Love me or hate me but don’t just be ambivalent!! It is simple marketing 101 that passion, good or bad, will move product but a “who cares” attitude is a killer.

Apparently, I am the second reviewer in North America to sample and write about this Gekkeikan Japanese Plum Wine. I like to do some research and then see what other people have written about a spirit or beer or wine before I pop the top on the bottle just as much as filmgoers like to view the preview trailers of an up and coming movie before they actually go to see it. That other reviewer had nothing nice to say and gave it two thumbs down and he even did it quite passionately. After Googling through a few hundred search results I began to ponder the possibility that no one else in North America had tried this plum wine besides that one person. But that couldn’t possibly be the case because it was available through quite a few online retailers. Very puzzling, to say the least.

It comes in a squat brown bottle with what appears to be both Japanese Kanji and Hiragana style writing as well as English. There is a rendering of a white plum blossom on the label and it certainly looks imported. It’s neither inviting nor ugly; it just kind of sort of is.

It is a shade of a musty-reddish-purple-plum-red color in the glass, which is mildly interesting but not necessarily inviting.

It has a plumy nose that is neither welcoming nor off putting. In the mouth, it seems a bit syrupy. It’s a bit sweet and tart and thick on the palate with a definitely fruity finish. It’s neither a great wine nor a bad wine.

My best guess is that it might probably be aimed at either Asian palates or the youth market that seeks something slightly sweeter with a mild alcohol kick. I can think of only one reason to buy this wine and that would be to put it up on the shelf in my bar and offer it to people who have never tasted plum wine.

At around $13.00/bottle, it is at a puzzling price point. Really decent domestic and even imported wine can be had for under $10.00 and drinkable cheap wine can be had for under $3.00 a bottle and either one of those hold greater appeal. At $13.00 a bottle, it exists like a disabled shuttle pod whose warp engines have failed and now floats aimlessly somewhere in the neutral zone between the Klingons and the Romulans and they both view it as a harmless curiosity not worth pursuing and engaging. It’s neither a good value or horrible deal.

I guess the most I can muster up about this wine is, who cares? In the immortal words of Rhett Butler to Scarlett O’Hara, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

By George Brozowski

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