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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Diamond

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

  • 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...

  • Melon

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

Subregions of Japan

Popular Wineries in Japan View all

  • The Koshu Wine Project

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

  • Gekkeikan Sake

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

  • Kizan Winery Co., Ltd.

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

  • Moonstone Crossing

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

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Japan on Snooth

  • Maybe that's why the labels and containers are so similar without ... ... through the ether.Over in Japan, the best commercial mayonnaise is named after this guy,  And boy does its mayonnaise namesake get lots of perhaps unconventional uses, this being only the entry to obsessive mayo overuse. Plus US mayo tends to be fluffier, lighter, more w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Diet Change with Wine questions

  • Drizzling olive oil over the roasted veggies make them even more friendly to ... to ... for awhile.Living in Japan and having traveled extensively in Asia there are a lot of traditional options for me. Unfortunately many don't match well with wine, IMHO, and I'll part ways with Richard when talking about miso and wine, unless it's only a mild... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Diet Change with Wine questions

  • Had some Beaujolais Blanc last night that an experienced wine person was ... ... ... from pre-Zen Buddhism in Japan, maybe 1300 yrs ago. This is the Buddha that purports to save the world.Here're a couple later faces of Buddhas that heal. Tight, well-groomed dreads, too!  Then there's this guy who sits outdoors in Kamakura and is well known ou... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Stagecoach has a bit of a cachet here in Japan amongst certain drinkers (responding to marketeering, of course), but I've never been particularly impressed.Never any danger of the kids continuing the business? Or do they just see big dollar signs with a G behind them, similar to the family sellout over in Burgundy that JD reported on recently? Read More

    Forum post in the topic Gallo buys Stagecoach

  • Thanks for the perspective, Stephen. Knew a little of the Hunter backstory ... ... to know the importer into Japan for the Tulloch and AMON-Ra wines. The Miranda wine I got 'gratis' when I helped out on an event a few years back and got paid in kind rather than monetary recompense.Am with you on the AMON-Ra comments, too, since back when I fir... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • DInteresting selectionHad the Semillon couple of times - it is really strange ... Oz is that happening in US/Japa Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Yeah, that is the custom in India, Greg. Originally was beer followed by whisky ... cases in China, also were in Japan 30+ years ago) so they aren't up to or focused on the matching as much. It's just a fashion so get it out of the way and back to the serious drinking (unless someone's making a culturally political statement and then they stubb... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Indian food and what wines??????

  • "they are tending to push the pricing envelope a little too ... sure what they command in Japan, but I doubt I've paid over $14 for that Gil Jumilla Monastrell. Friend went to Jumilla this year and went to one of the Gil properties.  There's practically one every few miles on the highway. They have managed to become identified with quality wine... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • Not infrequently get bananas, green all the way to ripe, with Sake. On Sunday ... (for sake-making) part of Japan basically between Hiroshima and North Korea, on the Japan Sea side of the island where it snows a lot in the winter (lots of good Sake made where it's cold in winter). One of their versions gave me apples, another gave me pears and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic I Tasted Green Banana;...

  • Don't worry about Japan time. I've got so much going on right now, and my schedule is not my own, with changes occurring most every day. I'll get to my guesses as to provenance as soon as I can.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 2016 Snooth Secret Santa -...

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