Up till three years ago it was hard to find quality sake in leading restaurants and bars around the world. But thanks to a new export drive by the Japanese government to promote its goods and services around the world, sake and shochu, Japan’s popular distilled spirit drinks, are now making big strides in key markets and cities.
This is also thanks to the work of the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association that is exhibiting at Vinexpo for the first time with a pavilion of 28 brewers.
The association is particularly excited to be able to showcase the best of what Japan can offer to international buyers and sommeliers, as it believes there is close affinity between sake, shochu and wine, said Dominique Grandemenge, export marketing consultant for the association.
It has been planning its presence at Vinexpo for two years and hopes to use it to build contacts and partnerships to help spread the distribution of sake and shochu to new markets. “Year after year we are seeing more people coming to Japan looking to collaborate and help with our exports. It is why Vinexpo Bordeaux is very important for us,” added Grandemenge.
He said sake and shochu can potentially offer sommeliers and chefs working across all types of restaurants with drinks that have so much more flexibility and taste profiles than wine, and are ideal for food pairing and offering something new to their customers.
Currently only 3% of its production is exported with 50% going to the US, 25% to Hong Kong and the rest shared around the world.
Hall 1, Stand DE165