Japan, Wine Consumption: See Japan.

Gideon Rachman, ‘The disappearing drinker’, The Economist Dec 16th 1999

A combination of health concerns and fashion have helped to fuel an extraordinary wine boom in Japan, where consumption trebled between 1995 and 1998. The wine-drinking craze gathered so much momentum that in 1998 Japan became the largest export market by value for wines from both Bordeaux and California. A developing interest in western culture, a fashion among women for drinking wine, and a decline in business entertainment which has stimulated consumption of wine at home have all played a part, but perhaps the biggest booster has been the publicity about the positive health effects of wine consumption. Whether the craze will last is another question. One French producer claims the Japanese ambassador had told him that sararimen were “drinking a glass of claret at breakfast, along with their vitamin pills—I doubt that can be sustainable.” Breakfast aside, red wine and Japanese food are not a natural match at lunch or dinner either. But consumption seems to be holding up for now, so Japan remains a great hope for the world’s wine makers.