(YourDigitalWall Editorial):- New Delhi, Delhi Jun 5, 2023 (Issuewire.com) – May 2023 witnessed the beginning of a bright new era for premium beverage education in India with the introduction of the highly prestigious Certified Sake Sommelier certification affiliated with The Sake Sommelier Association. Coveted and yet out-of-reach, slightly intimidating, and highly prized, this program had not yet entered the Indian beverage education scene. However, between the 23rd and the 26th of May, history was scripted when the FIRST such course of its kind was made available to a group of excited participants in Mumbai, India.
The venue for the 4-day long certification program was Masque, a striking fine-dining restaurant that has recently yet again been crowned ”The Best Restaurant in India” and amongst ”Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023”
The cohort consisted of 9 diverse yet equally driven individuals. While some were eager hospitality students, others were restaurant professionals, and yet others were themselves sommeliers who joined the training with the aim of upping their knowledge and earning this valued certificate. 3 days of intensive immersive knowledge sessions and 1 day of grueling exams later, they proudly displayed their credentials as the FIRST batch of Certified Sake Sommeliers in India.
The program was inaugurated by Mr. Toshihiro Kaneko, Chief Consul, Consulate General of Japan in Mumbai who encouraged and congratulated the candidates for embarking upon their Sake learning journey via this well-crafted training course. He assured them that their accreditations would take them a long way in paving and strengthening a successful career path in the beverage industry, besides giving them a chance to gain some valuable cultural insights about the national beverage of Japan.
Project Sake, A premium Sake importer with a portfolio representing breweries that are among the most respected in Japan – was a Beverage partner in this endeavor. The candidates tasted high-quality Sake from their list.
Japanese Sake, or Nihonshu, is still a relatively new entrant to India’s beverage market. However, the popularity it has garnered in just a few years far outpaces other beverages introduced around the same time. Perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that rice embodies the very spirit of Japan’s deep-rooted traditions and customs that her people are so fiercely proud of and hold dear to their hearts. However, while the interest and enthusiasm for Sake are in abundance, adequate knowledge about its origin, quality, varieties, production methodologies, pouring, storage techniques, and food pairing was simply not available to professionals so far. Now that the first CSS program has become a smashing success, though, it looks like the learning landscape for Sake has become much more alluring.
The organization that has ushered in a new dawn for Sake in India is Grape Xpectations, a boutique beverage training institution providing Wine and Spirit education through the coveted Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, U.K (WSET). Besides running the Whisky Ambassador Program from Scotland, it has acquired the distinction of becoming India’s ONLY Certified Sake Education center providing specialized and qualitative training through the Sake Sommelier Association.
Grape Xpectations is founded and helmed by Kunal Kaul, a veteran hospitality professional with vast experience in the world of Food & Beverage. He has lived and worked in culturally distinct geographies around the world and travels frequently in a bid to finetune his beverage knowledge and stay abreast of the latest industry trends. Kunal is a WSET Educator (U.K), a Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators, USA), a Certified Sherry Educator (Sherry Regulatory Council, Spain), a Certified Sake Sommelier, and India’s ONLY Certified Sake Educator. He is seen on the jury of hospitality contests and is acclaimed for the Masterclass events he conducts to packed audiences at leading industry events.
Kunal’s passion for beverages is coupled with great curiosity and the desire to showcase different cultures, which is why he envisions bringing every possible niche beverage training program from across the globe under one roof at Grape Xpectations. After pioneering the Introductory Sake Professional certification two years ago in India, Kunal has delivered on his promise to follow it up with something even more enriching such as the recently-concluded Certified Sake Sommelier program.
Here’s hoping that this is only the beginning of a long and wonderful chapter in quality Sake Education, strengthening the ties between Japan and India, and celebrating our unique cultures through a winning partnership.
India’s First Batch of Certified Sake Sommeliers:
NIKHIL KISHORE JHANGIANI
This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.