15 Best Japanese Wine 2023 | 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 which 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

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?

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. 

Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018

As a wine enthusiast, I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018, a remarkable Japanese wine that blends tradition with innovation. 

Crafted by Hombo Shuzo, a renowned winery known for their commitment to quality, this wine exceeded my expectations with its unique character and sophisticated flavor profile. Join me as I delve into the delightful nuances of this exquisite late harvest wine.

Chateau Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet Merlot Late Harvest 2018
  • Appearance

The wine’s visual presentation was captivating from the moment I poured it into the glass. Its deep ruby hue hinted at the luscious flavors that awaited me. The liquid clung effortlessly to the sides of the glass, showcasing its viscosity and richness.

  • Aroma

Upon bringing the glass to my nose, I was greeted by a symphony of aromas that instantly intrigued me. The nose was filled with ripe dark berries, such as blackcurrants and blackberries, intermingled with hints of plums and cherries. There was also a delicate note of oak, adding a subtle touch of vanilla and spice.

  • Taste

The first sip of the Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018 was nothing short of sublime. 

The wine displayed a harmonious balance between its natural sweetness and acidity. The ripe fruit flavors danced on my palate, with blackberries and cherries leading the way. 

As the wine unfolded, I discovered elegant notes of dark chocolate, tobacco, and a touch of earthiness, adding complexity and depth. The finish was long and satisfying, leaving a lingering impression of velvety smoothness.

  • Texture

The texture of this late harvest wine was incredibly luxurious. It enveloped my mouth with a velvety smoothness, thanks to its well-integrated tannins. The wine possessed a medium-to-full body, providing a substantial presence without overwhelming the senses.

  • Pairing

The Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018 would be an excellent companion for a variety of culinary experiences. 

Its sweetness and complexity make it a superb choice for pairing with rich, dark chocolate desserts. The wine’s acidity also allows it to complement savory dishes, such as grilled lamb or hearty stews. It is truly a versatile wine that will elevate any dining experience.

  • Overall Impression

The Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018 is a testament to the remarkable winemaking prowess of Hombo Shuzo. 

This Japanese wine defies expectations with its elegance, complexity, and remarkable balance. It showcases the artistry of blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, resulting in a wine that is both sophisticated and approachable. 

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a delectable meal, this late harvest wine is sure to impress even the most discerning wine connoisseur.

  • Final Verdict

If you are seeking a unique and exceptional wine experience, I wholeheartedly recommend trying the Hombo Shuzo Château Mars Hosaka Hinoshiro Cabernet-Merlot Late Harvest 2018. 

With its seductive aroma, exquisite flavors, and refined texture, it embodies the best of Japanese winemaking. Indulge in a bottle and savor the elegance of this remarkable creation. Cheers!

St. Cousair, Nagano Chardonnay 2019

The ST.COUSAIR Nagano Chardonnay 2019 is a delightful offering from one of Japan’s premier wineries, ST.COUSAIR. Known for their meticulous craftsmanship and commitment to quality, this Chardonnay showcases the essence of Nagano’s terroir with elegance and finesse. 

Let’s dive into the flavors, aromas, and overall experience of this captivating vintage.

St. Cousair, Nagano Chardonnay 2019
  • Aromas

Upon uncorking the bottle, a symphony of enticing aromas fills the air. The Nagano Chardonnay 2019 greets your senses with a beautiful bouquet of ripe tropical fruits, including pineapple and mango, intertwined with delicate floral notes. 

Subtle hints of vanilla and toasted oak add depth and complexity to the aromatic profile, foreshadowing the sophistication to come.

  • Taste

The first sip reveals a well-balanced Chardonnay that effortlessly marries fruitiness and structure. The Nagano Chardonnay 2019 boasts a vibrant flavor profile dominated by luscious pineapple, ripe pear, and juicy golden apple. 

These fruity notes are harmoniously complemented by a subtle touch of butterscotch and toasted almonds, imparted by the skillful oak aging. The wine’s acidity is refreshing, offering a clean and crisp finish that lingers on the palate, leaving a delightful impression.

  • Texture

In terms of texture, this Chardonnay strikes a perfect balance. The wine is smooth and silky on the tongue, with a medium body that carries the flavors gracefully. 

Its well-integrated oak influence provides a slight creaminess without overpowering the delicate fruit characteristics, resulting in a velvety mouthfeel that is both luxurious and inviting.

  • Pairing

The ST.COUSAIR Nagano Chardonnay 2019 is a versatile companion for various culinary adventures. Its vibrant fruitiness and balanced acidity make it an excellent pairing with seafood dishes such as grilled prawns, seared scallops, or buttery lobster. 

It also harmonizes beautifully with creamy pasta dishes and soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert, as well as roasted chicken or pork with rich sauces.

  • Overall Experience

ST.COUSAIR has crafted a true gem with their Nagano Chardonnay 2019. From its captivating aromas to its well-balanced flavors and velvety texture, this wine offers a memorable experience from start to finish.

 Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a gourmet meal, it demonstrates the winery’s commitment to excellence and the unique expression of Nagano’s terroir. It’s a testament to the skill and passion that go into each bottle.

  • Final Verdict

If you appreciate a Chardonnay that showcases elegance, balance, and the beautiful nuances of Nagano’s vineyards, the ST.COUSAIR Nagano Chardonnay 2019 is a must-try. 

Its vibrant fruit flavors, harmonious oak integration, and velvety texture create a captivating symphony of tastes that will leave wine enthusiasts craving another sip. Cheers to ST.COUSAIR for this exceptional vintage!

Hombo Shuzo, Château Mars Koshu Orange Gris 2019

I recently had the pleasure of trying the Hombo Shuzo, Château Mars Koshu Orange Gris 2019, and I must say it was a delightful and unique experience. 

As a wine enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting flavors, and this particular offering did not disappoint.

  • Appearance

The Hombo Shuzo, Château Mars Koshu Orange Gris 2019 boasts an elegant and sophisticated presentation. The bottle design is visually appealing, showcasing a sense of craftsmanship and attention to detail. 

The wine itself has a beautiful pale orange color with a slight haze, giving it a natural and rustic appearance that adds to its charm.

  • Aroma

Upon opening the bottle, a gentle, fruity aroma fills the air, setting the stage for the intriguing flavors to come. The Koshu Orange Gris 2019 releases enticing scents that hint at its complex character. 

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It offers a delightful mix of fruity notes, with hints of citrus, particularly orange and grapefruit, along with subtle floral undertones.

  • Taste

The Koshu Orange Gris 2019 delivers a truly distinctive flavor profile that sets it apart. It strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, creating a harmonious taste experience. The initial sip reveals a burst of vibrant citrus flavors, dominated by orange and grapefruit, which impart a refreshing and zesty character. 

These citrus notes are complemented by hints of stone fruits, adding depth to the wine’s profile. Subtle floral undertones round out the taste, creating a multi-dimensional and intriguing palate.

  • Texture

This vintage showcases a medium body with a smooth and velvety texture. The wine’s texture adds a luxurious mouthfeel, enhancing the overall drinking experience. It glides effortlessly across the palate, leaving a satisfying sensation.

  • Overall Impression

Hombo Shuzo, Château Mars Koshu Orange Gris 2019 is a wine that leaves a lasting impression. Its unique flavor profile, with its vibrant citrus notes, balanced sweetness and acidity, and subtle floral undertones, sets it apart from conventional offerings. 

The combination of elegance, complexity, and a commitment to sustainable practices by Hombo Shuzo adds to the wine’s overall appeal.

  • Final Verdict

In conclusion, the Hombo Shuzo, Château Mars Koshu Orange Gris 2019 is a standout wine that captivates with its visual presentation, enticing aroma, distinctive taste, and luxurious texture. 

The winemaker’s dedication to sustainable and organic practices further elevates the wine’s appeal. Whether you are a wine enthusiast looking for new and exciting flavors or simply want to explore the world of Koshu wines, this vintage is highly recommended. Cheers to an exceptional drinking experience!

Sapporo Breweries Grande Polaire Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019

The Sapporo Breweries Grande Polaire Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 is a wine that deserves attention for its refined characteristics and exceptional quality. 

From its elegant appearance to its captivating aroma and complex flavor profile, this Chardonnay showcases the expertise and craftsmanship of Sapporo Breweries. 

With its golden hue, enticing bouquet, and harmonious blend of tropical fruit flavors, this vintage promises a memorable and enjoyable drinking experience. Join me as we delve into the details of this remarkable wine and discover what sets it apart from the rest.

  • Appearance

The Sapporo Breweries Grande Polaire Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 presents itself with an elegant and refined appearance. 

The bottle design is sleek and modern, reflecting the attention to detail that has gone into crafting this wine. The Chardonnay itself exhibits a beautiful golden hue, capturing the eye with its radiant and inviting color.

  • Aroma

Upon opening the bottle, a delightful bouquet of aromas wafts through the air, providing a glimpse into the wine’s character. 

The Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 showcases a captivating blend of fruity and floral notes. The fragrance is rich with hints of ripe tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, accompanied by subtle floral undertones that add a touch of elegance.

  • Taste

The first sip of the Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 reveals a wine of exceptional taste and depth. It strikes a perfect balance between richness and freshness, offering a captivating array of flavors. 

The wine showcases a harmonious blend of tropical fruits, with ripe pineapple and luscious mango taking the center stage. 

These vibrant fruit flavors are beautifully complemented by hints of citrus, providing a refreshing and well-rounded palate. There is a delicate touch of oak, contributing to the wine’s complexity and adding a subtle layer of creaminess.

  • Texture

This vintage displays a medium to full body with a silky and velvety texture, elevating the overall drinking experience. 

The wine coats the palate with its luxurious texture, showcasing a perfect balance between weight and smoothness. It lingers on the tongue, allowing the flavors to unfold gradually.

  • Overall Impression

Sapporo Breweries Grande Polaire Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 leaves a lasting impression with its refined appearance, enticing aroma, and exceptional taste. 

The wine captures the essence of the Chardonnay grape, combining tropical fruit flavors, citrus undertones, and a subtle oak influence. It showcases a remarkable harmony of flavors and textures, highlighting the craftsmanship that has gone into its production.

  • Final Verdict

In conclusion, the Sapporo Breweries Grande Polaire Nagano Furusato Chardonnay 2019 is a superb wine that exudes elegance and finesse. Its golden color, inviting aroma, and rich flavor profile make it a standout choice. 

Whether you are a Chardonnay enthusiast or someone looking to explore new wines, this vintage is highly recommended. Indulge in its tropical fruit notes, creamy texture, and overall exceptional quality for a memorable wine-drinking experience. Cheers!

Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018

The Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018 is a wine that exemplifies the excellence and artistry of Takahata Winery. With its impeccable craftsmanship and distinct flavor profile, this Chardonnay vintage is poised to captivate wine enthusiasts seeking a remarkable tasting experience. 

Join me as we explore the notable characteristics of this wine and delve into its sensory delights.

  • Appearance

The Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018 presents itself with an alluring golden hue that catches the eye. Its radiant color is a prelude to the richness and complexity that awaits within the bottle. 

The wine’s luminosity and clarity showcase the meticulous attention to detail employed by Takahata Winery.

  • Aroma

Upon opening the bottle, a captivating aroma envelops the senses, inviting anticipation of the flavors to come. 

The Barrique Chardonnay 2018 exudes an enticing bouquet that combines notes of ripe tropical fruits, such as pineapple and mango, with delicate hints of vanilla and toasted oak. The aromatic symphony is a testament to the careful fermentation and aging processes employed by Takahata Winery.

  • Taste

With the first sip, the Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018 reveals its true character, offering a memorable tasting experience. The wine displays a perfect harmony of flavors, showcasing the richness of ripe tropical fruits alongside subtle undertones of vanilla and toasted oak. 

The well-integrated oak influence adds depth and complexity to the Chardonnay, while the fruit flavors contribute a luscious sweetness. This balanced combination creates a sophisticated and multi-dimensional palate.

