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Amazon is working with licensed sommeliers to help Japanese customers pick the right wine.
Amazon is working with licensed sommeliers to help Japanese customers pick the right wine. (Amazon photo).

Buying wine can be a daunting experience for those who don’t know their moscato from their merlot. And in Japan, where the wine market is just starting to take off, there aren’t very many people to help pick the right bottle for dinner.

But Amazon, which sells 8,000 types of wine in Japan, is trying to make the wine-buying process a little easier. The Amazon Sommelier service, spotted by the Wall Street Journal, helps Japanese customers find the right type of wine for their events. And it’s not an automated service; customers sign up for a time slot and a licensed sommelier will call to get all the details they need for a great suggestion.

The suggested wines aren’t outrageous, either. The sample sommelier experience over on the introductory page has wines starting at around $10 and even includes boxed wines. Obviously, the sommelier will choose the right wine for the occasion, with boxed wines suggested for house parties, while more expensive bottles may be reserved for romantic dinners or visiting the in-laws.

The service is only available in Japan and in Japanese. It also has a strange time restriction, with sommeliers only calling between noon and 5 p.m. But since they’re recommending wines that will be bought online, customers aren’t likely in too much of a hurry.

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