Here's one of the more exotic feathers in our cap to be going on with. We have become agents for Choya, who make plum wine and sake. Have a look at their website, where you used to be able to learn how to ask for your Choya product in Japanese! There's a lot of interest in sake in Ireland at the moment, and plum wine's not far behind because of some award-winning cocktail mixing from Irish barmen developing an established theme. Saketini, anyone?
This is as good a place as any to return to the Thirsty Travel(l)er's trip to Japan, for those of you who missed it first time around. Nobody does artless, exuberant inquisitiveness like a certain kind of American. Get this - how sake is made.
I must confess to not having tried the Choya range yet. I'm a bit sampled out at the moment because we've finally been catching up with our backlog of tasting new suppliers' offerings and checking new vintages from established suppliers. If I get around to the Choya products, I'll post my two penn'orth in due course, though I can't help feeling the sakes &c. need a whole new vocabulary I don't yet got. Here's a press-release-looking page, aimed at the USA, that may or may not encourage you to give the stuff a try:
It's great to find new customers because of selling sake - it's better still when sake is a foot in the door while we tell people about what else we're proud of. Our newly nipped'n'tucked list of wines is looking radiantly spring-fresh; no, really.
And as for iKi beer - when we chose just one beer to represent, it looks as though we chose the right one! It's proving really popular, and because there's a story to tell (green tea, marketing with a thick Japanese accent, &c. &c.) people talk about it. And, unless you're all being unreasonably polite, that's what keeps you coming back to BB: the story, feeling involved, making an informed choice, the human side.