Running to the west of the center of the city of Fukuoka is the wide, tree-lined boulevard of Keyaki-dori. An upmarket part of town, spots on the street rarely come up for renewal; once a shop has its prized location, it clings to it for all it is worth. So it is a pleasant surprise to find fresh noren curtains and a regalia of iwai hana (celebration flowers) outside a newly opened store.

"New York Wine" reads the text across the noren, a statement of purpose that poses more questions than it answers. New York? Wine? In Fukuoka?

Behind the counter stands Brian Dorfman, 46, dressed simply but stylishly. Around him is a highly curated and exclusive selection of wines, liquors, ciders and beers from his native state of New York.