Yesterday, I arrived in San Francisco and today I will begin a three-day Saké Professional Course taught by John Gauntner, the famed Saké expert and "Saké Dendoushi" ("Saké Evangelist").
Gauntner states "The course is geared toward industry professionals wishing to expand their horizons in a thorough manner into the world of sake, and will therefore necessarily be fairly technical in nature, and admittedly somewhat intense. But the course is open to anyone with an interest in sake, and it will certainly be fun! The course lectures and tastings will begin with the utter basics and will thoroughly progress through and cover everything related to sake. There will be an emphasis on empirical experience, with plenty of exposure to a wide range of sake in the tasting sessions throughout the three days. Upwards of 90 sake will be tasted across the three days."
I am extremely excited to take this course and to expand my knowledge of Saké. Plus, it will be a real pleasure to finally meet John Gauntner. Though I consider myself to have a fairly good grasp of Saké, I know there is plenty more that I can learn and experience. Plus, I may have the opportunity to taste some Saké that I have never had before. I will also be surrounded by maybe 30+ other students who are just as passionate as I am about Saké. It will be cool to chat with them, to hear their viewpoints on various Saké-related issues.
For the next three days, I'll be immersed in study and tasting. Today, the class is scheduled to run from 9am-7pm. Monday it will run 9:30am-5pm and Tuesday from 9:30am-6pm (which includes two hours for the certification test). I'll try to Twitter and blog about it when I can, though a more detailed post probably won't come until later this week.
This is where learning is fun. Kanpai!