Kampai! We raise our glasses to the trend for more decent saké bars in London, the most upmarket of them being Engawa in Soho; restaurant Shackfuyu also has a hipster-friendly version in its basement.
Yet until recently, Londoners interested in learning more about the Japanese so-called ‘rice wine’ were out of luck. Not any more though, as the Wine and Spirit Education Trust has launched a properly instructed course and qualification in this previously tricky subject. Tutored tasting is part of the coursework, which takes three full days plus lots of homework, and costs £445. It’s the first internationally recognised qualification of its type. Take the course and you’ll soon have double-parallel-fermentation tripping off your tongue, together with the ability to distinguish a jummai-daiginjo from a honjozo.
Prefer the grape-based stuff? Take a look at London’s best wine bars.
By Guy Dimond