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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

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

Distilling the mysteries of <em>shōchū</em>

| Jun 10, 2016

Distilling the mysteries of shōchū

From my seat on the second floor of Shochu Zanmai, a bar specializing in Japan's indigenous distilled liquor, I can see directly into the building across the street. The bar is located down a narrow alley a 10-minute walk from Tokyo's Ikebukuro Station, and ...

Chef Rodolfo Guzman rediscovers his roots

Feb 18, 2016

Chef Rodolfo Guzman rediscovers his roots

On a cloudless afternoon a little over a year ago, chef Rodolfo Guzman contemplated a plant he had discovered while wandering up to the Salar de Tara salt flats, which lie 4,860 meters above sea level, in the middle of northern Chile's Atacama Desert. "I ...