For those that have been following my story, you will be aware that, Super Sake Boy and I embarked on a wonderful adventure, delving into the joys and mystery of Japanese sake, around 2 years ago. Neither of us had ever really had more than a few experiences with sake, most of which were not overly positive. But from the very outset, we were enchanted by the culture, the history, the beauty and of course the flavour of sake. We had fallen into a growingly consuming love affair, and one that is only growing stronger, the more we learn.
We have met many interesting and lovely people on our sake journey. One person who I would consider our sake guru on call, the lovely Sake Mistress, is always quick to respond to questions or requests for advice from Japan about what to drink and where to go. Being a very qualified sake sommelier and totally passionate about sake, and most other things Japanese, a true kindred spirit, we met at last year’s Sake Matsuri, (sake festival) in Melbourne. She was a wealth of knowledge and advice for our then impending trip and was happy to give extensive and excellent advice over email. We have found many things we would never had known about with her help, and we are both seriously grateful.
So when Sake Mistress asked if we would like to pour sake and be involved with the other side of Sake Matsuri this year, we decided we would like to give it a go. Neither Super Sake Boy or I have really any formal training in sake, but we had been considering doing the WSET 3 Award in Sake. WSET is the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, a trust established in the UK in 1969 to further education in wine and spirits. In 2013 they added the sake award to the program. This is an internationally recognised qualification. It is an online and classroom study course, including tasting, with an exam, including theory and tasting skill, that is tested by a qualified examiner.
We have toyed with the idea of doing it for some time. The time requirements were a little daunting, and between work, four teenagers, studying Japanese and life in general, we were not sure if we could do it. We have, however, taken the plunge. We picked up our text books and I have to say, the fact you need to totally understand the annual cycle of rice production is somewhat frightening. But, we are studying. We are understanding and enjoying the study. We often study with the assistance of a little sake so we can be putting our theory into practice as we go. (That is our story, and we are sticking to it).
Keep a look out for further tales in the ongoing adventure.
Do you like sake? Have you tried good sake?
Sake Mistress is online and a link to her website is here.