CHAPTER 4: JAPANESE FLYING SQUIDS (Surume Ika), ATAMI, JAPAN

In this episode, VIA Italian Wine Ambassador Roddy Ropner highlights Japanese Flying Squid, a delicacy that's widely eaten across Japan, served in a variety of ways including delicate sashimi, full-flavored, pan-fried dishes, and, in the coastal town of Atami, after a unique sun-drying process. Regardless of preparation, pair it with fresh, subtle Arneis, from Piemonte. Saved from near extinction in the 1980s, the "little rascal" now produces DOCG (Roero) and DOC (Langhe, Terre Alfieri) wines that feature lightly aromatic aromas and flavors of peach, apricot, citrus and white flowers. What truly makes Arneis such a delightful partner for squid in all forms, however, is the resulting wine's typically creamy texture.

Roddy was born in Yorkshire, England. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Oriental Studies (Mandarin). He then worked for twenty years as a Chinese art specialist at Christie’s auction house. Most of that time living in Asia with stints in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong and Singapore. During these two decades he developed a keen interest in Japanese food and Italian wine. In 2009 he started a Hong Kong-based wine import company, Wellspring Wines. In 2016 he and his wife moved back to Japan where he writes for Meininger’s Wine Business International on the local wine market. Roddy is currently studying for the Master of Wine exams.