Japan’s Love For Natural Wine And 6 Of Tokyo’s Best Bars To Drink It At

Japan's Love For Natural Wine And 6 Of Tokyo's Best Bars To Drink It At

It may seem too good to be true, but natural wine is very much the magical “Jesus juice” we all hope to find when it comes to fun drinking without the concern of a hangover the next morning. Not sure why? Read on, but be warned — you’ll get naturally (and pleasantly) dizzy.

What is “natural wine”?

Natural wine, also known as “unadulterated wine,” is made up of organic grapes in a process that uses minimal chemical and technological manipulation. Unlike organic wine, which usually just means, “made of organic grapes,” natural wine goes beyond the grape, ensuring an entirely organic process from start to finish, also using minimal sulfates.

There’s a funk to natural wine that makes me tingle with warmth inside.

One of the first major adopters of the movement, Japan has had an obsession with natural wine since the ’90s. It wasn’t until 2000 that natural wine peaked in France, and if it weren’t for Japan drinking 75 percent of it by then, many of those small French wineries would have shut down.

Still today, natural wine is not (yet) well known in many countries. On a recent trip to Los Angeles, a waiter actually scoffed at me when I asked if they had any natural wine available, sarcastically assuring me “there’s no such thing.” Fair enough, there is no one official certification process or legal definition for deeming wine all-natural, which makes things more complicated, but for those who know it, they know that it’s very much different from “regular” wine.

What makes it so drinkable?

There’s a funk to natural wine that makes me tingle with warmth inside. There’s an earthiness to it — a flavor that only …continue reading