Seju Yang: ”The wine scene in Tokyo is incredibly diverse”

Seju Yang, Star Wine List’s Tokyo ambassador.
Andreas Grube
Published 02-July-2021
Interview / Tokyo

Seju Yang – sommelier, consultant and journalist – is Star Wine List’s ambassador in Tokyo and the one who has selected the venues for our Tokyo guide.

"Right now, the trend is going towards a cleaner expression of naturalism," he says about the city’s wine scene.

Seju Yang started his career as a sake sommelier in New York and then continued into wine immediately after. For the last eight years, Tokyo has been his base, and now he works as a beverage consultant, freelance sommelier and wine journalist.

”So It has been 17 years of being madly in love with wine so far,” he says.

How’s the situation in Tokyo right now?
”It’s finally getting better, but we need to be a little more patient until the vaccination is complete.”

Natural wine has been huge for a decade in Tokyo, but right now, the trend is going towards a cleaner expression of naturalism

Describe the wine scene in Tokyo!
”The wine scene in Tokyo is incredibly diverse!”

Any specific trends in Tokyo right now when it comes to wine venues? Any specific regions, styles, etc?
”Fewer venues, especially up-and-coming ones, tend not to have a wine list. Natural wine has been huge for a decade in Tokyo, but right now, the trend is going towards a cleaner expression of naturalism.”

Anything you want to see more of then it comes to wine venues in Tokyo?
”More sustainable-focused wine programs.”

Anything you want to see less of?
” ’Superfine quality sushi with first growth Bordeaux’-kind of places.”

How do you think the wine scene in Tokyo will evolve in the upcoming years?
”Following the concept of SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals, Editor’s note) will become a strong interest in the market, so I believe we will follow that path.”

Anything you want to add?
”There is more to come!”

Check out Seju's selections through the links below.

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