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

  • Melon

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

  • Diamond

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

  • Merlot

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

Subregions of Japan

Popular Wineries in Japan View all

  • Kizan Winery Co., Ltd.

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

  • 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...

  • Moonstone Crossing

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

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Japan on Snooth

  • A sad state of affairs when the 'best deal' is $55. Frankly absurd and ... was helping people import to Japan). When you have all the money in the world (or what seems like it to you) then you can ignore inflationary bubbles and the like, but when budgets are lower you start seeing things, perhaps, more clearly. The better CA wine priced itsel... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Your fave Cab under $20?!

  • Have had both the NV and the vintage brut several times. Relatively easy to find up in Japan, where I currently reside. Haven't had the blend with shiraz in it but even before your warning I wouldn't have particularly wanted to.In this marketplace, view it as a step up from most cavas and proseccos (though not the very best of them). I haven't h... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Domaine Chandon, Yarra...

  • Sounds like a nice memory of your visit.In Germany and particularly Austria ... decades, even over here in Japan. Frankly, I prefer riesling, but I like MT better than sylvaner (which I do occasionally drink), so it does have its place for me depending on my mood and what's available. I tend to drink all of those wines straight, and not in tha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Mueller Thergeau

  • Very well done piece, Lucha! Kudos to the referee!Reading between the lines I ... ... and weaving its way to Japan, too. Read More

    Forum post in the topic DVogler Asked...

  • I probably would've chosen this image instead. ... Hass from California into Japan due to trade disputes. So for several years all I've had in this country are Mexican Hass grown cheaply and ineptly which are watery and grow fibers in the meat almost immediately, and have less flavor to boot. Color me a frequent-but-frustrated avocado consumer ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Matching challenge *4*: what...

  • Wow. It sounds like you went more for the beauty of the scenery than the wine.. ... I never really associated Japan as making wine as *WE* know it. Thought they were more into other spirits derived from grape and plum, as well as their Sake. But this is fascinating to know..You've reminded of a story, when I went to Crete in Greece. We went on ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The 'weirdest' wineries out...

  • BottleBarn is good, and I'd be supporting it, too, if I lived in the ... ... Though not free shipping to Japan, unfortunately! I still see no reason to drink 3rd rate crappy Paso whites or reds, however you want to rationalize. Not sure how that's your neighborhood, either, OT.  ;-)Your unique position is well recognized, appreciated and respe... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner

  • Ouzo can be good stuff, though don't know about the Shine you were getting ... ... do you hear are made in Japan?Certainly there are varieties of plum 'wine' called umeshuu. Some of it very good. Unripe plums are steeped in distilled white liquor, or shochu, usually. Sometimes in Sak Read More

    Forum post in the topic The 'weirdest' wineries out...

  • To me this is weird.A few years back I used to participate in the annual ... ... major grapegrowing area in Japan. Time for a pitstop or three at the wineries!Well we tried that six years in a row, hitting approx two dozen wineries. Never found a single good one. A few mediocres that seemed great in comparison, but nothing that I'd want to buy... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The 'weirdest' wineries out...

  • Yo D - ain't no scaring!One could Google weird wine facts and find a lot of ... say they're common in Japan too? Amazing. I never knew that. I associate the Japanese with cameras, not burros. But that's truly the beauty of the internet - we learn all the tim Read More

    Forum post in the topic The weirdest and most...

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