Rice and Grape Wine Busuness

Do you drink alcohol with food at dinner?  There are some people simply drink a glass or two at a bar or tavern before going home.  When I was early 20s, I could not drink at all.  However, when I started to work at a investment bank, I felt like I should drink with my clients to build good professional relationship and started to drink beer at the beginning.  Then, I was able to occasionally try a lot of different types of alcohol.  After several years of trying various types of alcohol, at the end, a grape wine became my favorite alcohol.  Unfortunately, however, I decided to quit drinking except for a glass of good wine on New Year’s Day, Obon and my birthday.


About five to six years ago, I come across the opportunity to get involved in both marketing and sale for Japanese rice wine and grape wine.  I was still enjoying drinking at that time but I never thought that I could get involved in the business.  Furthermore, the assignment was to expand the Japanese rice wine business to abroad and to expand a business of grape wine imported from Australia in Japan, especially in Tokyo.


All I did in the past when I was drinking, was simply enjoy the taste and atmosphere of a bar and restaurant.  However, once I had to expand business of a certain brand, I had to straighten up my posture and started to “observe” every possible thing.  I first realized that I had a lack of knowledge about Japanese rice wine.  What are the characteristics of Japanese Sake (rice wine), especially what are the points that have to be communicated to potential customers/consumers?


The image of Japanese sake for me was to drink warm in winter and only for “middle aged and older male for Japanese food.  Also, I had the impression that it might give me headache next day if I drink too much.


Therefore, I remember that I spent long time thinking about how and where I should start in expanding the business of Japanese sake abroad without any good impressions.

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