Compromises are for relationships, not wine*

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation. The universe is too full of stars.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Good food is nice, good food combined with good wine is even nicer. What to do if you are not an expert, though would like to taste, enjoy the matching & pairing with the meals and also meet more like-minded souls that you may not have known existed in Tokyo.

There are numerous wine tasting events, yet, most of them are in Japanese only. Having moved from France, I was looking for wine tastings and related events in English/French. In case you are interested in the same, here is what I’ve discovered so far.

For all French residents, French speakers, France lovers and alike, one spot to test is Institut français du Japon – Tokyo. Located close to Iidabashi station, it has a nice French brasserie, run by Ayhan. You go there once and next time he will greet you as if you were good old friends.

La Brasserie, Institut français du Japon – Tokyo

In addition to general menu, once a month La Brasserie holds thematic dinners, featuring a certain France wine region, where you can taste at least five of them well paired with the French (or slightly Japanese version of it) cuisine.

Longe de veau rôti sauce forestière, La Brasserie

The events would mainly be in Japanese/French, though if you don’t speak any of the two, you may get some information about the features wines in English.

Terrine de foie gras aux marrons et compote de figue

The best option for English speakers would be Wine Tasting Tokyo events, run by Philippe, who holds one or sometimes two thematic dinners every month. Generally, they would take place in a Parisian style restaurant Aux Bacchanales in Kioicho, though from time to time he would do a special small group event in a different place (e.g. Legato in Shibuya). The topics may range from French, Spanish or Italian to Californian, Australian or South African wines, you can check the schedule here.

Dessert to finish Napa Valley wine tasting at Legato. Digestif: Liqueur Honey ABK6.

You may know that December in France is the month of endless Champagne soirée in preparation for and anticipation of the coming Holiday season. The good news is that you do not have to miss it all while in Japan. Both of the above are organizing champagne featured diners in December, thus, you just need to block your calendar.

Like Paris, champagne is always a good idea, don’t you think?

Sparkling wines and Champagne themed dinner.

“In victory, you deserve Champagne. In defeat you need it.” (Napoleon Bonaparte).


P.S. If you know any nice places to taste wines in Tokyo, leave a comment!

* Quote by Sir Robert Scott Caywood


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