Category Archives: Japan

Advanced Sake Sommelier Course Report: Mai Segawa

In November Mai Segawa was awarded with the title of Young Sake Ambassador. Mai has since embarked on her journey of sake education.

Mai Segawa Young Sake Ambassador 1

Mai attended the Sake Sommelier Association’s March Advanced Sake Sommelier course.

Below are her experiences:

Advanced Sake Sommelier Course

By: Mai Segawa

mai segawaWhen I attended London’s Advanced Sake Sommelier Course in Matsuyama, Japan, I received the warmest welcome from the local sake breweries, hotel, and restaurant staff. Each person we encountered went above and beyond to makes us feel welcome.

What a unique experience- exploring Matsuyama, Japan was our ‘classroom’. Breathing the air, trying the local cuisine with freshly pressed sake from the brewery you just visited, and getting high quality tours of the local sake breweries from the owner himself was part of our education. We could ask unlimited questions and learn as much as possible. I made new friends with my fellow classmates from the wine, food, and champagne industry.

Kumiko, Xavier, & Rod have designed this course in such a way that prioritizes a high quality learning experience. By having a small cohort of students, it is possible to be fully immersed in the sake making process through active brewery tours and hands on tactile training from the sake experts. So many good memories of drying the freshly steamed rice with our hands, mashing the sake Moromi rice, smelling the banana and melon aromas of the yeast, tasting the freshly pressed nama daiginjo sake, and rolling the Koji Rice together, we had a blast using all of our senses to actively learn more about the sake making process.

Mai (right) with SSA Educator Rod (left)

Although many can learn the basic sake making process through books and courses, only a few can say that they have visited some sake breweries in Japan and seen with their own eyes and made with their own hands different aspects of the sake making process.

The course is structured in a way so that intermediate sake learners can learn and benefit just as much as seasoned sake professionals. Take an excellent sake course such as the Certified Sake Sommelier course beforehand to fully enjoy this advanced sake course in Japan. Designed for those that are curious about sake and willing to learn the fun way.

Mai Segawa

Young Sake Ambassador