Continuing our look at The Drops of God, Volume 3 by Tadashi Agi and Shu Okimoto…
(See The Drops of God, Volume 1 and The Drops of God, Volume 2 before continuing)
Synopsis: In the last book, we were finally given the first clue for the First Apostle (aka first wine) Shizuku Kanzaki must find to receive his inheritance from his deceased father, acclaimed food and wine critic Yutaka Kanzaki. In Volume 3 we follow both Shizuku and his nemesis, Issei Tomine, as they each use different tactics to uncover the mysterious wine.
Why I like It: So this is where the story takes a bit of a soap-opera turn. But if you’re not into that, then you probably won’t enjoy most mangas.
Shizuku happens to walk by an art gallery that depicts the exact scene his father describes in his will as the First Apostle. The artist is at the gallery and she says that it’s a painting of a memory — a memory of wine. Oh what luck! What wine is it? Answer that and all problems will be solved. Oh but alas…
We also get some insight into both Shizuku and Issei’s childhood, which explains their very different approaches to wine.
And it wouldn’t be complete with a little love drama. Miyabi, who’s played a potential love interest to Shizuku this whole time, comes into contact with her high school sweetheart who happens to own a profitable supermarket chain he’s looking to stock with wine. He comes to Taiyo Beer’s wine division thinking he knows exactly wines he wants in his new store, but (of course) Shizuku thinks he knows better, so they place a bet on who can find the better wines for the store. Oh, by the way, they wager Miyabi. Whoever wins, gets to keep her…as an employee…
What We Learn: Of course book and wine nerd that I am, I’m always looking actually learn from this manga series.
In this volume, it seems the letter of the day is “v” for vintage.
We learn that two wines can have the same vintner, come from the same vineyard, but can taste remarkably different due to vintage. And the book actually does go into a bit of depth on the topic and how to differentiate flavor profiles.
But at the end of the day, it’s like Yutaka said, wine is made from man, earth, and heaven. Heaven — the things we cannot control, like the weather, absolutely effect how the grapes grow, what kind of wines they’ll produce, and how they’ll age in the bottle.
Read It: If you haven’t started these books yet, just do it. Do it now. You’ll enjoy the drama, and I kid you not, you’ll learn a thing or two. Always look at your local comic shop first and then if/when you can’t find it, Amazon.