Japanese culture is an incubator of many, well, uncommon practices, some of which spread across the globe and some of which remain, comfortably, uniquely, contained. So while the regular dietary intake of raw fish might have taken sufficient hold for mall food courts in landlocked states to feature sushi (or a slightly corrupted kind of sushi), it’s uncertain whether the recent practice of submerging oneself entirely in wine is going to hop from the Land of the Rising Sun to the land of the rising Trump.
See, the Japanese have recently taken an interest in wine baths. You read that right. Baths made of wine. Japan didn’t actually originate the practice. “Vinotherapy” as we know it began in the 1990s, in France (appropriately). They’re just going a bit wild for it, even hitting the spa as a family. And maybe no surprise—Japan is the sixth biggest consumer of imported wines worldwide.
Yunessun Spa Resort offers a “Wine Spa,” a “unique spa containing real red wine.” The wine, preferably Beaujolais Nouveau (no joke) comes from a huge bottle, more kitsch than anything. According to the spa, “bathing in wine is a rejuvenation treatment for the body, and it has been said that the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, loved to bathe in wine.”
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
The spa doesn’t keep the wine flowing all day. Apparently there are “regular performances” in which fresh wine is poured into the pool. The basic concept is the resveratrol and antioxidants in wine are as good externally as they are internally, purportedly helping anything from circulation to skin health and beyond. That’s not necessarily the case—according to dermatologists, to get any of the benefits of red wine topically, you’d need seriously long (like finger-pruningly long) exposure to red wine. Drinking it, in moderation, you’ll absorb all the good stuff more efficiently. Plus, well, it’s delicious.
That doesn’t mean wine spas won’t continue in their popularity. According to The Guardian, back in 2000, there was only one wine spa. Today, you have your selection (though it might involve some country hopping). Aire spa offers a “Red Wine Ritual” (all Tempranillo grapes from one Spanish winery) in several locations in Spain and even one location in New York City (in Tribeca, no surprise). The Adler Thermae spa in Tuscany also offers a red wine bath, complete with baths of Brunello.
We’re not sure if it works or not, but then again, if Amar’e Stoudemire trusts it, maybe we can too.