Vertical Vednesday may be much less frequent but it is hardly dead and this week was a grand celebration worthy of Dionysus. To promote one of their more high-profile titles Vertical held a wine tasting at the Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit shop in Manhattan. The Drops of God is a moderately famous manga outside of the manga world for its ability to actually influence the international wine market when it talks about a vintage. It single handily created a great demand for wine in several Asian countries that had never been big wine drinkers beforehand. So Vertical decided to go all out with the first volume. They had the first volume on sale along with the new Vertical catalog with a Drops of God cover. Apparently the mixture of wine and manga is a good draw because the shop was quite crowded when I arrived and it only got busier by the time the event started in proper.
I’m not going to lie to you I mostly came for the free food and the conversation and I got both in amble amounts. The night started with a blind tasting of three wines. The challenge was to determine which of them was the Italian wine. I did not sample either of the three nor did I ever find out which was which. I am curious how many people in attendance had enough of a palate to discern such things. After that Ed Chavez gave a short speech about the manga of honor and the featured wines we could be sampling. Most of the wines we were tasting were from later volumes but they all appeared at one point or another. Since more people attended than expected we were given tickets to try 2 of the selected 6 wines from the manga. As the night went on they dispensed with the need for the tickets at often came around and gave a sample of any of the 6 selections. I mostly stuck to the red wines as I have never liked the taste of white wine. I was also a bit of a barbarian and used the same glass for all the wines I sampled but I can’t say I have ever has the most refined taste for alcohol in the first place. There was only Swiss cheese to eat but the choice of cracker was quite varied. I had quite a bit of fun seeing how the various crackers went with the various wines.
Overall it was a very enjoyable evening. Bottlerocket was a very accommodating store and the staff was amazingly friendly. I chatted with various people at the event effortlessly for two hours. I do feel a bit guilty we hardly discussed the manga that was the star of the night but much manga discussion was had in general. I hope that the Drops of God does well for Vertical. Like Chi’s Sweet Home it is a manga that has the potential to attract readers outside of the normal manga reading demographics. I am glad that they decided to do a theme night for the Drops of God. A MW themed party might have also been able to have a have touch of Dionysus but not in such a pleasant way.