Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Rajan Rengasamy picks up inaugural Sake Sommelier of the Year award outside Japan

Published:  15 November, 2013

The first Sake Sommelier of the Year competition to be held outside Japan has seen Rajan Rengasamy of wine suppliers, Spinney in the UAE, pick up the award.

Organised by the Academy of Food & Wine Service and the Sake Sommelier Association it also saw Barry McCaughley of London's Chotto Matte and Sam Tse of the Hong Kong Wine Academy named as runners up. The semi final and final were held earlier this week at London's Westbury Hotel.

Xavier Chapelou, director of the Sake Sommelier Association, said: "Although the standard of competitors was exceedingly high, Rajan's knowledge and skill made him stand out as a top class sake sommelier. He was cool under pressure and was able to clearly demonstrate his service skills and sake knowledge.

"We are delighted with the response we have had in the first year of this competition - it's a great start, and a fantastic boost to the skills of sake sommeliers all over the world."

Rengasamy now has the chance to visit Kyoto and Hyogo in Japan as part of a five-day Sake Sommelier Association Advanced Sake Sommelier course. He said: "Winning the competition is a huge sense of relief, but I am also very proud. Even though I was the winner, I still feel that I can learn so much more about sake."

The event, sponsored by sake producer, Gekkeikan,hopes to raise awareness for sake outside Japan.

It attracted 50 entries that were brought down to five semi-finalists based on a written questionnaire and essay questions. Of the five, three were then chosen to go through to the grand final in front of a live audience, with tasks including a food pairing test, a service task and a blind tasting, all using traditional Japanese crockery.

The Sake Sommelier Association (SSA) is the first and only organisation to offer sake education in the UK. Candidates passing the Introductory Sake Professional and Certified Sake Sommelier become sake sommeliers, a certificate accredited by the SSA.