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Melinda Joe

Melinda Joe is an American journalist in Tokyo. A certified wine and sake professional, she writes about Japanese drinks in her Kanpai Culture column for The Japan Times and blogs at tokyodrinkingglass.blogspot.com.

For Melinda Joe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Sake specialists give a lesson in culture

| Dec 9, 2014

Sake specialists give a lesson in culture

In Saijo, Hiroshima Prefecture, the largest room in the home of Hisao Maegaki, president of the sake brewery Kamoizumi Shuzo, is set for a feast. Zabuton floor cushions and red ozen, the low tray-tables traditionally used for dining in Japan, form a circle on ...

Get an early start when hunting for Georgian wines

Nov 27, 2014

Get an early start when hunting for Georgian wines

Waltz, a tiny standing bar that specializes in natural wines, is nearly impossible to find the first time you try looking for it. On a recent Saturday evening, the bar’s obscure location — on a dimly lit backstreet between Tokyo’s Ebisu and Shirokane neighborhoods ...

Get a taste of Georgian wine at Festivin

Nov 27, 2014

Get a taste of Georgian wine at Festivin

In the four years since it started, Festivin has grown from an intimate gathering of natural wine enthusiasts to one of the most eagerly anticipated wine celebrations in Japan. Like many avant-garde movements in the food and beverage world, the idea for Festivin began ...

Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

| Sep 9, 2014

Green fairy leads to Tokyo absinthe bar

Five years ago, Hiroyasu Kayama developed a fascination with absinthe. Shortly before opening his bar Ben Fiddich in July 2013, he took a pilgrimage to the famous absinthe-producing town of Pontarlier, which lies on the French border with Switzerland. Now, the 30-year-old mixologist wants ...