Daikon is one of the most well-known of the Japanese vegetables. Essentially an enormous radish, daikon are primarily used for pickling and seasoning, though you can find their leaves in some dishes as well. Although the kinds of radish known to Westerners tend to have a strong “bite” to them, Japanese daikon is much milder, and a firm favorite at this time of year found in warming dishes like oden.

Since daikon is used in so much food in Japan, it’s a very familiar taste for most Japanese people, and you can find it in everything from traditional cuisine to otsumami (snacks eaten while drinking), when people sometimes eat large chunks of boiled daikon. Despite what you might think, it’s surprisingly tasty! But what about making wine from daikon?

Daikon3Image: Wikipedia

Well, that precisely what one liquor store in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward decided to try!

Calling the new drink “Nerima Daikon,” Kubota Store created a sparkling wine using freshly grated daikon grown by local farmers. The drink is starting to garner quite a lot of attention here in Japan, so one of the writers over at our sister site RocketNews24 Japan decided to try it out!

“Daikon sparkling wine.” Hm. We have to admit: It doesn’t really sound very good. Daikon might go well with alcoholic drinks, but we’re skeptical about making booze from it! Still, we’ll try anything once, right?

After getting a couple of bottles, our writer cracked one open and poured himself a nice big glass. It was a milky-white color with lots of tiny bubbles–and actually looked pretty good. But how would it taste? Taking a sip, he was utterly surprised to find that it was nothing like what he had expected!


The daikon flavor is clearly there, but it wasn’t overpowering, and the wine was very easy to drink. The flavor of the daikon went really well with the bubbles, and he found himself drinking the entire bottle without a thought.

So, contrary to expectation, we’ll chalk this one up as a “must drink.” Maybe next time they’ll try a daikon beer!

One 300 ml bottle costs 300 yen (about US$3), which is a fairly reasonable price for a specialty drink. It looks like you’ll have to go to the store directly to buy some though. Their address is 2-18-3 Higashiouizumi Nerima Ward, Tokyo and their phone number is 03-3922-3416. The store is open from 10 am to 8 pm every day except for Sundays and holidays. For more information, you can also check out their website (Japanese only).

Finally, here’s a video of the wine being opened and poured! Looks delicious!

References: Kubota Store, ntv.co.jp
All images by RocketNews24 unless otherwise noted