Association de la Sommellerie Internationale’s new partner Ja pan Sake and Shochu Makers Association Invited to General Assembly in Japan
Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (hereafter, “JSS") concluded a partnership agreement with the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (hereafter, “ASI”) in May this year.
JSS exchanged greetings at the ASI general assembly held at the “Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel” in Japan on July 5 and 6, and joined the welcome dinner held the night before. There they had the opportunity to meet and greet representatives of sommelier associations from 22 countries who were visiting Japan. Welcome dinner cuisine was paired with wine and six varieties of Japanese sake.
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ASI General Assembly (Graphic: Business Wire)
ASI members were invited to a two-day excursion organized by Mie Sake Brewers Association on July 7 and 8. Participants had the valuable opportunity to tour sake breweries in Mie Prefecture, visit the Ise Grand Shrine that is known for its historical links to sake, and explore the rich history and techniques used to make dashi soup stock at katsuobushi (bonito flakes) production plants.
A sake tasting and discussion event with the member breweries of the Mie Sake Brewers Association, followed by the International Sake Conference in Mie, were held in the evening of July 7 at the “Shima Kanko Hotel,” which attracted worldwide attention in 2016 as the venue for the G7 ISE-SHIMA SUMMIT. A panel discussion led by six panelists including ASI Chairman Wouters covered topics like the potential of Japanese sake as well as international initiatives being planned by JSS.
Representatives from sommelier associations around the world provided a broad range of feedback on how sake could be paired with various styles of cuisines, with many expressing that they would like to try sake with their own country’s culinary specialties.
The reception featured an eight-course meal fusing French cuisine with dashi-inspired flavors and paired with eight local brands of sake, in an ensemble featuring Mie’s three local specialties—ingredients, dashi and sake. This level of hospitality proved to be a source of amazement and inspiration for the leading international sommeliers who had the chance to savor the flavors provided.
The chairs of the Belgian, Serbian, Spanish, and Mexican sommelier associations expressed their desire to work with JSS and schedule sake master classes in the near feature, thus demonstrating the considerable interest that sommeliers have developed for sake.
Looking forward, JSS will coordinate efforts with ASI by providing sake tasting and seminars at events organized by ASI.
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