessmen that I worked with in 2001 and 2002 were huge aficionados, and I would occasionally get requests on my trips back to California to bring back something special. Currently Japan is one of the top consumers of higher end Bordeaux wines.

It's no wonder, then, that someone finally started trying to make wine in Japan. And we're not talking about rice wine here, but honest to goodness Cabernet, Merlot, and of course, some strange, secret grape hybrid developed in Japan called Shokoshi.

Here's an article from the Japan times describing the trials and tribulations of one of these first efforts to make indigenous wine in a place that does not have a climate suited to grape growing. The initial efforts are looking mixed -- "The Cabernet and Merlot had the depth of rose-colored dishwater and might charitably be described as "light and tart," but the other wines were quite interesting."

I wish them the best of luck.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Holiday Gift Guide for the Wine Lover Who Has Everything I'll Drink to That: Andrew McNamara of The Court of Master Sommeliers Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 22, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Neyers of Neyers Vineyards Vinography Images: Rows of Gold A Lonely Hillside: The Wines of Alto de la Ballena, Uruguay I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud