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sake, shochu and sushi
People certainly think twice when they want to order the better kind of French wines at あｎy restaurant いn Shizuoka, or anywhere else for that matter!
There is a limit to what you might afford to pay for them, then.
If you have enough confidence in your culinary talents, or alternatively in your hosting savoir-faire, why not enjoy higher quality wines at a home party for a reasonable price?
Keep in mind that whenever you buy a wine at a liquor shop in Japan, you must understand that the same bottle will fetch at least twice, and more usually, three times as much in amy restaurant.
Now, the wines you will find at Cafe-Labo in Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City have the merit not only to be very fine wines with great value, but also to be very original. You will not find them anywhere else in Shizuoka Prefecture, and you may have a hard time looking for them elsewhere in Japan.
They were all imported directly from from the cellars through personal contacts. I went as far as to e-mail to each cellar to check!
Here are the wines currrently on sale:
Cave de Bissey, Cote Chalonnaise, Bourgogne Rouge, 2004.
Matured in oak barrels. 11.5 vol.. 2,901 yen.
This is a wine that should interest Trine as she is so fond of Bourgogne/Burgundy wines!
Growers in the Cote Chalonnaise, located between the Cotes de Beaune and Maconnais, decided some thirty years ago that their wines warranted a better destiny than to be bought by the large wineries which blended them to spice up their Bourgogne Rouge.
This particular cellar lies in a village where I spent many summers as a kid and still vividly remembers my pranks in the vineyards.
Light ruby red hue with mid-level intensity. The berry bouquet tends towards blackcurrant or blackberry. Agreeable to the palate, perfumed by fresh berries. Very easy to drink.
Most delectable served with pâtés, fine charcuterie, white meats, poultry, and soft cheese. It goes very well with Japanese food, too.
Chateau Bonnet, Saint-Amour, 2006.
13 vol. 2,901 yen
I can hear Melinda cream for that one, what with her wine tasting classes in Tokyo!
Beaujolais wines certainly deserve better treatment than being associated with the crass “Beaujolais Nouveau” inundating us regulary in this country.
Chateau Bonnet is a solid Saint-Amour, a great appellation in its own class, which goes so well with meat, pate, stews, without overpowering your senses. It is a true Beaujolais which certainly ought to be better known. At least it name would reflect your feelings!
Alsace, Clement Klur, Pinot Gris Katz, 2005. (bio wine)
13 vol. 3,801 yen
I have a special love for Alsace wines in spite of my Burgundian roots, and Clement Klug in katzenhal has produced a beauty here. Complex, lots of personality, fresh and long in mouth. Preserved fruit with a hint of fume. Perfect for aperitif and foie gras. Certainly a beauty with sushi! I can see Chuckeats checking his notes!
Alsace, Clement Klur, Cremant de Clement, brut. (bio wine)
12 vol. 3,901 yen
Here is another beauty by Clement Klur. Cremant is simply (figure pf speech) the same type of wine as the vaunted Champagne brews. But I’m sure Chrisos will agree, than yen for yen, they are certainly better value than their overpriced neighbours!
Vinified only from Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois old vines, it reveals a great structure and elegance. Very fine bubbles. To be savoured as aperitif, or with fish and white meats.
Banyuls, Le Dominicain, 6 years old.
Matured in oak barrels. 16 vol. 3,301 yen
Banyuls, in Roussillon by the Spanish border, is famed for it great port-like wines, which also represent better value again yen for yen than some disappointing vintages from Portugal.
Am I hearing Gaijin Tonic‘s ears rising to attention?
Sweet, without being cloying, it drinks so well as an aperitif. Perfect with blue cheese sprinkled with fine honey. A wine that will marry perfectly with chocolates!