When you reach for evening's libation, Asian wine is probably not at the forefront of your mind. This is curious when you consider that the first wines ever produced come from the South Caucuses, a region that sits at the very intersection of Europe and Asia.
Large markets like China have indeed been slow to adopt Western-style wines. They prefer regional beverages or wines diluted with soda or syrups to make them sweeter.
But Asia is a massive place. From Indian wine to Japanese sake, there's a wealth of sublime bottles from across the continent waiting to be explored.
Here are some novel options from Great Wines Direct you should consider for your next dinner party or social engagement.
Travelling in Turkey gives visitors a chance to sample some of the oldest and most varied varieties in the world. The Turkish wine industry is so ancient that the Euphrates Valley is said to be the location of Noah's vineyards, as mentioned in the Book of Genesis. And as the fourth largest producer of wine grapes in the world, you won't have trouble finding options for wineries to tour.
Almost any varietal you can imagine is on offer at one of the hundreds of wineries throughout the country. It's an essential destination on any wine vacation checklist. Just don't forget to practice good wine-tasting etiquette if you find yourself taking a pilgrimage there.
When you think of Japanese wines, the mind instantly turns to sake.
And for good reason. The nation's staple rice wine has a history stretching back more than 2,500 years. No true wine lover can resist a pedigree like that.
While Sake is the most popular wine in Japan, it's not the only option. In recent years, regions like Yamanashi, Nagano, and Hokkaido became home to a growing grape wine industry.
In addition to classic reds and rosé, Japan produces wine from its trademark Koshu grapes. Grown primarily in the Yamanashi region, this variety produces some of the crispest, most refreshing white wines anywhere in the world.
Even in the world of Asian wine, India only occupies a small share of the market. So you would be forgiven if, while looking for India vacation attractions, you didn't even consider taking a winery tour.
That would be a mistake, however. While the Indian wine market is modest in size, it's also very ancient, dating back to the Bronze Age.
In modernity, you can find everything from Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and even sparkling Brut throughout the country. The region is also home to several indigenous grape varieties that produce unique wines that you'll not find elsewhere.
Expanding Your Horizons With Great Wines Direct
This selection of Asian wine only scratches the surface. The are 48 countries throughout Asia, many of which have winemaking traditions that stretch back for millennia. Turkish, Japanese, and Indian wine is only a taste of what the continent has to offer.
Great Wines Direct can be your passport to a wider world. To get started, learn more about how we forge strong relationships with independent winemakers to bring the best bottles in the world right to your front door.