8 Best Japanese Wine 2021 | Guide To Choosing Japanese Wine

by Erika Shinomoto
Top Wines From Japan

Looking for the best Japanese Wine? Check out the top wines from Japan that are amazing in taste and also affordable. Read further to know more.

Japan is known worldwide for its range of delicious sake. However, that is not all that you can get in Japan. Japan is also known for its wine industry that produces some of the finest wines you will ever taste. 

Japan has also won several medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards. This shows that the wines made in Japan have a fine quality. 

Best Japanese Wine: Summary

Best Japanese WineAlcohol ContentImportant Feature
Suntory Red Wine14%Soft and smooth texture
Lumiere Sparkling Koshu 201611%Slightly citrus in flavor
Premium Koshu 201612%Perfect when paired with creamy foods
Kurambon Wine12%Made using a slow fermentation technique
Beringer Red Wine14.5%Can be used for other cooking purposes 
Yoshiki Red Wine13.5%Has an essence of vanilla, coffee and chocolate
Provetto Brut10.5%Made with Spanish grapes
Santa Helena Alpaca Wine with Green Herbs13.5%Caramel flavor

Which is the best Japanese wine?

My team and I taste-tested a lot of Japanese wines and rated them based on their taste, alcohol content, and price. We found Suntory Red Wine to be the best out of all. Here’s why:

Suntory Red Wine is an easy-to-drink, smooth, and soft textured wine. It’s made with top-quality grapes. The wine can be consumed at any time of the day with or without meals. This red wine doesn’t contain any antioxidants additives and is natural. It’s available on Amazon Japan for sale. 

You will also notice that there is a huge demand for these wines all over the world. If you are looking for the best Japanese wine, look no further. 

I have put together some of the finest wines you will ever taste, right from the land of the rising sun. Are you ready to sip the night away with these wines?

Top Japanese Wine

Suntory Red Wine

best Japanese wine

Enjoy the pleasure of drinking this red wine from the brand Suntory. This is a pack of six tetra packs that contain wine made without any additional artificial additives.

 It is easy to drink and is absolutely tasty as the grapes, with which the wine is made, are cultivated in restrictive weather to bring out the flavor completely. This is the best cheap wine in Japan.

The wine is quite strong but can be taken with regular meals. Without antioxidants also, this wine has a perfect aroma and the taste of grape stays intact. 

At any time of the day, enjoy a glass of wine and give yourself some mental peace and time to relax with this best Japanese wine.  

Key Features:

  • Red wine without antioxidant additives
  • Made with good quality grapes
  • Can be consumed at any time of the day with or without meals
  • Soft and smooth texture and easy to drink

Lumiére Sparkling Koshu 2016

Made using Koshu grapes, this dry sparkling wine is known for its refreshing sour taste. I love the fact that this does not have a very sweet taste. 

This is top-choice when it comes to raising a toast. It is highly carbonated and effervescent. The acidity level of this wine is also quite high. This japanese wine’s price is quite reasonable so you can enjoy it without a second thought. 

Also, I love the slight citrus flavor that this Koshu sparkling wine has. I have to agree that this is the best Japanese wine for its flavor

Key Features:

  • Made using Koshu grapes
  • Has a refreshing sour taste
  • Not a lingering sweetness
  • Perfect for raising a toast
  • Highly carbonated
  • Has a slight citrus flavor

Premium Koshu 2016

If you love Japanese white wine and are passionate about it, then you must give this Premium Koshu a try. This wine has a refreshing taste that is very light. I love the slight hint of mint and apples in this wine. 

It is quite easy to drink this wine, which makes it the perfect partner for creamy foods. You can also enjoy this wine as a chilled drink on a hot summer night. It’s the best Japanese wine for it’s refreshing taste.

Key Features:

  • White wine with a refreshing taste
  • Light and crisp
  • Hints of mint and apples
  • Easy to drink
  • Perfect when paired with creamy foods

Kurambon Wine

This is the perfect wine for first-time drinkers. It has a rich taste, thanks to the carefully selected Koshu grapes. The grapes are slowly fermented at a low temperature. This wine has a fruity fragrance with a slight hint of citrus. 

It leaves quite a fresh taste in your mouth. I also love the aftertaste it leaves behind. It’s the best Japanese wine for beginners.

Key Features:

  • Perfect wine for first-time wine drinkers
  • Made using home-grown Koshu grapes
  • Made using a slow fermentation technique 
  • Has a fruity fragrance with a slight hint of citrus
  • Fresh taste

Beringer Red Wine

If you are wondering which red wine you should buy then go for this one. This red wine has bagged itself the  ‘Wine of the year’ award because of its rich taste and feel. 

The process of making wine matters the most to have that delicious taste. It’s the best Japanese wine for cooking purposes. 

