Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Japan >
Dec 9, 2008 11:06 PM

Australian wine merchant in Tokyo

Can anyone recommend a wine merchant in Tokyo that is particularly strong on Australian wines? I am specifically looking for higher end Riesling, around 10 years old. At most wine merchants', I tend to find that most of the Australian Rieslings they sell are perfectly pleasant, young 2,000 - 3,000 yen a bottle wines, which all taste pretty similar.

Many thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Village Cellars probably has the best selection of Australian wines in Japan. They are not located in Tokyo, but they ship here for a nominal fee.

    Though they offer dozens of Aussie rieslings, the oldest one is a 2003.

    14 Replies
      1. re: ruprecht25

        I was thinking the same thing about Semillon...and heard from a semi-reliable source that Village Cellars has an extraordinary amount of 'bin ends' in storage, so if you email them, they may well hook you up with something not in the catalog.

        More Tokyo food from me:

        1. re: jem589

          Hi jem589:

          Notice you are new to the Japan Board. Welcome here!!! You have a very nice blog; I just bookmark it; I will definitely spend sometime reading it when I am free.

          1. re: FourSeasons

            Aso, I told you about this earlier but for the sake of the rest of the board here is some news on what I was told is, "Tokyo's best stocked - secret wine shop"

            It's a place I've walked past many times, but never went in. Apparently, it's dingy conbini feel kept me at bay. I've been told that almost all the wines are highly rated and some rare bottles sold-out in Western countries are available here for list price!


            1. re: lost squirrel

              I live very near there, and I'm almost certain that the location at that exact lat/lng (from the URL) has been a vacant lot for the past few months. I've never noticed a wine shop in that immediate neighborhood, although the dingy convenience store a few doors down does sell wine.

              1. re: Robb S

                Coming from the small park in front of the "Designer's House" on the left hand side of the road, the shop is just past the parking lot.
                It's about halfway between the bar Costa Rica and the park, opposite (within a block) the cheap HK style Chinese place.

                It very well could be the ratty convenience store, a friend of mine went in one day and used his iPhone to check the Parker ratings on most of the wines and found most of them in the 98+ range.

                1. re: lost squirrel

                  Good heavens, it is the convenience store! The last time I bothered going in there they had a few dusty bottles of Yellowtail in the back, but now about half the shop is taken up by wines, with a pretty impressive selection.

                  Storage conditions seem less than impressive, but hopefully they keep the place well chilled in the summer.


                  1. re: Robb S

                    Stopped by just to check it out. It is called Bessho, and run by Masahiro Bessho-san. It has been in continous operation as a liquor/sake/wine shop since 1911, and Bessho-san is the 3rd generation to run things there. Dude is a major wine otaku, and could give a run for his money to Asomaniac on a mano-a-mano with no time limit.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      That's surprising, since the selection was rather limited as of a few years ago, although they did have some interesting and unusual stuff. (I've been in their dozens of times over the last twelve years, and have occasionally bought a bottle there.) Anyway, it's quite extensive now, and I'm happy to rediscover it.

                      1. re: Robb S

                        He told me that he got really interested in wines when he finished some oenology course in 2003 or so.

                      2. re: Uncle Yabai

                        Brilliant, I will go and annoy the poor man one Saturday afternoon in the very near future. Or do you have any idea if the shop is open on Sundays?

              2. re: FourSeasons

                I'm not sure that map is working, but it's in Jingumae 2-chome.

          2. Try Jeroboam for an excellent range of Australian wines. They have a wine club where you can buy wine at a discounted price but you have to buy at least 6 bottles. Delivery is free though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thewinegirl

              I have just returned from tokyo to sapporo and did find the Bessho-san's wine shop. AMAZING!!! A must place to visit and an amazing guy who owns and runs the place. The guy is SO down to earth its great. He just loves wine regardless of where its from and what scores its got, its all about what's in the bottle. Guys like this have to be supported as they are the true independents - they buy what is good and sell the passion. Anyone who lives in Tokyo and loves wine should at least visit it adn support it. In a world/country full of department stores and shopping malls here is a small guy doing something great!

            2. The original comment has been removed