WSET Level 3 Award in Sake comes to BC!


The newest certification in sake is also sake’s most ambitious. The WSET Level 3 Award in Sake tries to go beyond what other sake courses (in English) offer, by going further in-depth into sake’s raw materials, production methods and processes, as well as creating the WSET’s industry-standard, Systematic Approach to Tasting, specifically for sake.

Nothing can beat going to Japan and visiting real sake breweries, seeing for yourself how sake is made. But if you want a good basis for embarking further into your sake journey, then this course may be the ticket.

I am honoured to teach the first WSET sake course in Vancouver, BC., along with my dear sake colleague, Marcus Pakiser, recent awardee of Sake Samurai, we will teach the course together. Between us, we have over 30 years experience in sake–both of us have made sake commercially so we understand the processes implicitly, and we share a deep appreciation for learning and sharing our sake knowledge.

This will be the first WSET sake certification course in Western Canada. If you’re interested in becoming one of the first in BC to receive the certification and learn from one of only 60 of Sake Samurai in the world, you can find out more via Vinoscenti’s website, or feel free to contact me. Dates for the first certification will be March 11-13, 2016 with exam a week later.

The 3-day  intensive will include a visit to YK3 Sake Brewery, a local producer of sake in Richmond, BC. A real Toji–master sake brewer–runs this brewery. This will help ensure students truly understand how sake is made–a rare opportunity.

Join us for what is sure to be a great sake adventure!











sushi & sake class at sait

I’m looking forward to 2013, there’s lots of great events planned in the new year and I’m ready to see them to their fruition!

Upcoming in February, I will be joining forces with Hayato Okamitsu, award-winning chef and culinary instructor at SAIT, to conduct a sushi & sake class. Okamitsu-san will be creating various Japanese dishes which will include sushi and I will provide the 101 on sake! It should be a fun evening!

Here’s a link to class schedule and details:

Also please check out this Sunday’s Province newspaper in the Travel section.
I have a piece on my travels to Akita’s sake breweries. It’s also up on the web now along with photos. Please take a look:

Thank you for checking out VancouverSake! I wish you a wonderful time during the holiday festivities! Best wishes to you in the coming year!


Sake 101 at SAIT in Calgary – Nov. 2 – 6pm to 9pm

sake grads by tangerinee
sake grads, a photo by tangerinee on Flickr.

For Calgary Food & Drink Lovers:

Come join me on November 2 at SAIT’s new downtown culinary campus for Sake 101.

Learn about the history of Japanese sake, how we determine a grade of a sake, how it is produced. Sample an array of grades and styles of sake, and how these can be paired with food.

My passion for sake is equaled only by my love for Japan. The first sake pilgrimage I made in 2006 began an almost yearly visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, to continuing my studies of the so-called, Drink of the Gods, and marvel at the anachronistic spectacle that is Japan.

Back then, ten students and our sake sensei, John Gauntner, began an intensive week of sake knowledge training in Kamakura, with jaunts to breweries in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. Nowadays, John’s courses commands far larger spaces and is conducted at the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association headquarters in Tokyo, as well as holding satellite courses in the U.S. Our ‘graduation’ photo is above.

In 2008, John held his inaugural second level course in sake which I attended, along with several of my Level I alumni. There were about 25 of us, and 18 passed the written and blind tasting exams.

Being the first Canadian female to pass the exam was a privilege that I am proud and thrilled to have achieved. I try my best to continue sharing my love for sake with my fellow North Americans.

I have taught classes in Canada and the U.S., having also brewed sake commercially for moto-i, the first sake brewery restaurant outside of Japan.

Making sake is incredibly difficult work, but also deeply satisfying. Knowing that the brews were destined to be served to curious imbibers who were mostly new to the drink, made us want to do it right–as close to what we witnessed, felt, and drank in Japan.

Sharing our deep appreciation for sake and Japan was of the utmost importance and the impetus for starting moto-i. The brewing experience continues to inspire me and has made me a better sake educator.

Please come and discover why premium sake is so awesome! It’s sure to be a fun evening, I promise.

Here’s the link to the class details:

There will be over 7 sake to sample, lots of cool factoids and a deeper appreciation for Japan and sake will indeed be the guaranteed result of this fun and educational evening.

Feel free to contact me for more info.