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Raise a glass, or two, with something for the whole crew

Inside Feature

August 25, 2019

Story By: Caroline Wright |

Considered one of Hawaii’s pioneering oenophiles, Lyle Fujioka developed his love for wine many years ago, while recovering from glaucoma surgery in Napa Valley. He returned to his family’s Haleiwa supermarket in the early 1980s, and began selling wines that he thought folks on the North Shore might enjoy.

From rare viogniers to stellar cabernets and merlots, Fujioka stocked a variety of interesting vintages. “He grew such a reputation that people from all over the island would drive down to Haleiwa,” remembers store manager Jason Fukeda.

In 2003 Fujioka opened up a shop in Market City Shopping Center. Acquired by Times Supermarket a year later, it’s known as one of the premier sources of wine and spirits on Oahu, with a fantastic collection of bottles from around the world, selected for both quality and price.

“Not only do we have a great selection of wines, but we also boast one of the best selections of whiskies, as well as craft beers, sakes and premium cigars,” says Fukeda. “I think our customers appreciate our product knowledge and customer service. We offer fair prices and products that you may not find at other retail stores.”

With vintages from Argentina, Chile, Australia, Spain, South Africa, Italy, and France, and domestic selections from California, Washington, and Oregon, as well as a terrific selection of spirits and liqueurs, there’s something for every palate and purse here. Fujioka’s also offers its own exclusive private label wines and spirits, including a few great whiskies developed with help from “The Hawaii Whiskey Mafia,” a group of serious local bourbon aficionados.

OLA BREW IPA

From Ola Brew Co. in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island, this half dozen collection is $10.99 for its six pack of cans. Like all of the company’s other beers and ciders, this IPA is produced with local ingredients. It is described as tropical on the nose, with some nice citrus and a spicy, herbal finish; it’s an homage to the classic, famously hoppy West Coast IPA. Fujioka’s also sells Ola Brew’s delectable Maa Lager and Kona Gold Pineapple Cider.

PHOTOS BY ANTHONY CONSILLIO

“LA PROMESA TORO”

If you love a fine cigar, you’ll appreciate “La Promesa Toro” ($9.99), introduced in 2016 in limited quantities by the Garcias of famed My Father Cigars. A multiple winner of Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year award, the company is once again offering La Promesa, or “The Promise,” to the delight of enthusiasts around the world. It boasts a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano Rosado Oscuro Wrapper with fillers and binders grown in the Garcia family farms.

MAKER’S MARK PRIVATE SELECT “THE HAWAII WHISKEY MAFIA”

At $64.99, this smooth sipper is an exclusive blended bourbon from the famed Kentucky distiller, named for a local group of bourbon aficionados, and created by a team: Jason Fukeda, general manager of Fujioka’s Wine Times; Dave Newman of Harry’s Hardware and Pint + Jigger; and Kyle Reutner of KoHana Agricole Rum. Different staves were inserted into the bourbon before it was aged.

ANCIENT PEAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON

In celebration of International Cabernet Day on Aug. 28, Fujioka’s is offering a fine Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon ’16 for $16.99. “For under $20, this wine over-delivers,” says Jason Fukeda, general manager of Fujioka’s. The delectable cabernet is produced by a family-owned winery in the Paso Robles appellation of California’s Central Coast. “The owners practice sustainable viticulture that elevates their wines while also being responsible to the local environment that surrounds their winery,” adds Fukeda.

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