WSET to launch qualification devoted to sake

sakesThe Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is to launch a new specialist qualification devoted to sake during 2014 on the back of growing interest in the Japanese drink.

The WSET Level 3 Award in Sake will be available in the UK and other selected international markets from August this year following pilots in the UK and USA.

Ahead of the launch, the WSET is running a series of short introductory seminars with London-based restaurant groups and distributors who are interested in placing more emphasis on their Japanese sake portfolios.

These will take place at the end of January, with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and the Sake and Shochu Producer’s Association.

The new WSET Level 3 Award in Sake will cover the impact of production choices on style quality and price, how to read the label, and how to describe and evaluate sake, as well as providing insight into the industry structure from rice production to point of sale.

It is designed to assist anyone working with sake who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the product, and how to buy or sell it effectively.

Antony Moss, WSET’s director of strategic planning, said: “Interest in sake continues to grow internationally, and in several of WSET’s largest markets this interest has reached the point where the industry really needs access to high-quality training in this fascinating and unique product.

“The WSET is in the perfect position to provide this, drawing on its existing experience in wine and spirits education. Many of our educators have already developed a deep interest and knowledge of sake and this is a fantastic chance for them to put this knowledge to use.”

On January 20, the WSET held its annual ceremony to hand awards and certificates to the top-performing candidates and diploma graduates across all its courses in the past academic year.

Taking place at the Guildhall in the City of London, it was hosted by WSET honorary president Jancis Robinson and WSET chief executive Ian Harris.

It also recognised those who teach WSET programmes around the world, including a Riedel Trophy for WSET Educators of the Year to UK wine supplier Enotria.

Ian said: “This is an evening I look forward to every year, a genuine celebration of the results of a lot of hard work and effort by so many students.

“I would also have to admit to being very pleased with Enotria’s Educator award – I think it sends a good message to our wholesale sector of the value of education, both internally as well as for customers.”

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