Japanese sushi is one of my all-time favourite meals. There is so much choice and so much flavour…not to mention a giant dash of wasabi to wake your senses. The preparation and serving has become such a part of the Bell household that our Christmas Eve tradition is Champagne, sake and sushi. Santa doesn’t know what he will get when he comes a-calling!

Most people first think of sake and whisky when considering the drinks of Japan. While this is not wrong, these drinks just happen to be the most represented. Japan also has a thriving wine and gin industry that really should be explored.

From Katsunuma in the Yamanashi province, you have Grace Wines. It has been producing commercially since 1923. It specialises in the most important indigenous grape of Japan, the koshu. The Grace Hishiyama Private Reserve 2018 (Inverarity One to One, £22.99) is 100 per cent koshu and 100 per cent stainless steel matured. The citrus, herby palate coupled with the dry stone mineral finish makes this a very sushi-friendly wine.

For a gin, the Ki No Bi Gin (Master of Malt, £44.95) is made at the Kyoto Distillery. It is a wonderfully botanical gin with a ginger and oriental spice note. This comes from the inclusion of some locally sourced ingredients including sansho pepper, hinoki and yuzu, which are all harmoniously blended with a touch of Gyokuro green tea. Rather than work out the perfect tonic for this amazing gin I pre-make some strong green tea, let it cool and then chill in the fridge before serving.

Now I have to include a sake. A common misconception is that sake is a rice wine – not true. It is a rice beer, made by brewing rice to release starch which converts to sugar. This then ferments into alcohol – unlike wine that is fermented using the natural sugar of the grape. A great starter is the Sawanotsuru Deluxe Sake (Waitrose, £11.99). You can serve it warm, chilled or even at room temperature. My recommendation is warm. You can expect an amazing balance of savoury qualities mixed with exotic spices and soft stone fruit.