Drops of God authors turn to wine pairing

27th May, 2016 by Patrick Schmitt

Japanese manga authors and creators of the wine-themed Japanese cartoon sensation, The Drops of God, have released a new series based on wine and food pairing.

Yuko and Shin

Manga authors Yuko and Shin Kibayashi

Yuko and Shin Kibayashi, the brother and sister duo writing under the penname of Tadashi Agi, told the drinks business at Vinexpo Hong Kong on Wednesday that they have been working on a new manga series, which this time focuses on the challenges of matching food and wine.

The pair first created the weekly Manga series called The Drops of God (神の雫 Kami no Shizuku) in November 2004 and the storyline follows Shizuku Kanzaki, the son of a recently deceased wine critic who competes against his father’s adopted son to take ownership of an incredible collection of wines amassed by his father over the last 30 years.

The last volume (which was the 44th) was published in June 2014.

Now they say that they are continuing with wine-themed manga, but with a new focus – finding the ideal wine for different types of food.

Yuko Kibayashi told db, “I’m often asked when dining what kind of wine will go with what food – so I think that wine and food pairing should be put into manga.”

According to the Kibayashis, the new series is called “Marriage: the last chapter”, and features international and Japanese food, and, similar to The Drops of God, mostly the great wines of Europe.

She also said that the characters in the manga would embark on a journey in which they would “battle” to find the perfect wine to go with different types of food.

Drops of God

The Drops of God

“For example, if sushi was the theme, they would compete to find the best wine match, and they would need to use a lot of tricks to make sure the food and wine go well together,” said Yuko, adding, “So we’ve been talking about it as a marriage battle.”

Shin agreed, saying, “We’ve been talking about it as a marriage battle, but also like a new couple getting married, it is like a new start to bringing two things together.”

He also said that the siblings have been experimenting with food and wine matches at home, but they are also planning to go to France this year to do further research.

Such a series could have powerful implications for food and wine pairing in East Asia, with the Kibayashis creating a cult following for the fine wines featured in their previous work in Japan and across East Asia.

The effect has been particularly strong in South Korea, where the The Drops of God has been used like a textbook for learning about wine.

Indeed, such has been the influence of the Kibayashis’ writing since 2004, at Vinexpo Hong Kong this week, the brother and sister were given the 2016 Asian Personality Award by ourselves and Vinexpo, which you can read more about here.

A full and exclusive interview with the authors will feature in an upcoming issue of The Drinks Business.

Manga are comics created according to a style developed in Japan towards the end of the nineteenth century, and are read widely across East Asia and beyond – The Drops of God has been translated into French and English.

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