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

  • Merlot

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Moonstone Crossing

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

  • 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...

  • 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


    A friend introduced us on Christmas and Ive been hooked every since. This wine is sultry, sweet, full of robust body, a bit bubbly but lays well on the tongue. Its a definite must buy Read More

    Wine review by Tlparadise

  • So are you based in Chile? I'm currently in Japan.What kinds of wines do you enjoy drinking? Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Wine Lovers!

  • "The red-checked tablecloth places with the bottle of Chianti are perfect ... week or so ago. And even in Japan, Italy has taken over the gotta-be-good European cuisine leadership from France. Happened back in the early '90s.Perhaps my comfort factor initially issued from the fact that when young my dad would sometimes take me to an Italian pl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Help me out here

  • Thanks for all the detailed reportage, Vino. Frankly, no surprise here, ... ... remember ever seeing one in Japan or anywhere else outside North America. Usually I ended up drinking them on the wharf at Santa Barbara when someone else was ordering, far earlier in their winemaking career, though when they were already being pushed as the suppos... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...

  • Well, Duncan, Southwestern Florida and SoCal are quite a bit different from ... ... Massachusetts, lived in Japan then finally settled in the Berkeley Hills (Northern California on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay) near Foxall. His English wife was homesick for England, though, so they moved there, settling near Oxford. Three years later... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Unfortunately it's not just my office. It's all around the place, with ... and Otsukisama in Africa and Japan, to Yaminichandra and Yue in India and China. Many old names for it where you live, the most common theme through them being The Cold Moon (or The Moon Before Yule) for the First Nations or the first European settlers, since the photo ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Though I managed by being offshore most of the '80s to miss every single ... change after a solid week of Japanese, was shocked at such good, fresh-ingredient Italian here, and was floored by the wine of course, but then I've always somehow been able to shock that family with good wine they didn't know about in whatever country we've ended up ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Plenty of good but also plenty of dross in Walla Walla. Same as anywhere, and ... all the beverage makers in Japan, even though a number of people think it makes the best beer among the majors. Without research have no idea what they might have invested in overseas at some point or anothe Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • So DM, after all that freedom why do you not make it out of Japan more often? Read More

    Forum post in the topic Two Days in Chicago

  • Good link, JD.Was wondering about other countries/regions than France and North ... ... have been identified in Japan and Korea that attack flowering and food plants. Since research is so recent on these bacteria-with-no-walls, that can morph into all sorts of shapes, it'll be interesting to see what else we learn in the near future.Any of the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Burgundy Pest/Disease Issue -...

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