For those who don't know their Merlot from their Chardonnay, the Three Country Premium Wine Tasting double event may provide the perfect opportunity to discover the difference. Pay a mere ¥2,000 on entry and you will have access to more than 100 wines. While your liver may not forgive you the morning after, your conscience will as all profits will be donated to the Red Cross to help the victims of the disaster-hit region of Tohoku.

The name of the event suggests that the wine will only be coming from three countries, but this is a bit of a misnomer. Wines from the Provence, Loire, Rhone and Alsace regions of France will be included, as will Spanish and Italian wines from Europe. Representing other places in the world are wines from Chile, the West Coast of the United States and Australia.

It would seem that the organizers have overlooked Japanese wines despite the plains of Yamanashi being well known for their vineyards of Koshu grapes. However, it seems that a combination of rainy seasons and humid summers means most of the Japanese vineyards produce sweet wine that does not suit the taste buds of the international wine scene.

Three Country Premium Wine Tasting 2011 will take place at Hotel Hankyu International Chayamachi, Kita-ku, Osaka, Sept. 8; and at Aoyama Diamond Hall in Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, on Sept. 13. Both events will be held from 6 p.m. till 8.30 p.m. For more information, call (06) 6377-2100 [Osaka] or (03) 5467-2111 [Tokyo].