Los Angeles, CA – The unanticipated success and popularity of The Drops of God manga series inspired creators, siblings Shin and Yuko Kibayashi, to establish an eponymously named online wine salon and community, set to debut in the United States this October. The manga series, which includes 44 volumes and a spin-off television series, had a tremendous impact on the international wine market and on various featured wines. Japan’s All Nippon Airlines re-designed its in-flight wine list to meet the demand for wines favored by The Drops of God protagonist, Shizuku Kanzaki.
To launch their wine salon, the Kibayashi’s joined forces with vintner Peter Chiang, building from the ground up a paradigm-shattering wine experience for the consumer based on the spirit of the manga series originally created in Japan. Chiang serves as President of Bijou USA and Vice President of Bijou Japan, the global joint venture established with the Kibayashi’s to better serve salon members in the United States, Japan and Taiwan, among other nations. The Chiang family owns Kanpai Wines and Meadowbrook Farm in the Napa Valley.
“Our wine salon and the philosophy shared in The Drops of God are well suited to one another. “The Drops of God Wine Salon was built to grow with the wine consumer. We want salon members to remain engaged and excited about exploring the world of wine. Today, I’m enjoying wines I wouldn’t have appreciated even five years ago. Once you develop a love and appreciation for wine, you find that you’ve embarked on a life-long adventure, during which one’s palate evolves and pleasures deepen,” says Chiang.
To this end, The Drops of God Wine Salon has partnered with chef José Andrés (The Bazaar in Beverly Hills), Rob Wilder, (co-founder,ThinkFoodGroup) and Gary Mendel (co-Founder and COO of the WineGame app), to create a co-branded version of their WineGame app.
The co-branded version of the WineGame app will accompany salon members as they learn more about the types of wines they enjoy. Members will utilize the app to bookmark wines they’ve discovered and enjoyed, signaling Chiang’s team of sommeliers and wine professionals to further curate wines within the individual member’s arena of taste. “Wine tasting should be an art that engages the right side of the brain; the infinitely creative side of ourselves that is attracted to the arts. We hope that our members not only enjoy the taste and aromas of the wines they explore, but also create lasting memories around those wines by sharing them with friends and family, in a relaxed setting, over a great meal.” Chiang says. With each shipment, members are encouraged to first taste and rank the wines blind, using the WineGame app, thereby bookmarking wines they’ve instinctually enjoyed, irrespective of brand names, scores or other rankings. As individual members’ tastes evolve and mature, the salon team will respond accordingly, curating future shipments that suit the tastes of individual members.
Additionally, salon member events will be held in-market and in pop-up settings, and will include participating wineries, bringing to salon members mini-wine-festivals that highlight wines from the salon’s ever-changing list of winery partners. The first shipment from The Drops of God Wine Salon will include wines from esteemed producers Failla, Matthiasson, Massican, Noria, Kanpai, Marietta, Ashes & Diamonds, Scribe, and Robert Sinskey.
Potential salon members can learn more about The Drops of God Wine Salon during their debut launch events, taking place in October. Attendees will receive a rare, sneak-peak into the salon’s unique culture, which includes education, fun and game play. During the launch events, guests will be able to sample The Drops of God Wine Salon version of the WineGame app that that turns any bottle of wine into a multiple-choice blind tasting game. Several lucky attendees will be able to test their blind-tasting skills, challenging wine luminaries for prizes that include rare wines featured in the original manga series. WineGame launched in 2018 and was inspired by Andrés and Wilder’s on-going (and lively) blind tasting game they played with sommeliers and restaurateurs for years. The Drops of God Wine Salon Palate Quiz, appearing in the WineGame app, will allow guests to further personalize their palate preferences. A manga-themed trivia section, based on The Drops of God manga series, has been personally created by the Kibyashi’s, and includes both serious and fun questions.
During the course of the evening, guests will have the opportunity to taste up to 30 wines by 9 extraordinary producers curated by the Kibayashi team. Each wine by the featured producers will be artfully paired with cuisine from Ad Hoc and Addendum in Yountville as well as the The Bazaar in Beverly Hills. The word “salon” is in direct reference to the philosophical salons of 17th and 18th Century Europe where people from all walks of life would gather under the roof of an inspiring host, to amuse one another and to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through interaction. The wine salon events in October will bring to life the true wine salon spirit.
The debut events will take place between October 19th and the 21st and include the following venues: Kanpai Winery (Napa Valley), Ad Hoc (Yountville), and The Bazaar (Beverly Hills). To learn more about the Drops of God Wine Salon, and to purchase tickets to an event in your area, please visit www.dropsofgodwinesalon.com.