Revered Japanese beverage catches the eye of Indian Sommeliers

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Kunal Kaul Founder Grape Xpectations

World-class Certified Sake education program by Grape Xpectations have stormed into the Indian professional beverage scene.

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(Spin Digit Editorial):- New Delhi, Delhi Oct 15, 2021 ( – For India’s elite and expanding Beverage community, the 25th of September, 2021, marked a historic day.

Japanese Sake (rice wine) or Nihonshu has been gaining rapid popularity in the Indian market. A fermented rice beverage that historians acknowledge as being intertwined with the social fabric of Japan, it is a very ancient brew. As the national beverage of this island nation, Sake holds a special place in people’s hearts.

This rice-based fermented beverage can be made only from pristine water. Given the sheer variety of natural water types available in Japan, Sake brewers are spoiled for choice! A micro-organism called koji coupled with yeast is the other two important ingredients of Sake. The alcohol content of this exquisite beverage can vary between 13% to 16% by strength.

In recent times, metros have seen a brisk surge in Japanese Restaurants, both of the high-end and pocket-friendly variety. However, in contrast with the mushrooming number of Japanese food outlets, there are hardly any specialized, certified beverage qualifications for serious Sommeliers and Hospitality professionals. India now boasts of many high-quality educational institutions for both Wines and Spirits but has remained completely devoid of any accredited programs that offer training in unique and culturally important beverages like Sake.

However, that has now changed. This void has been recently filled with great aplomb by Grape Xpectations, a boutique beverage training institution in India providing Wine and Spirit education through the coveted Wine & Spirits Educational Trust, U.K (WSET). Besides running the Whisky Ambassador Program from Scotland, it has acquired the distinction of becoming India’s ONLY Certified Sake Education center providing specialized and qualitative training through the Sake Sommelier Association.

Sake Sommelier Association has been inspiring the world through sake education for more than 2 decades. With its presence in over 20 countries, it leads the way in Sake Education and Competitions around the globe.

India’s First Certified Sake Course – ‘Introductory Sake Professional’ was held on the 25th of September, 2021, and was a sold-out event! It was attended by an audience comprising some of the best Sommeliers, Mixologists, and Food & Beverage professionals in the country. Befitting their expectations and stature, the session was a superb display of expertise, real-world knowledge, a tantalizing Sake-tasting piece, and an overall experiential delight for these professionals.

The icing on the cake was an Online Certificate and Badge Felicitation ceremony scheduled on the 4th of October. Co-Founder of Sake Sommelier Association, Ms Kumiko Ohta was the Chief Guest who congratulated the first ever batch of Certified Sake Professionals in the country.

Grape Xpectations is helmed by a seasoned industry veteran, Kunal Kaul.

Kunal is a WSET Educator (U.K), a Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators, USA), a Certified Sherry Educator (Sherry Regulatory Council, Spain), a Certified Sake Sommelier and India’s ONLY Certified Sake Educator.

Passionate about his vision of bringing niche global beverage training programs under one roof in India, he is working tirelessly to promote Sake, Wine & Spirits Training in the fraternity.

With this winning partnership, Kunal hopes the day isn’t far when Sake will scale new heights and showcase an important Japanese cultural icon to India, strengthening the ties between both nations even further.

Grape Xpectations is in active talks to raise the bar in Sake Education in India by showcasing the next level of training, called the Certified Sake Sommelier program, in the near future.

Grape Xpectations (

Contact – 9311370400 / [email protected]

Sake Sommelier Association (

Introductory Sake Professional CourseAttending Sommeliers  Mixologist and FB ProfessionalCerteficate Felicitation CeremonyChief Guest  Felicitation Ceremony Ms Kumiko Ohta Founder Sake Sommelier Association

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