No matter what comes out of the lucky boxes, it’s sure to be a wine-derful day!

Our Japanese-language reporter Haruka Takagi was feeling a little down. New Year in Japan means the arrival of fukubukuro lucky bags, and while many stores have their bags on display for anyone to come along and buy, some lucky bags are so in demand that they are sold via a lottery system beforehand.

Haruka’s fellow SoraNews24 reporters had been lucky enough to be selected to buy lucky bags for stores like McDonald’s and Starbucks, but Haruka hadn’t won a single pre-sale lottery. So it was with a heavy heart that she made her way to her local shopping mall to see what she could find.

As luck would have it, she came across the perfect way to drown her lottery sorrows — with some wine.

Import food store Kaldi was offering wine lucky bags in the form of “Wine Lucky Boxes” for 2,200 yen each (US$19), with each box containing a bottle of wine worth at least 3,000 yen ($26) or more. The wines available were shown on a sign near the boxes, along with their retail prices and how many bottles there were per sixty lucky boxes. Haruka was particularly surprised to see some of the lucky boxes included a bottle of Dom Pérignon, with a retail value of almost 20,000 yen ($173)!

So Haruka decided to test her luck by purchasing five wine lucky boxes. Fingers crossed she’d used up all her ‘lucky bag bad luck’ with the pre-sale lotteries, so hopefully she’d be able to get a bottle of Dom Pérignon in the mix!

▼ While you can’t see the contents of the boxes, Haruka was trying to sense what was inside.

According to the sign, there was one bottle of Dom Pérignon for every sixty lucky boxes, and there were about one hundred lucky boxes left in the store, so probability-wise there were possibly two Doms hidden in there somewhere, at least.

▼ Haruka could hear Dom’s voice calling out to her from this one.

And so Haruka took her five bottles home, excited for what she would find inside.

As she opened the first box, Haruka began to daydream about sipping a glass of that sweet Dom Pérignon.

… but the first lucky box didn’t have any Dom Pérignon inside.

It wasn’t a bad pull though, as the wine was Famiglia Cotarella Falesco’s Montiano, usually priced at 5,000 yen ($43).

Montiano is an Italian red wine made from Merlot grapes and is said to have a rich, elegant taste. It was also a relatively rare wine within the lucky box wines, with 8 bottles in every 60 boxes.

Feeling like Lady Luck was on her side, Haruka eagerly opened up the next lucky box.

The bottle felt kind of big, so could this be the Dom?!

…no. It was actually a bottle of Cantina Frentana ‘Panarda’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (regular price 3,000 yen [$26]).

Made from Montepulciano grapes, the second wine Haruka scored was another Italian red wine.

While a 3,000 yen bottle of wine is definitely not to be scoffed at, and it was certainly a pricier wine than what Haruka is used to, she couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. It was the cheapest and most common of all the wines available in the lucky boxes, with ten bottles per every sixty boxes.

But she wasn’t going to spend too long mulling things over, as she had three boxes left to open! Sip happens, after all!

As Haruka pulled out the third bottle of wine…

… she was overcome with excitement… !!

It wasn’t the Dom Pérignon, but it was the second most expensive wine available, the Michele Chiarlo Barolo Cerequio (regular price 10,000 yen)!

Yet another Italian red, this wine is made from Nebbiolo grapes with notes of blackcurrant, apricot, and cherry mint. Haruka felt like she was on cloud wine and couldn’t believe her luck; although it wasn’t the Dom, this wine was just as rare, with only one bottle available per sixty lucky boxes! Fingers crossed this good luck spell would continue with the last two bottles!

On to bottle number four now, and there was something…familiar about this lucky box…


The Montanio made a return appearance, and while it’s one of the rarer and more expensive (5,000 yen) wines available in the boxes, Haruka felt a little disappointed that she got a duplicate. Still, the wine had good reviews when Haruka looked it up, so it’s certainly not a fail!

There was just one box left. This was Haruka’s last chance to get a bottle of Dom Perignion for the bargain price of 2,200 yen. She prayed to the gods of good luck and, for extra measure, prayed to Kaldi that there would be a crisp bottle of Dom waiting for her.

Could it be…?

Was it Dom…???


Not quite. It was a bottle of San Patrignano’s Montepirolo, regularly priced at 4,500 yen ($39)

A wine with notes of blackcurrant and blackberry, this — you guessed it — Italian red wine was the most common of the bunch, with twelve bottles available in every sixty lucky boxes.

In total, Haruka’s wine haul was worth an estimated 27,500 yen ($238). Seeing as the wine cost her 11,000 yen for the lot, she made a ‘profit’ of 16,500 yen — an amazing bargain!

Of course, as with all lucky bags, the contents are random, so Haruka could well have ended up with five 3,000 yen bottles, but even in that scenario she’d be ‘up’ by 4,000 yen, so it really is great value for money.

By chance, all of Haruka’s wines were Italian reds which, considering there were white wines and rosés in the mix of available wines, was a pretty big coincidence. Maybe Haruka’s lucky colour for 2022 will be ‘Italian red’!

For anyone who loves a cheeky glass of wine or two, Haruka thoroughly recommends getting a couple of Kaldi’s Wine Lucky Boxes. Unfortunately they are all sold out online, but some may still be available at brick-and-mortar stores, so if you fancy trying your luck, get yourself to your nearest Kaldi when you can.

And hey, if you’re not a fan of drinking wine, you can always use it in other creative ways, like bathing in it.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

[ Read in Japanese ]