IWC 2023 Award Winning Sake Tasting at the Japan Embassy

5th July 2023

The evening after the announcement of the Champion sakes at the IWC awards dinner, Sake Samurai Association hosted the IWC Award Winning Sake Tasting at the Japan Embassy in London. This was the first annual event to proceed without any restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Around 150 guests were invited including trades people such as restaurant/bar owners, retail shop owners, Japanese/English government officials, influencers and Japan/UK media amongst others.

The event was co-hosted by the Sake Samurai Association lead by Mr Kazuhiro Maegaki (in his final year as president of an 8 year tenure), as well as the Embassy of Japan in the presence of the Ambassador H.E. Mr Hajime Hayashi.

After the speech from the Ambassador, Mr Maegaki and IWC Director Mr Andrew Reed, the champion sakes and trophy winning sakes were re-announced in front of all the guests.

Ten prestigious sake makers flew in from Japan and personally served their sake including their winning bottles to the guests, with assistance from sake experts in the UK over eleven sake tables. This year, these tables are laid in a geometric order from the north to the south. Many guests were surprised and impressed that four of the sake makers were from Nagano, and that this prefecture did well on producing high quality sake.

The outcome of the event was extremely fruitful. The guests were appreciative for the rare opportunity of tasting sake as well as talking to sake makers directly for an hour and a half. Additionally there was great feedback from sake makers, especially those that don’t have distributors overseas, finding it very meaningful to explore the future possibilities of the international market by networking with trades people.

We very much look forward to seeing them extend their market in the future, and would like to support them at every opportunity in order to capitalize on the awards they received in this prestigious sake contest.