A sensitive grape for a superb wine

Oct 10, 2008

A sensitive grape for a superb wine

A delicate, thin skin, in constant need of attention, sensitive to extremes of climate: The Pinot Noir is the pampered princess of grape varieties. Until recently, she only truly blossomed in the gentle cool climate of Burgundy and most especially on the Cote d’Or. ...

Oct 10, 2008

A little Cali in salaryman central

Wine quite literally takes center stage at Wine Kurasu (Wine Crow) in Shinbashi. Tables are spotlighted dramatically so that rich ruby colors spill out from your wine glass onto the white surface, while the customers sit back under softer lighting and get to the ...

Rioja on the rise

Sep 12, 2008

Rioja on the rise

Next month sees a radical change in the look of the Rioja logo regularly embossed on bottles of the Spanish vintage. La Rioja Denominacion de Origen Clasificada authorities have chosen to throw out the rather fusty image of a stamp (complete with wobbly lines) ...

Sep 12, 2008

Tapas and Rioja in the east of Tokyo

Given that some of the Rioja are situated in the Basque region of Spain, it’s a good idea to team the local wines with its native cuisine. Vasco in Nihonbashi serves up an excellent menu of both Spanish and Basque dishes cooked by Spanish ...

Future Pop Lounge

Aug 15, 2008

Future Pop Lounge

Future Pop Lounge is a big treat for fans of the Shibuya-kei scene. Although the Japanese genre that spawned such awesome acts as Pizzicato 5 and Flipper’s Guitar was pretty much over by the turn of the century, many bands escaped the millennium-bug meltdown ...

Taking the Japan Wine Challenge

Aug 8, 2008

Taking the Japan Wine Challenge

Despite the countless half- finished bottles of wine that lined the walls, the atmosphere in the plush function room of Tokyo’s Sheraton Hotel was decidedly tense rather than tipsy. Japanese and Westerners were sitting around tables deep in concentration, thoughtfully holding a glass up ...

Picking a wine for the picnic spread

Jul 11, 2008

Picking a wine for the picnic spread

The smell of freshly mowed lawns and of gunpowder in the air signifies one thing: summer is now in full swing. Whether you’re a peaceful soul who likes to spread out a plastic picnic mat in the local park under the tranquil shade of ...

Koshu stands out as sip of summer

Jun 13, 2008

Koshu stands out as sip of summer

Last month, Tokyo’s wine community was given a rare treat: Two of the most famous names in the wine world descended to hold forth on subjects including the bright future of Japan’s Koshu grape and Bordeaux’s stellar 2005 vintage. The events also gave us ...

Love 'em or hate 'em

May 30, 2008

Love 'em or hate 'em

Usually bands this challenging are doomed to wallow in dank flea-pit venues idolized by a few brave souls and sustained only by belief in their own genius. But Deerhoof, after putting out a total of six albums since their formation and having survived numerous ...