Nine in ten Japanese have drunk local wine, fruitiness main draw

Have you ever drunk Japanese wine? graph of japanese statisticsA recent survey from the brewer Kirin and their subsiduary the wine maker Mercian looked at Japanese wine consumption.

Before reading this survey, I was under the impression that most Japanese wine was made on an industrial scale with imported grapes, and that even Mercian was one of these fake wines, and any local wines was very niche and difficult to get hold of. I’ve now had my interest piqued, so I’ll maybe hunt some out. However, the only wine I drink is Saizeriya’s 100 yen gut-rot special (interestingly, they are the largest importer of Italian wine, it seems!) and whatever wine ends up on the all-you-can-drink menu at work booze-ups.

Here’s a random bottle of Japanese wine:


Research results

Q1: Have you ever drunk Japanese wine? (Sample size=800)

Yes (to SQ1-SQ3) 88.8%
No (to SQ4, SQ5) 2.9%
Don’t know, don’t remember (to SQ4, SQ5) 8.4%

Q1SQ1: Why did you choose Japanese wine to drink? (Sample size=710, multiple answer, top eight)

Delicious 38.3%
Easy to drink 37.2%
Want to support the growing area 23.9%
Want to support Japanese wine 23.8%
Feels close to me 19.7%
Goes well even with food 16.5%
Chose without feeling pretensious 13.0%
Feel it’s got good cost/performance 12.4%

Q1SQ2: How do you feel when you drink Japanese wine? (Sample size=710, multiple answer)

  Feeling Feel most
Fruity nose stands out 51.8% 16.8%
Easy to drink 39.4% 14.4%
Rich fruitiness 37.5% 10.6%
Freshness 31.8% 7.2%
Suits the Japanese palate 25.5% 6.2%
Light taste 24.8% 5.6%
Soft taste 24.2% 6.3%
Taste one can’t get in foreign wines 23.7% 8.9%
Complex taste 17.6% 3.4%
Goes with lots of foods 13.4% 1.4%
Good match for Japanese food 13.4% 2.3%
Goes well with Japanese seasoning 13.0% 2.7%
Other 2.7% 2.3%
Nothing in particular 12.1% 12.1%

Q1SQ3: Have your opportunities to drink Japanese wine increased in the last two or three years? (Sample size=710, multiple answer)

  Increased Somewhat increased Somewhat decreased Decreased Not really changed
At restaurants 4.9% 16.8% 6.1% 7.2% 65.1%
At home 9.2% 20.4% 8.3% 8.9% 53.2%
Overall 7.6% 22.4% 8.2% 9.4% 52.4%

Q1SQ4: Why don’t you drink Japanese wine? (Sample size=90, multiple answer, top five)

  Reason Strongest reason
Don’t know how to choose 21.1% 10.0%
Don’t know where I can drink it 18.9% 13.3%
Few places, don’t know which places stock it 15.6% 7.8%
Expensive 14.4% 11.1%
Didn’t knew it existed 14.4% 11.1%

Q1SQ5: Would you like to try Japanese wine? (Sample size=90)

Yes 33.3%
Perhaps 45.6%
Perhaps not 16.7%
Not at all 4.4%

Q2: In the future, when might you want to drink Japanese wine? (Sample size=800, multiple answer)

At home with food, after returning from work 36.4%
At home, visiting friends, other ordinary location with friends, family 13.4%
No particular place event, just when I feel like it 31.5%
When going out for a meal with friends, family, to enjoy with food 24.9%
When I want to chill out by myself 21.6%
To celebrate an anniversary, birthday, etc 21.0%
At a wine bar 20.4%
When having a good time with friends 16.5%
When I want to forget some depressing issue, and cheer myself up to face the next day 5.4%
Other 1.6%
None of the above, don’t want to drink 11.6%

Q3: In the future, what kind of foods might you want to drink Japanese wine with? (Sample size=800, multiple answer)

Japanese speciality restaurant 48.9%
Italian full course 43.5%
Everyday food at home 43.1%
French full course 38.0%
Japanese or Western sweets 12.3%
Ethnic food 8.8%
Chinese 8.0%
Rice bowl 6.1%
Other 6.4%

Q4: What do you think about the following statements regarding Japanese wine? (Sample size=800, multiple answer)

  Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree
Japanese wine quality is improving every year 22.0% 58.8% 14.1% 5.1%
If I have more chances to drink Japanese wine I’ll like it more 19.3% 60.0% 14.9% 5.9%
Even if it’s a bit more expensive, I want to choose, try Japanese wine 11.1% 41.1% 34.4% 13.4%


Between the 17th and 21st of March 2017 800 people aged twenty or older, 50:50 male and female, completed an internet-based questionnaire. All the people in the sample were preselected to be all people who are wine drinkers and have drunk alcohol at least once either at home or at restaurants, etc in the last three months.