  • Texture

The Barrique Chardonnay 2018 exhibits a medium to full body with a velvety-smooth texture that caresses the palate. 

The wine’s mouthfeel is luxurious and satisfying, providing a rich and rounded experience. Its viscosity adds an additional layer of indulgence, accentuating the overall drinking pleasure.

  • Overall Impression

Takahata Winery has crafted a true gem with the Barrique Chardonnay 2018. From its captivating appearance and enticing aroma to its harmonious taste and luxurious texture, this vintage exemplifies the winery’s commitment to excellence. 

The careful balance of fruitiness, oak influence, and refined craftsmanship make it a standout Chardonnay.

  • Final Verdict

In conclusion, the Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018 is a wine that delivers a remarkable drinking experience. Its golden hue, enticing aroma, and balanced flavor profile make it a standout choice for Chardonnay enthusiasts. 

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of dishes, this vintage promises a journey of flavors that will leave a lasting impression. 

Elevate your wine collection with the Takahata Winery Barrique Chardonnay 2018 and indulge in its elegance and sophistication. Cheers to a truly exceptional wine!

Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015

The Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 is a wine that combines the unique characteristics of the Muscat Bailey A grape with the craftsmanship of its producers. 

This particular vintage offers wine enthusiasts an opportunity to savor the distinct flavors and aromas that make it a standout choice. Join me as we delve into the world of Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 and discover the delights it has to offer.

  • Appearance

The Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 showcases a captivating appearance with its deep ruby-red color. Its intense hue hints at the depth and complexity that lie within the bottle. 

The wine’s brilliance and clarity reflect the attention to detail and meticulous winemaking techniques employed in its production.

  • Aroma

Upon uncorking the bottle, a fragrant bouquet fills the air, enticing the senses with its alluring aromas. 

The Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 releases a symphony of scents, blending notes of ripe berries, such as blackberry and raspberry, with hints of floral undertones. The aroma is both inviting and captivating, setting the stage for a delightful tasting experience.

  • Taste

With the first sip, the Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 unveils a tapestry of flavors that dance on the palate. This vintage showcases the distinctive characteristics of the Muscat Bailey A grape, offering a delightful combination of dark berries, including black cherry and blackcurrant. 

The wine’s fruity profile is complemented by subtle herbal notes and a touch of spice, creating a well-rounded and harmonious taste experience. The balanced acidity adds a refreshing quality, contributing to the wine’s overall elegance.

  • Texture

The Ycube 2015 displays a medium body with a silky-smooth texture, enveloping the palate in a velvety embrace. 

The wine’s refined texture enhances the overall drinking experience, providing a luxurious mouthfeel that lingers with each sip. Its well-integrated tannins add structure and a touch of grip, further enhancing the wine’s complexity.

  • Overall Impression

The Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 is a wine that captivates with its deep color, enticing aroma, and harmonious flavors. The unique characteristics of the Muscat Bailey A grape shine through, delivering a memorable and enjoyable tasting experience. The wine’s balance, elegance, and refined texture showcase the craftsmanship and dedication of its producers.

  • Final Verdict
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In conclusion, the Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 is a wine that stands out for its exceptional quality and distinctive character. Its deep ruby-red color, inviting aroma, and harmonious flavors make it a noteworthy choice for wine enthusiasts. 

Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of dishes, this vintage promises to elevate any occasion. 

Indulge in the delights of the Muscat Bailey A Ycube 2015 and savor its unique expression of the grape. Cheers to a truly remarkable wine!

Suntory Red Wine

good 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. It’s one of the good Japanese wine for beginners.

At any time of the day, I can enjoy a glass of Suntory and give myself some mental peace and time to relax with this best Japanese wine.  I particularly love the texture of this wine which isn’t too dry and has a good amount of sweetness and low acidity. I also don’t have to burn my pocket to buy this 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


  • Ingredients: 9.5/10
  • Taste: 9/10
  • Affordability: 9.5/10

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. 

japanese wines

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


  • Ingredients: 9.5/10
  • Taste: 8.5/10
  • Affordability: 8.5/10

Premium Koshu 2016

best wine in japan

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 its refreshing taste. Japanese wines like Koshu are perfect for dine out party with friends.

