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London Wine Fair to welcome first Sake Pavilion

Published:  23 March, 2016

The London Wine Fair is to feature a major sake presence for the first time.

The Sake Pavilion will be curated by Natsuki Kikuya from the Museum of Sake. Exhibitors include a range of leading sake brewers and distributors, reflecting the growing importance of the category in the UK.

Visitors to the fair will also be able to attend a master class from Kikuya, titled "Journey in the sake glass: has Japan's mystic drink ready to take off in London?"

Kikuya will take attendees through the different sake-producing regions in Japan, with tastings illustrating the different styles and production processes unique to each brewery, and how the range fits on a UK drink menu.  

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which launched a Level 3 sake qualification two years ago, will also host a sake session in its new pop-up classroom format at the fair. Hosted by Antony Moss MW, "How to taste sake" will preview the new WSET Level 1 Award in Sake, due to start in August.

Breweries exhibiting in the pavilion include Daishichi and Sekiya.

The Daishichi Brewery is in the Fukushima prefecture and is one of the very few remaining breweries to still use the 300-year-old artisanal "Kimoto" brewing method.

Sekiya in the Aichi prefecture produces artisan sake for both local and international markets, including the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and the US.

Distributors and importers showcasing their sakes at the fair include Tazaki Foods, one of the UK's largest Japanese food distributors which suppling around 100 sake brands to major Japanese restaurants; Ueno Gourmet a German sake specialist importer which launched in the UK last year and focuses on independent, non-Japanese restaurants; Bibendum PLB, one of the largest UK distributors, which expanded into sake two years ago; and Sake at UK, a new distributor specialising in small, antique sakes.

Dassai 23 Sake

Kikuya said: "I am very excited to bring a Sake Pavilion to the LWF this year - a perfect fit for an exhibition which is all about discovery.

"We have witnessed a significant interest in the category in the last two years. More wine professionals, bartenders and sommeliers are taking sake seriously, and both the trade and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this unique product.

"With its high content of umami and pure and cleansing characteristics sake has a big potential to pair with a range of cuisines including British, Italian, Indian or Scandinavian.

"Sake cocktails have been an exciting topic to explore as well!"

The London Wine Fair will take place at London's Kensington Olympia between May 3 and 5, 2016.

The Sake Pavilion will be located the West Hall on stand C34. 

Please visit to register and for further information.