Stu recently completed the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake, but this isn’t his first course with IWEG:
As an enthusiast who’s a retired IT person I’m often looking for ways to challenge my mind in retirement. Having completed my WSET Level 3 Award in Wines, Spanish Wine Scholar and the French Wine Scholar, I was looking for a course in the wine and spirits world that was a bit different. That’s how I settled on the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake.
I’ve been a casual drinker of sake over the years and was always intrigued by how it was made. I found the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake was able to answer that question and so much more. It was so interesting to learn about the processes used to make various types of sake, many of which have the same characteristics of wine making but also some characteristics of spirit making as well; especially the need to create enzymes to break down the starch in rice into sugar for fermentation.
The WSET Level 1 Award in Sake course gave me a pretty complete picture of the sake making process but it also made me understand that it’s just the tip of the iceberg for a centuries old practice that is steeped in tradition. I now feel confident in knowing how sake is made, the various categories and grades of sake, how to store it, how to pair it with food, and which ones to serve cool vs. warm (I used to think all sakes were served warm!).
I even had to learn some kanji (there were 3 kanji questions on my exam)! I used to think sake all tasted similar but did I ever get a surprise when I did some of the recommended tastings and tried them both cold and warm. My next dinner party will definitely feature a sake pairing.
You too can dive deeper into this fascinating beverage and gain a new specialization with WSET Level 1 Award in Sake and WSET Level 3 Award in Sake:
WSET Level 1 Award in Sake – online
Date: Monday, November 7th – Sunday, December 4th
WSET Level 3 Award in Sake – in-class
Date: Saturdays, November 19th – December 3rd at 9:30am – 4:30pm
Special Offer: WSET Level 3 Award in Sake
Sign up by November 18th with the coupon code l3sakenov22 to save $95 at checkout. Limited quantities available.
WSET Level 3 Award in Sake provides in-depth and detailed understanding of the production methods that affect sake style, quality and price. It develops systematic tasting and description skills, as well as the ability to make recommendations. Expect to spend 25 hours of preparation and review outside of the classroom.
- The main techniques that are used in the production of sake and how they influence style and quality
- The principal and specialty categories of sake
- The sake industry and the commercial importance of sake in the Japanese and export markets
- The principles behind the storage, selection and service of sake
- How to appreciate the historic and current cultural and commercial significance of sake in Japan and in export markets
- How to assess and describe sake with confidence, and be able to make selection, storage and service suggestions
- How to taste sake, describe their characteristics and evaluate their quality, using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake® (SAT)
The course will be taught by Michael Tremblay. Michael’s foray into wine and sake has been 25 years in the making, traveling around the world and using wine and sake as a lens for learning about the history and culture of different regions. Michael is one of 70 Sake Samurai in the world, a title bestowed by the Japan Sake and Shochu Maker’s Association at Kyoto’s 1300 year old shrine to sake, the Matsunoo Taisha. He is the co-author of the book on sake “Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake: Rice, Water, Earth” released on March 8, 2022 and published by Tuttle.
Special Offer: WSET Level 2 Award in Wines Condensed
Sign up by November 18th with the coupon code nov22l2 to save $100 at checkout. Limited quantities available.
WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is the perfect wine course for anyone wishing to learn about a wide range of grapes and styles, as well as those seeking to build on the introductory knowledge gained with the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. You’ll gain knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown and the styles of wine they produce.
- How to taste and describe wine using the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine®(SAT)
- How environmental factors, grape-growing, winemaking and maturation options influence the style and quality of wines made from eight principal grape varieties:
- Pinot Grigio/Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- The style and quality of wines:
- Made from 22 regionally important grape varieties
- Produced in over 70 geographical indications (GIs) around the world
- How grape varieties and winemaking processes influence key styles of:
- Sparkling wines
- Fortified wines
- Key labelling terms used to indicate origin, style and quality
- Principles and processes involved in the storage and service of wine
- Principles of food and wine pairing
Upon successful completion of a 50-question multiple-choice exam, you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin and will be able to use the associated WSET certified logo.
WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
Date: Saturdays, November 19th – December 3rd at 9:30am – 4:30pm
Explore New Zealand Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with John Szabo
Join Master Sommelier and IWEG visiting instructor John Szabo for an evening of tasting and exploration of New Zealand Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The masterclass will take place on Thursday, February 2nd, 2023 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm. The cost is $95. Register now!
Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004, and he holds the WSET Diploma with honours. He’s seen the hospitality business from all sides including cooking and washing dishes, serving and sommellerie, importing, teaching, writing, photographing, speaking, emceeing, consulting and judging wine internationally. He was listed as “Canada’s best-known sommelier” in Meininger’s Wine Business International.
Career Opportunity: Cellar Master at IWEG
Wine from the Edge
The Oregon Wine Board & New Zealand Winegrowers present a deep dive into classic and unexpected wines from Oregon and New Zealand.
On Thursday, November 10, 2022, join Master of Wine Bree Stock and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas as they take you on a tour through wines from both regions.
Masterclass: 10am -1pm
Lunch at Ricarda’s: 12pm – 1pm
- Compare 8 New Zealand Wines with 8 Oregon state wines
- In-depth look at growing and soil conditions in both regions
- Variety of red, white and sparkling wines
- 6 blind wines to test your tasting skills
Limited number of seats.
Trade walk around tasting: 1pm – 4pm
- A self-pour progressive tasting event at 3 Toronto restaurants: Aloette, Peter Pan Bistro and Sommelier Factory.
- This interactive experience will allow you to visit each location to discover three themed tasting comparisons from each region.
Register soon because space is limited.
All proceeds from this event will be donated to Vinequity.