Tsunagu is a wine bar that sells only Japanese wine, which is unusual because Japanese wine traditionally hasn’t been very good. You might feel trepidation if owner Satoko Tamura produces a sake-sized screw-capped bottle and pours the wine into an opaque Japanese-style teacup, rather than a glass. But trust him: That wine—Asaya Koshu 2016—is unfi ltered and slightly cloudy, with an apple character reminiscent of viognier. Tamura looks hard for Japan’s best bottles; for instance, red wine isn’t normally Japan’s strength, thanks to a month-long rainy season in summer, but Tamura taps Hokkaido, the northernmost and chilliest island, where summer is drier, for bottles such as Hokkaido Wine Zweigelt 2015, a peppery, lively red at just 11.5 percent alcohol. It’s nearly impossible to find outside of Tsunagu, which opened in May with a short menu of bar food, like cracker-thin pizza with shirasu fish and wasabi nori.
2-9-1 Hamamatsucho, Takahashi 3rd Building B1, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
This story appears in the print issue of April 2018.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.