June 19 Is Cherry Day! Celebrate With Cherry Jelly and Japanese Wine!

June 19 Is Cherry Day


In 1990, Sagae City in Yamagata Prefecture, a major cherry-growing region, established the third Sunday of June as "Cherry Day" to promote the city as the "home of the best cherries in Japan". The city holds various cherry-related events (such as a cherry seed-skipping competition) every year.


A Japanese variety of cherry known as Sato Nishiki is cultivated primarily in Yamagata prefecture. It's a small, light colored cherry that's bright red when fully ripe. The originator of Sato Nishiki cherries was the farmer Eisuke Sato of Higashine City, Yamagata Prefecture. The early efforts to cultivate cherries failed as they would often go bad quickly once they were harvested due to Japan's rainy season. To fix this problem, Sato crossbred Tobaz cherries, which have a good flavor but short shelf life with Napoleon cherries, which are very sour but have a long shelf life.


Now, Sato Nishiki, is known as the King of Cherries and is the most well-sought cherry variety during its season due to its pretty appearance and good balance of sweetness.


Celebrate With Jelly and Japanese Wine


Japan-produced white wines are low in sugar and acidic content so they go well with sweets without overpowering them. Jelly with Sato Nishiki cherries would be the perfect accompaniment to white wine!


Recommended wine is Chanmoris Nihon Budoshu, which is a special limited-edition wine, planned as a "hospitality" wine for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and foreign visitors to Japan. Using grapes harvested by the traditional Japanese cultivation method of trellising, the wine is made is uniquely and spectacularly Japanese, with a label design using ukiyoe woodblock prints reminiscent of Japan's traditional climate. 


The wine is made with the idea of bottling the grapes as they are, with minimal processing or adjustments during the vinification process, which results in a wine with an honest grape flavor. By gathering the best grapes from all over Japan and using the best of the blending techniques, Morita Koshu Winery has succeeded in creating a floral wine reminiscent of traditional Japanese culture.


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