There are many roads to sake knowledge. At least that’s what my Sake Today cofounder and worldwide sake educator John Gauntner is fond of telling me, and he’s right. By that he means there are multiple educational opportunities out there for sake. He encourages people interested in learning more to pursue the methods that seem worthwhile to them. For those who will be in or within traveling distance of Tokyo in October and November, there will be a big opportunity to go deep with Japan’s national drink.
The London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is one of the world’s largest and most respected organizations offering alcohol education together with widely recognized accreditations. It operates in seventy countries and in nineteen languages, with over 70,000 students having taken its courses. Sake has become an increasingly important part of WSET’s curriculum as its popularity grows worldwide. Working with the Caplan Corporation in Tokyo, WSET will be offering its Level 1 (beginner course) and Level 3 (advanced course) in English starting this October.
Classes are taught by highly knowledgeable professionals in our industry and are limited to twenty-four participants each. The beginner course is an intensive, six-hour affair spanning two days, followed by a one-hour examination. It covers sake basics and will provide any alcohol professional or aficionado with ample knowledge for better appreciating sake. The advanced course is comprised of eight two-hour sessions over a five-month period, followed by a test a little more than two hours long. It delves deeply into each component of sake and is very much designed to fortify people for careers that may involve sake.
Many of the people who have written features for Sake Today have WSET sake certifications and some are even teachers for the organization. I would certainly say that these courses have contributed in meaningful ways to the knowledge and insight that comes through in their articles. Even if you have already taken Gauntner’s Sake Professional course, you may still want to consider WSET. Those same writers I mention above have done so; doubling up on knowledge can never be a bad thing.
Ry Beville (Sake Today publisher)
WSET Wine Academy
〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato-ku, Minami-Aoyama 3-1-31 NBF Minami-Aoyama Bldg. 2F
TEL：03-5772-4410 9:30～18:00 (except Sat, Sun & holidays)