The brewing technique keeps the taste unique and long lasting. This wine is made with grapes cultivated in the environment of California which gives both sweet and sour taste. You can even use this red wine as umami to marinate the meat. 

The taste spreads evenly in the mouth and feels both thick and mellow. Grab this bottle of wine and enjoy the rich and punchy taste.  This is not so expensive japanese wine that can be enjoyed with friends and family. 

Key Features:

  • Famous red wine from a well know winery
  • Made with traditional wine production ways
  • Made in a way to keep the fruity taste unique
  • Can be used for other cooking purposes 

Yoshiki Red Wine

This best Japanese wine is an interesting option if you are planning to invest in red wine. You will definitely have a heavenly taste in your mouth when you try this extremely delicious wine. In the beginning, it is a bit acidic but later it feels smooth and soft. 

With a good aroma and mellow taste, it is easy to drink and can be served with other heavenly dishes like lamb and beef. This is also the most popular red wine in Japan.

Rich in flavor, this red wine also has chocolate, coffee, and vanilla essence to bring out the subtleness of the wine.

 The grapes used in this wine are of high quality that were cultivated in California. Also, it is alcoholic with a 13.5% of alcohol content. It’s definitely the best Japanese wine that’s acidic as well as soft.

Key Features:

  • Made with California grapes to get the fresh taste
  • Slightly alcoholic in nature
  • Easy to drink with a both acidic and soft flavor
  • Also has an essence of vanilla, coffee and chocolate

Provetto Brut

Not a fan of red wine? Don’t worry, as there is an option in white wine that will blow your mind completely because it’s the best Japanese wine for the fizz. 

Provetto Brut is a white wine made with handpicked excellent quality Spanish grapes that are completely ripe. This is a sparkling wine made with aromatic grapes that give you both citric and sweet taste which is not all overpowering. 

It blends in your mouth and feels absolutely delicious. The fizz and white bubbles make its appearance amazing and it can be drunk daily or on special occasions to celebrate. 

To make it a perfect wine choice, a balanced amount of acidity and carbon dioxide are added, which also keeps the texture pleasant. Relish this best Japanese wine with your friends.

Key Features:

  • Made with Spanish grapes
  • Sparkling white wine with citrus and acidic taste
  • Produced in high technology environment to keep the grape flavor intact
  • Fizzy and has clear white bubbles

Santa Helena Alpaca Wine with Green Herbs

best Japanese wine

Fruit wine with herbs and spices? Ever tasted that? If not, then get this caramel flavored best Japanese wine to fulfill your mouth’s taste. To make this wine taste more exotic and delicious, herbs and spices of good quality have been used. 

Environment and cold temperature play a very important role in the ripening process of the fruits as the difference in temperature make the fruit sweeter and condensed. 

This eventually makes the wine flavor extremely fruitful. Keep this as a daily wine and enjoy it with different types of meals. Do try out this best Japanese wine.

Key Features:

  • Grape wine infused with herbs and spices
  • Preserved at cold temperature to keep the flavor intact
  • Suitable for daily drinking
  • Caramel flavor that satisfies your mouth

How we tested the Japanese wine?

We tested the wine for the following point:

Taste

After tasting all the wines here, you can be sure that each one of them is perfect for a nice refreshing treat after your evening meals. The flavors of these wines are such that they tingle your taste buds. The aftertaste of most of them is also quite pleasing. 

Alcohol Content

We also test the Japanese wine based on the alcohol content it has an ideal wine’s alcohol content should be anywhere between 10-15%

Reasons for Popularity of Wine from Japan

Japan used only grapes that were native to Japan when producing wine. For this purpose, the Japanese used varieties such as Koshu or Delaware, which is a close relative. 

It was only after 1980 that European grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot came to Japan. With these new varieties entering the wine industry, Japanese wine reached new heights. 

In recent times, Japan’s wine export has increased exponentially. Japanese wine is so popular because of its smooth and delicate flavor. Also, since 2018, Japan Winery Award has started using a star classification to rank wineries and their wines. 

Difference Between Japanese Wine and Domestic Wine

Wine is a kind of drink that is very expressive. It tells us about the climate of the land as well as the culture of the place.

 There are many wine-producing countries in the world that are very particular about where their wine is produced. These countries include France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. 

Countries regulate their production areas and label their grape varieties so they can protect the uniqueness and value of their wine. 

For many years, the label of domestic wine in Japan was very loosely used. Although it said domestic wine, most of them were being produced by fermenting grapes that were imported. 

Also, there were several domestic Japanese wines that were bottled by using wines that were imported from overseas. These were also labeled as domestic wine.

