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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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

  • Gascon Wine

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

  • Gekkeikan Sake

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

  • Moonstone Crossing

    Moonstone Crossing wines are made from select grapes grown in small, hillside vineyards from the ...

  • The Koshu Wine Project

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

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Japan on Snooth

  • Hakutsuru Plum Wine


    No written review

    Wine review by CPCSpartacus

  • Fuki Plum Wine 2009


    This was a very sweet wine. It had a good plum aftertaste. The overall flavor of the wine seemed to build as we drank the bottle. Toward the end it was getting a bit strong. The flavor is consistent from bottle to bottle. The price is about average compared to the other plum wines available to me.Good to have with a cheese plate or some cut ... Read More

    Wine review by CPCSpartacus

  • Gekkeikan H.o 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by ermagnuson

  • Miyasaka "Yamahai 50 Nama" Ginjo NV


    probably the most amazing sake i've had in years.. Read More

    Wine review by htwait

  • Fuki Plum NV


    I love a sweet wine and this is by far the best wine I have ever had the pleasure of drinking! Read More

    Wine review by Jennifer Garner

  • Fuki Plum NV


    Deliciously sweet, with a taste reminiscent of almonds or cherries. Perfect as-is, or would be great as a spritzer. Read More

    Wine review by kamikazebohemia

  • Kizan Family Reserve Rouge 2004


    Excellent wine good price, Makers notes"A unique blend of Merlot (70%), Black Queen (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). Fresh blackberry aroma with peppery, spicy character. Medium bodied with cool mouthfeel. Fruits, spiciness and oak flavor are well balanced. Medium length with delicate tannin." Read More

    Wine review by haiyai

  • Asabiraki Yume Akari Junmai-Ginjo Sake NV


    A flavorful, though pure and mellow Junmai Ginjo from northern Honshu's Iwate Prefecture. Fragrant nose with a floral element, soft citrus and green melon. I can see why 'yume akari' translates to 'dream and light.' Very good balance of all the delicate factors compellingly justifies the price. This sake would pair really well with a rich salmon... Read More

    Wine review by enotheque

  • Gekkeikan Sake Horin 2012


    Alcohol taste is very mild as opposed to cheaper Sakes. Warm: loses much of its flavor and is not so enjoyable. Room temperature: Enjoyable, perhaps better with warm food.Slightly chilled: Very enjoyable by itself or with foods that are not warm. Good with sushi, non-fried fish, ...and even pasta.If serving to someone who never tried sake or doe... Read More

    Wine review by yodamc2

  • Ichinokura Nama Saké Junmai Nama Nigori NV


    Excellent flavor. Hint more than subtle fruit notes... light bodied... fresh... just great. Read More

    Wine review by Quixote

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Japanese wine ratings and reviews

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