A Comic Book and a Bottle of Wine – NYTimes.com
SIPPING a 2001 Bordeaux from Château Mont Perat, a bead of sweat trickling down his left cheek, Shizuku Kanzaki is suddenly overwhelmed with images of a turntable, guitars and Freddie Mercury.
“It’s powerful,” he says of the wine, “but it also has a meltingly sweet taste, with an acidic aftertaste that catches you by surprise. It’s like the voice of Queen’s lead vocalist, sweet and husky, enveloped in thick guitar riffs and heavy drums.”
Since coming out of nowhere four years ago, this 20-something Japanese would-be sommelier has quickly become the most influential voice in Asia’s wine markets.
In Tokyo, wine sellers monitor his weekly pronouncements before adjusting their stocks accordingly. In newer markets like Taiwan and urban China, his recommendations are turning the newly affluent into wine converts. And in Seoul, South Koreans now hold forth on “terroir” and how a bottle “marries” with a particular dish without blinking.
Never mind that Shizuku is a comic-book figure, the hero of a manga series…
Just adapting the language of wine to a new generation (in a different culture)… brilliant.