This caused a lot of confusion regarding what really was domestic wine, and so, a law for wine labels called ‘Labeling Standards for Manufacturing Process and Quality of Wine, etc.’ was established in October 2015. 

The law was, however, implemented only in October 2018. 

It was after the enforcement of this act that the label changed from domestic wine to Japanese wine. After this, Japan followed international regulations.

Now, any wine that is labeled as Japanese wine must reveal that the grapes have been harvested and fermented in Japan. 

Apart from this, the label also shows the year when the grapes were harvested and the region. You will also find the variety of grapes that were used to produce the wine. 

The information that we find on the label is highly informative. Wineries, winemakers, and vineyards also feel proud and responsible because of this label.

The Main Wine Producing Regions of Japan (Yamanashi, Nagano, Niigata, Yamagata, Hokkaido) and the Leading Varieties of Grapes Native to Japan

Koshu (Yamanashi)

Koshu is a kind of grape that is used for making Japanese wine that has a huge market in foreign countries. This white wine grape, as per a DNA test result, is a hybrid between a European grape variety and Chinese wild grapes. 

The wine that is made using Koshu grapes has a hint of citrus along with acidic and fruity flavors. The wine leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste, which is actually quite pleasant. It goes really well with Japanese cuisine and so, it is well-praised. 

Ryugan (Nagano)

Ryugan is a variety of grapes that is said to have originated in China. This Eastern-European white wine grape is cultivated around the Zenkoji Temple of Nagano Prefecture. 

It is because of its place of cultivation that it is also known as Zenkoji grapes. It has a light fruitiness in its taste along with notes of citrus. This wine can be turned into dry wine and it goes really well with Japanese cuisine. 

Muscat Bailey (Niigate)

The Muscat Bailey variety of grape was first cultivated by Zenbei Kawakami, the founder of Iwanohara Vineyard. Kawakami is known as the father of Japanese wine. This variety of grape is a hybrid between an American berry and a European grape variety called the Muscat Hamburg.

This is one of the most heavily produced red wine grapes in Japan. This variety of grapes give you a wide range of flavors, which is why it is easy to experiment with them. You can make both light and juicy wine as well as an oak-barrel-aged wine with this grape variety.

Yama Sauvignon (Yamagata)

This is one of the most notable varieties of grapes that are used to make red wine. This is a hybrid between mountain grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a deep red color to it and also has some earthiness from the mountain grapes.

Yamasachi (Hokkaido)

These are red wine grapes that are resistant to the cold and frost. This variety of grapes is quite easy to cultivate and does not require you to put in a lot of work. The wine has flavors of rustic woodiness as well as a sharp acidity.

FAQs

Is Japanese wine any good?

Although Japan is known for its sake, which is something that is enjoyed by every Japanese in the evening, you will also be surprised to hear that the Japanese wine industry is expanding. 

The domestic wines of Japan are truly a treat for your taste buds. These wines are so good, it has brought the wine industry of Japan into the limelight. 

Thanks to these wines, Japan has won various medals at the Decanter World Wine Award. The wines have the finest quality and you are sure to enjoy your meals with them. 

What is Japanese plum wine?

Japanese plum wine is known as Umeshu in Japan. It is a liquor that is very rich in flavor. It is made by steeping fresh Japanese plum in shochu (white liquor) and sugar. It has a distinct flavor that has hints of both sweetness and sourness.

It also has a very tantalising fruity aroma. Using Japanese plum wine, you can make various kinds of drinks.

Why is Umeshu (Japanese plum wine) good for you?

Japanese plum wine or Umeshu is said to be very good for you. It is known to relieve you from exhaustion. 

Apart from taking care of your energy levels, it also helps with constipation. It also helps to prevent diarrhea and stimulate appetite. Umeshu contains a lot of minerals and calcium that are very good for your health. 

With the Japanese plum wine, you can get tipsy but without compromising on your health. 

Drink Away!

These were some of the best Japanese wines that you can try out. These best Japanese wines are going to make sure you have a wonderful time in the evening. 

While many of us associate the liquor scene in Japan with sake, we often forget about the existence of these wonderful and delicious domestic wines. 

So, try out these best Japanese wines. I am sure you will be asking for more with every sip of the best Japanese wine. Happy drinking!

Also Read:

  1. best Japanese drip coffee
  2. Top Japanese Green Tea for Weight Loss
  3. Best Japanese Energy Drink
  4. best Japanese bottled drinking water
Suntory Red Wine

Check out Best Japanese Wine, a curated list of top wines from Japan with the best taste and top quality. Do check out Suntory Red Wine which is the best in the list of Japanese wine. Read further to know more.

Product SKU: THFV309903055

Product Brand: Suntory

Product Currency: Japanese Yen

Product Price: 5,598

Price Valid Until: 2021

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5

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