When you think of a sommelier, many people think of wine. In fact, there is a sake sommelier.
“Sake master” might be a good word. It’s a so-called sake meister. Isn’t it cool? Today, I would like to introduce to you, who love sake, the qualifications of a sake sommelier. “Sommelier? Ah, I’m a sake sommelier.” Wouldn’t it be cool to say that?
First of all, the qualification of a sake sommelier is not one.
I will introduce them in order.
1)”Sake Certification Test” by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
2)”Sake master” by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
3) “International Sake master” by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
4) “Sake studies instructor” by Sake Service Institute (SSI)
5) “SAKE DIPLOMA” by Japan Sommelier Association (J.S.A.)
6) National qualification, “Brewing technician”
7) “Sake expert evaluator” by National Research Institute of Brewing.
There are seven! It’s amazing that there is even a national qualification. At the same time, it may symbolize the recent boom in sake. If you want to get all the qualifications, it’s quite challenging. So, here are some recommended qualifications.
As you may have noticed, four of the seven qualifications are qualifications by the “Sake Service Institute (SSI)”. Since this organization is a member of the FBO (Food & Beverage Specialists Organization), it covers not only alcoholic beverages but also qualifications for luxury goods. When it comes to sake, it is said that the “Sake master” qualification is the most popular and well-known sake sommelier qualification. In fact, it is a qualification that many people involved in the sake industry hold. The “Sake master” exam is held every month. The test is conducted in the order of primary test (written) → secondary test (written) → tertiary test (written and with tasting) → quartic test (written, description type). You can also choose the examination method, and if you use the “2-day intensive program”, you will learn in advance and then repeat the course and examination at the venue for 2 days.
If you use the “One-day school course”, you can go to venues in major cities to take the important items in one day. If you use the “Night school course”, you can take the course four times at the Tokyo school and then take the exam. In each case, you can take the exam through the primary to quartic exams.
I would like to introduce another one. It is SAKE DIPLOMA. This qualification has grown in popularity in recent years, despite the new one that was just created in 2017. Although it is a difficult qualification that requires full-scale knowledge, it is a qualification that can be fully utilized in work. The exam is only conducted once a year. It is certified by the Japan Sommelier Association. This association is an organization with history and prestige to which well-known sommeliers belong such as Tasaki Shinya, a leading wine expert. Along with wine, sake qualifications can be obtained from the association. It can be said to have a high status. The test consists of a primary test (written, questions from a textbook, and you can take the test up to 2 times) → a secondary test (tasting, written). The qualifications for the above two exams are that you must be at least 20 years of age on the date of the test, and no nationality, occupation, or experience is required.
What did you think? If you are interested, you can find more information on each website. It will be very useful in your personal life as well as if you want to make use of it at work. What kind of sake would you choose to drink alone? That’s when the knowledge comes in handy. What if there is somebody who cannot decide which sake should choose for friends or at a social gathering? You can suggest a sake to match the person’s taste and the meal at that table, and with evidence and confidence!
“Sake sommelier” is sure to attract more and more attention in the future, and if you are a sake lover, you must be interested in it.