International SAKE Challenge

Chairmens' Welcome

Anthony Rose アンソニー・ローズ

Steven Spurrier

"It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to participate in the 5th International SAKE Challenge 2011, with which I am proud to be associated again.
"Sake" (as Nihonshu is known around the world) is an integral part of Japanese tradition, history and everyday life. Since I first started coming regularly to Japan when I established some 20 years ago the Academie du Vin, our Tokyo branch of what was and still is one of the leading wine educational bodies worldwide, I have been fascinated by Sake and by its close ties to Japan's culture. In recent years, mirroring trends for wine in the traditional wine-producing countries such as France, consumption of Sake in the Japanese domestic market has been lacklustre - particularly, many young Japanese consumers have moved to wine and other more "international" drinks which they believe better represent their lifestyle.
Conversely, interest and awareness for Sake in the international markets have grown, but actual sales of Sake outside Japan still constitute just a tiny and disappointingly small percentage of total Sake production. Most importantly, consumers and trade around the world are often confused by the mainly Japanese language Sake labels and terms, and are reluctant to enter the world of Sake with confidence. Wine in Japan encountered the same problem a few years ago, which was why we established the Japan Wine Challenge of which I am Chairman - over the years it has become recognized internationally as the tool to identify and present the best wines for the Japan market and consumer.
Accordingly, we believe that the time has come to set in place an internationally-recognised annual Sake competition, with a panel of judges from Japan and internationally of the very highest standing, which can choose for Sake lovers worldwide the very best which the world of Sake has to offer. The award-winning Sakes at the International SAKE Challenge will be readily recognised and acclaimed by the simple medal seals which Sake producers will be able to use on their bottles internationally, and which will be easily understood and convey the message that these are the Sakes to try! We wish you every success!"

Steven Spurrier is the Consultant Editor of "Decanter" magazine, the leading wine publication in the UK, which is internationally recognised. He established the Academie du Vin in 1974, which with its branches in Paris, London and Tokyo rapidly became the leading influence in the world of wine education. Since 1982, he has organised with Michael Broadbent MW the Christies Wine Course. He is the Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards.
He is probably best known for organising in 1976 at the Paris Intercontinental Hotel what has come to be known as the "Judgment of Paris", which for the first time placed top Californian wines at the same level and above their traditional French counterparts. He is widely considered to have the best palate in the world. He has been closely associated with the Japan wine market throughout the period of its recent evolution, and is the Chairman of the Japan Wine Challenge, the largest and most important wine competition in Asia which is closely linked to the Institute of Masters of Wine, the world's leading wine education body.

Anthony Rose - Co-Chairman
Tetsuo Hasuo - Co-Chairman
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