image The best wine textbook ever: The Drops of God (Kami No Shizuku)

Drops of God wine manga covers

I am reading a Japanese wine manga. Wow, those are seven words I never thought I’d utter in my lifetime.

‘The Drops of God’ is a hit graphic novel series thought by some to be the most influential wine publication in recent times. It’s kind of like Naruto except that the protagonist Shizuku is not a ninja, but a beer salesman. Shizuku is pitted against a young stalwart wine critic to blind-taste and identify 13 rare wines in Shizuku’s late father’s collection. (Dad is the Japanese equivalent of Robert Parker.) If Shizuku wins the taste-off, he inherits his father’s estate. He’s understandably pissed off about having to compete with an outsider for his inheritance. To make matters worse, he hates wine and never got along with his father either.

Flipping through the first book at the bookstore, I see drawings of DRC Richebourg, Mouton-Rothschild, and Henri Jayer Cros-Parantoux. Under a drawing of a Latour: “It has the best terroir in Pauillac, surrounded by no-nonsense super second chateaux like Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and to the south, in Saint-Julien, Leoville Las-Cases.” All wine textbooks should be like this. I’m sold and buy all five books.

Yup, only five of the 44 books were translated into English and the publisher has no plans to translate more.


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