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


  • Ingredients: 10/10
  • Taste: 9.5/10
  • Affordability: 8.5/10

Kurambon Wine

japanese 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

best cheap wine in japan

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

most popular red wine in japan

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

lumiere sparkling koshu

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

Types Of Japanese Wine

Japan has a growing wine industry that produces a variety of unique and flavorful wines. Some of the notable types of Japanese wine include:

  • Koshu

Koshu is a white grape variety that is indigenous to Japan. It is used to produce light and delicate white wines with subtle floral and citrus notes. Koshu wines are known for their crisp acidity and are often enjoyed as an accompaniment to Japanese cuisine.

  • Muscat Bailey A

Muscat Bailey A is a red grape variety developed in Japan. Wines made from Muscat Bailey A grapes tend to have a deep ruby-red color and exhibit fruity flavors of dark berries, such as blackberry and blackcurrant. These wines often have a medium body and can be enjoyed on their own or paired with various dishes.

  • Yamabudo

Yamabudo, also known as “mountain grape,” is a wild grape variety native to Japan. It is typically used to produce sweet and aromatic wines with a distinctive fruity character. Yamabudo wines often have a rich golden color and offer flavors reminiscent of tropical fruits and honey.

  • Chardonnay
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Chardonnay, a popular grape variety worldwide, is also cultivated in Japan. Japanese Chardonnays vary in style, ranging from crisp and unoaked to full-bodied and oak-aged. These wines can exhibit flavors of citrus, tropical fruits, and buttery notes, depending on the winemaking techniques employed.

  • Merlot

Merlot, a well-known red grape variety, is grown in several regions of Japan. Japanese Merlot wines typically showcase a medium to full body, with flavors of black cherry, plum, and subtle herbal notes. These wines can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of dishes.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is another widely grown red grape variety in Japan. The Japanese versions of Cabernet Sauvignon often display rich and complex flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, and spices. These wines tend to have firm tannins and can benefit from aging.

  • Hybrid Varieties

In addition to the traditional grape varieties, Japan is also known for cultivating various hybrid grape varieties. These hybrids, such as Muscat Bailey A, Chambourcin, and Delaware, are bred to withstand Japan’s climate and produce wines with unique characteristics.

These are just a few examples of the diverse types of Japanese wine available. Japan’s wine industry continues to evolve and experiment, producing wines that reflect the country’s distinct terroir and winemaking traditions.

How we tested the Japanese wine?

We tested the wine for the following point:


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%

Tips to Choose a Japanese Wine:

There are a few things to look for when choosing a Japanese wine, check these boxes before you buy a Japanese wine. 

  • First, you want to make sure that the wine is made from 100% Japanese grapes.
  • Second, you’ll want to check the label to see if the wine has been aged for at least three years before release.
  •  Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the winery is reputable and has a good track record.

Some of our favorite wines from Japan include the Dewatsuru Junmai Daiginjo Sake, the Kamoizumi Kyoto White Sake, and the Koshu Wine Yamanashi. All of these wines are made with 100% Japanese grapes and have been aged for at least three years before release.

Why Is Japanese Wine Popular?

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 Regular 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.

Best Wine In Japan: 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 hints at both sweetness and sourness. It also has a very tantalizing 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. 

Do Japanese people drink wine?

According to a recent study, 29% of people in Japan drink wine regularly. So, it’s not exactly like wine drinking is uncommon in the country. In fact, many Japanese people enjoy trying different types of wines from all over the world.

What is a wine called in Japanese?

Wine is called kajitsu noaji (果実の酒) in Japanese. This translates to “fruit wine”. Some common types of fruit wine include plum wine (ume-shu, 梅酒), grape wine (budō-shu, ぶどう酒), and apple wine (ringo no moe, りんごの酛). Fruit wines are typically sweeter than regular wines because of the natural sugars in the fruit.

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 Whisky
  2. Best Japanese Beer
Suntory Red Wine
Top Wines From Japan 1

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.

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