Posts Tagged ‘Japanese’

Japanese Wine? Yes, Japanese Wine!

November 13, 2010

While Americans know all about saki and sushi, there is another Japanese product, wine made from the koshu grape. The trouble is that until now, no one other than the Japanese ever wanted to drink the stuff, considering it to be horrible swill that wasn’t fit to be served in good restaurants.

One Importer Tries to Bring in Koshu Wine

Ernest Singer is an American importer who tasted the wine ten years ago for the first time. A fruity white wine, Mr. Singer fell in love with the stuff and decided that it was perfectly matched to Japanese food. He is convinced that the wine will become the very first Asian wine to draw a true international market.

A Need to Change the Way Things Are Done

Mr. Singer has been working with French vintners and grapes grown locally to try to create a new taste sensation for the American palate. The key Mr. Singer says is that the vintners from Japan need to start following different patterns which he is trying to teach them so that the wines they produce will no longer taste like swill to American and Western palates. He reports that he has had some success working with a small group of younger wine makers who are willing to experiment and try new ideas.

Traditional Made From Bad Fruit Mixed with Plenty of Sugar

The biggest problem is that the koshu grapes, grown primarily near Mount Fiji, were traditionally harvested for other uses. The damaged grapes were mixed with heavy doses of sugar to create a cheap, sweet wine which few people, even the Japanese consider to be particularly drinkable.

A Need for New Science and Ideas

In addition to the problem of overcoming traditional methods of making wines in Japan, another issue that Mr. Singer has found is that the traditional methods of making wines that the French and California vintners use doesn’t work well in Japan. French and California wines are drown in dry climates while Japanese wine must contend with very wet areas where rainstorms show up all summer and fall.

However, for those who get into the market early and start offering the wines to their customers, we expect that you will see  a nice bump in business as word of the new drinks spread.