Reading about wine has never been so weird, wild and exhilarating. This manga, which went viral in Japan soon after it came out in 2004 (as a magazine) traces the path of a prominent wine critic’s son from tee-totalling novice to ace taster as he competes for his father’s wine collection—the only thing he has left to his name after his father’s death. The twisting, turning drama of the story rivals that of a Spanish telenovella, spurred on by the energetic, antic illustrations of Shin and Yuko Kibayashi, who write and draw under the pseudonym Tadashi Aga. Along the way, the duo manage to sneak in an entire vinous education, from the finer points of tasting and serving wine to the sense behind the organization of Burgundy’s crus. It’s addictive stuff.
Reviewed in W&S January 2011.