Aoyama Konishi Shoten, which Mr. Suzuki runs with his family, is located a stone’s throw away from OVE in Minami-Aoyama. More importantly, it is a well-established sake dealer founded over 110 years ago. Just hearing this must make you think that it must be an elite company and that Mr. Suzuki is bound to know a lot about wine! However, surprisingly, he spent his youth doing things that had nothing to do with the family business, never mind wine.
The reason for this is because he was immersed in playing in his band when he was a student. Apparently, there was no gap between being obsessed with music to becoming interested in wine.
“Neither myself or my parents thought I would take over the shop at the time.”
“I thought my future career was in music.”
Mr. Suzuki was enthusiastic about his band at high school and when he graduated, he went on to study at a music school. At the time, he was interested in making a career out of playing the electric guitar. He did some design and some craftwork but gradually became more and more immersed in music.
“I think I had a pretty fickle character. But that changed when I encountered music, well, I became obsessed about one thing! Even so, if there is one thing about me that hasn’t changed, it’s probably that I still like to discover and seek out new things. That is still the same even now.”
When he graduated music school, Mr. Suzuki spent a long period unable to decide what to do with his life. “Once I turned 20, I helped out with the family business; no more, no less. The business is located in Minami-Aoyama but it is pretty small. It is a long way from the stylish image of the area.”
This goes off topic a bit but Minami-Aoyama is a cutting-edge creator of fashion, etc. But Mr. Suzuki, who has lived there all his life, has the impression that it is only everything around him that has changed.
A young person trying to make his way in the world. Mr. Suzuki’s youth was spent watching the days and months passing, being left behind in the changing Minami-Aoyama.
However, soon after… when it came to the crunch about his future, he decided, due to his family background, to go for training at the Fuji Konishi shop in Nakanosakaue. This was Mr. Suzuki’s real turning point.
Fuji Konishi in Nakanosakaue is also a sake dealer and has the same Konishi as Aoyama Konishi Shoten in its name. It is a famous shop that focuses mostly on selling wine.
“I knew nothing about wine so I started studying there. You really can’t tell customers that you don’t know the answer to their question so I was up to my eyes every day. I did so much research that I didn’t get enough sleep!”
We asked Mr. Suzuki if it was hard work and it seems that although it was difficult, he really enjoyed it.
The particular vocabulary and expressions used for wine motivated Mr. Suzuki, for example, if someone has seen the image of hills in their mind’s eye when they drink wine, how does this come about? Why do they taste salt? This is because the soil in the production area is rich in minerals.
“I come across new things, things I didn’t know every day. I also learned more about the potential of wine and what could be done with it such as the wine bar, which did not exist at the time.”
Before he knew it, the existence of wine gradually took over Mr. Suzuki as a new thing to replace music. As his knowledge increased and he absorbed many things, he came to realize a certain fact.
No matter how famous or expensive a wine is, it is Mr. Suzuki’s filter that determines whether it is good or not. The knowledge that he has now, even if it is something that someone else has created, he temporarily accepts it and achieves originality and creates newness by transmitting this through his own filter.
Mr. Suzuki always brings surprise and ideas to the various themes of our OVE events. He is probably always looking to face up to himself as well as exceeding his own imagination.
The wine that Mr. Suzuki selects and provides for OVE Minami-Aoyama events always fascinates the customers. It is somehow nostalgic, moving and goes perfectly with the cuisine. People may feel things differently but they must all be able to taste the essence of “new” along with the wine.
“Wine is a strange drink. Various stories are spun depending on who is drinking it. I want to help with this and give as many people as possible the opportunity to be able to say they are happy to have been introduced to that wine!”
The youth who was so passionate about music somehow came to be a captive of wine and now he will give us even more new encounters as a sake dealer who knows in Minami-Aoyama with his personality as his only weapon. Mr. Suzuki is still on his way and we can expect great things from him; in the meantime, enjoy your encounter with the wine from Aoyama Konishi Shoten at OVE Minami Aoyama events.
4th generation owner of Aoyama Konishi Shoten which was founded over 100 years ago. Famous among wine lovers in Tokyo as a shop at which you can encounter wines that are not available anywhere else and that provides wine for OVE events with unique sensibility. The shop proposes all kinds of ways to enjoy alcoholic beverages such as wine and Belgian beer and provides information for “beginners” on how to enjoy them.