Associated Titles: ソムリエール, 소믈리에르, Grape Wine Expert, La Sommelière, Sommeliere
Genres: Seinen, Drama, Slice of Life
Author: Joh Araki
Publication: Shueisha serialized in Business Jump (Shueisha)
Start Date and End: 2007 and it's on going.
Chapters read at the time of review:6
Joh Araki is also the mangaka for other food and drink-related mangas such as Bartender, Bartender à Paris, Oui Chef!, Shin Sommelier: Shun no Wine, and Sommelier.
Works of Matsui Katsunori includes Number 10 and Rocket de Tsukinukero!.
Kana is persuaded to leave her from her country side dreams for Tokyo. Another path of life is just opening up for her as she accepts the invitation of her mysterious benefactor, Mr. John Smith.
At the start of the story, our main protagonist, Itsuki Kana, is helping out in an un-named country at a grape farm by analyzing the soil by taste. The Principle remarked how Kana's return has helped increase the quality of grapes. Kana's dream was to return to the farm and help produce wine with the orphans who are staying there.
Before the start of the story, Kana attended a university with a focus on wine. This was only possible through the financial support of Mr. John Smith.
He makes a very early appearance in the story. He prompts Kana's trip to Tokyo, Japan. He's a lawyer and they attorney representing a generically named person called John Smith. He is presented as a shallow, unrefined, uncultured man only interested in wealth and the power that it brings. The character of Mr. Katori quickly clashed with Kana's.
Mr. John Smith
The mysterious sponsor of Kana. The story so far has hinted at helping finance the education of Kana.
The manage of L'espoir and a senior sommelierre. When he was younger, he was credited with being a genius with an incredible ability to distinguish wine by taste. He has not lost his passion for wine but continue to work at the restaurant L'espoir.
Another manga about wine and sommelieres. The only other manga that I read that is similar is Kami no Shizuku. The two seems to have a religious references as both seems to draw from Jesus Christ. Aside from that, Kana seems to be in training to become a full fledged sommelierre. She received the knowledge and basic training. She has the passion yet she needs more experience to hone her abilities.
The mysterious man, Mr. John Smith, floats in the background. It reminds me of Suzue Miuchi's Glass Mask and the relationship between Maya and the Purple Rose. But, I can't say for sure what the real relationship that Kana has with Mr. John Smith. Unlike Glass Mask, I doubt the relationship is romantic in any way at the moment but the unfolding of the story could progress differently seeing how only six chapters are out.
I would recommend this manga for those that have an interest in wine or want to try something that is different.