Japanese Wine


Alcohol consumption has been part of Japanese culture since its early history. Rice wines (sake), beer and spirits have evolved significantly since their humble beginnings, and so has their place in culture. Some have proprietary meaning, used to accompany specific foods over the course of a meal either to match flavors or aid in digestion. Others are for pure sipping pleasure. Drinking has even become a tool to strengthen business and social relationships, with socially acceptable displays of heightened intoxication. 
The Japanese beer market has grown to become the leading alcoholic beverage in the country, with many different styles from light to dark available. Happoshu (“low malt”) is a similar sparkling drink, though produced with less malt than standard beer. Third Beer (Shin Janru or “New Genre”), is a sparkling unmalted beverage, produced from peas, soy or wheat. As for wine, most of the standard grape table wine in Japan is imported, although Read more »

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Popular wines made in Japan under $20

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Varietals Produced in Japan View all

  • Diamond

    History of the grape: The varietal dates back to the 1880s when horticulturalist Jacob Moore (hence the synonym “Moor...

  • Melon

    In the 1970s and 1980s, in a period when varietal accuracy on wine labels was often a secondary thought much of what ...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

Subregions of Japan

Popular Wineries in Japan View all

  • Gekkeikan Sake

    This is one Hidden Treasures in Sacramento you don’t want to miss out on. Gekkeikan Sake offers c...

  • The Koshu Wine Project

    By creating our wine, we brought Koshu to the international market, a long journey for a grape v...

  • Gascon Wine

    Don Miguel Gascón wines reflect Argentina’s rich winemaking history, capturing the true expressio...

  • Kizan Winery Co., Ltd.

    KIZAN WINERY is a small family-operated winery. For more than 75 years, Tsuchiya's family has bee...

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Japan on Snooth

  • Kubota Senju Saké Honjozo


    No written review

    Wine review by lambwofur

  • Yaegaki Nigori Sake NV


    Thick, grainy, sweet, low acidity. A "Samurai sake"! Read More

    Wine review by david stewart

  • Ozeki Hana Awaka Sparkling


    No written review

    Wine review by protzko

  • Kamoizumi Komekome-Shu Sake


    No written review

    Wine review by lselasco

  • Dassai Junmai Ginjo Sake NV


    Certainly the best sake I've ever had, & I've had many different ones. Divine Droplets is a silky smooth, subtle, fragrant & fruity sake that MUST be consumed well chilled & flatters just about whatever good food you serve it with... but do avoid overly spicy dishes such as hot Indian curries, because they could inhibit your enjoyment & apprecia... Read More

    Wine review by snooth vini

  • Hi living and learning about wines in Japan, the current local wine culture is favoring sweet wines both red and white. I am a newbie, but find that my tastes run more towards reds that are not so sweet of any sort and always a sucker for a good buttery toasted chard. I have though just discovered Malbecs and am currently working my way through ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Gaijin in Japan

  • A friend of mine just opened a craft beer bat in the Roppongi area of Tokyo in ... of craft beers from all over Japan. It clearly, he says, makes the customers more comfortable about ordering beers they haven't previously known. Fortunately he rolls up the microbrew business at midnight, and half the bar then becomes a DJ booth and the floor o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic iPads as winelists....

  • Hakutsuru Plum


    No written review

    Wine review by alicealice

  • Kitaya Ai No Hime Beni Sparkling 759


    No written review

    Wine review by SusieJ

  • Trader Joe-san's Sparkling Sake NV


    Surprisingly nice. Very easy drinking. Rich red apple flavors, soft minerality. Very drinkable and quite nice. Read More

    Wine review by Philip

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