The Sake Scholar’s Guide ─ How To Become A Certified Sake Sommelier

Sake is one of Japan and America’s most popular hard beverages. The worth of this global industry is around 10.47 billion dollars, and it continues to serve the demands of those who are passionate about it. people are more passionate about sake tasting, production, and distribution.

Sake enthusiasts must be curious to know what a sake scholar does, what the benefits of this career are, and how you can become certified. If you are a beginner, you can enroll in the WSET sake course and develop your learnings.

There are many courses that firms provide to people who are interested in it. Read on to learn the ins and outs of how to serve sake drinks with all the necessary qualifications.

The Journey To Becoming A Sake Connoisseur ─ What is Sake?

Sake, a traditional Japanese drink, holds a spot at the heart of Japanese culture and history. The art of sake-making is centuries old. People have redefined it over time into a fascinating blend of craftsmanship and science. To comprehend the charm of sake, one must delve into its essence. Sake is a fermented beverage, often referred to as rice wine. But it is unique because its brewing process resembles beer more than wine.

The star ingredient, special sake rice, undergoes a dual fermentation process. Here, the rice starch transforms into sugar, and this sugar ferments into alcohol. Each type of sake boasts its distinct flavor profile. It is dictated by several factors, such as the quality of rice, the water used, and the brewing techniques. Exploring types of sake reveals a spectrum of tastes, from sweet to dry, light to full-bodied. As a future sake sommelier, understanding this diverse range and the facts about sake is critical to your profession.

What Does A Sake Specialist Do?


A sake specialist is also known as a sake sommelier. In Japanese, they call these professionals as ‘kikisake-shi.’ Their role is to provide and sell sake to consumers for their enjoyment. Many of them do so in restaurants and bars. Others sell sake in specialty stores. Becoming a sake scholar is a necessary seller qualification in Japan. It’s also a need for many Japanese restaurants and liquor establishments in the US.

In some places, you’ll need to take sake courses. With the help of them, you can get into specialty venues. In other locations, it will make you a more competitive hire. Regardless, it will make you better at your job. If you are passionate about sake, becoming a sake specialist is a great way to nurture that interest. You’ll learn how to serve sake the right way. It involves brewing techniques, portfolio management, and more.

Why Become A Sake Tasting And Distribution Professional?

There are many reasons to become a sake sommelier. For one thing, you get to engage with your passion. You will become more knowledgeable about your interests. You also will:

  • Have a rewarding experience working with other sake enthusiasts.
  • Get tons of different career options, including tasting, critiquing, distribution, and restaurant ownership. You will also get entrepreneur opportunities.
  • Make money in a competitive industry.
  • Be recognized as having a unique skill.

You will learn how to make sake the right way so that you can share your passion with others.

Becoming A Sake Scholar


To become a sake specialist, you’ll need to get appropriate certification. They include the Sake Service Institute (SSI) and Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). It means taking an approved course at the Sake School of America.

There are several courses that you can take to get international certification. You can choose to take them in English or Japanese. Your decision should focus on two factors. The best language you speak and the nation you will work.

You also can choose between online, hybrid, and in-person courses. It’s easy to get certified from the comfort of your own home without the need to commute. But, for those who prefer a more hands-on approach, it can help you learn the best way. It will help in understanding new information. In-person and hybrid courses are also beneficial in the same way.

Available Courses

There are many course levels available from the Sake School of America. Each of them serves those looking for a different level of education. They aim to teach sake recipes, sake history, and more.

Courses that can help you meet career goals include:

1. Adviser Courses

You can do this if you want to become an expert in brewed alcohol.

2. Shochu adviser courses

It is suitable for those looking to become experts in distilled liquor.

3. Sommelier courses

It is suitable for those already certified sake advisers who want to take their knowledge to new heights.

4. WSET Level 1 Award

A beginner-level course for those looking to pursue a career.

5. WSET Level 3 Award

An advanced course for those looking to expand their knowledge.

Adviser courses are the first step for those looking to become experts in sake. WSET courses provide you with the certification needed to become a sake specialist. They give you a certificate and a lapel pin. You will also get a greater understanding of assessing and recommending sake.

The Benefits Of Becoming A Certified Sommelier


Achieving certified sake sommelier status is a testament to your deep understanding. But the journey doesn’t end with the certification. Rather, the sake sommelier title opens doors to many exciting opportunities. It is available in the world of gastronomy and hospitality.

As a certified sake sommelier, you become an authority on sake. You gain the trust of your customers and peers and position yourself as a go-to source. It is for the sake-related recommendations and advice.

You’ll also enhance the dining experiences of customers. You’ll guide them through sake selections that pair with their meals.


Now you know the basics of becoming a specialist. it’s time to begin taking courses that will help you get certified. There are courses available to everyone. Whether you want to meet industry qualifications or expand your knowledge, you have a course. You will also find a course on a subject you are passionate about.

Several firms are helping enthusiasts succeed with expert instruction. They provide tips and knowledge. Register for one of our courses to begin your journey toward becoming a sake scholar.