News - 18.10.10
The prestigious Cuisine Kingdom magazine in Argentina
Two representatives of the Japanese magazine Cuisine Kingdom recently visited our country in the context of the promotional activities developed by WOFA for the Asian market: Kanami Okimura (reporter/editor) and Abiko Sachie (photographer).
Invited by Wines of Argentina, two representatives of the Japanese magazine Cuisine Kingdom recently visited our country in the context of the promotional activities developed by WOFA for the Asian market: Kanami Okimura (reporter/editor) and Abiko Sachie (photographer).
On their first trip to Argentina, the visitors’ aim was to provide full coverage of the country’s wines and restaurants and promote the potential of Argentine wines, culture and gastronomy. The reporters visited organic vineyards, traditional and family wineries, wineries still unknown to the Japanese market and those which develop innovative products. Their itinerary included a visit to Buenos Aires – where they tasted Patagonian wines – and trips to Cafayate, Salta and Mendoza.
As she reported on her first impressions, Kanami Okimura said that Argentine Malbec indeed suits the taste of Japanese consumers: it is a wine that goes very well with the type of meats consumed in her country and it may also be enjoyed on its own or together with cheese. Torrontes in particular called her attention: she had imagined this Argentine flagship variety to be softer, although when tasting it in its places of origin she found it had “a good body, a strong character and was very aromatic.” “The personality of Torrontes is typically Argentine,” she highlighted, and she also pointed out other aspects: “This wine has two expressions: one in its aroma, which is basically soft, and another one in its taste, which is very fresh and fruity.” In addition, the reporter and editor remarked on our country’s production of many other varieties besides Malbec and Torrontes, which are the best-known in Japan.
“Argentine wines are consumed in Japan, although they are not so well-known by the general public yet. The exception may be those consumers who are very much into the world of wine,” stated Kanami Okimura. She suggested not only positioning wines in restaurants and etiquette venues, but also taking into consideration that consumers at bars, cafés and informal places expect to find more casual wines: “It is important for Argentine wines to convey a more flexible and relaxed image, as they are usually associated with the high life. Being more casual does not mean becoming a table wine, but having character and elegance, without so much solemnity.”
In Japan, there are wines from various countries which became positioned as “cheap wines.” Later on, it turned out difficult for them to upgrade their category. The Japanese connoisseur suggested entering the market with “easy to drink” wines, in order to make a good impact. In general, those who like Argentine wines are experts in this drink; however, there are many people who do not know too much about foreign wines but are eager to try them and enjoy them.
In her magazine, the reporter will write about her experiences in connection with Argentina’s wine tourism, and the food and drink the country has to offer. “Due to the history of wine in Argentina, it is important to highlight that the country took a significant step forward towards the production of high-quality wines, and that this was a result of the joint effort of all the producing wineries. Those who make wine in this country pour all their passion into a bottle. They definitely succeed in showing that there is a lot more to Argentina than tango and soccer.”
Cuisine Kingdom magazine is a publication which specializes in wines and gastronomy. It targets chefs, restauranteurs and people somehow connected to the world of cuisine and drinks. Many of the readers have a special interest in South American wines. Both visitors (Kanami Okimura – who has been writing about food for 10 years – and Abiko Sachie) have already made similar trips to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United States in order to write reports about wines and restaurants in those countries.