This past week I attended John Gauntner’s Sake Professional Course (SPC). I had a very good time both in class and with the other participants at the Izakaya’s outside of class. The class is three days of non-stop sake information loaded with special little stories that only someone who has spent a long time in the industry and with the many kura could have accumulated. I expected the course to be focused on, well training Sake Sommelier, over my own interest in Sake Brewing. I was not disappointed in this expectation but the course was more than just for the Sommelier.
The 46 attendees were from four major categories: the restaurant business, distributors and distribution channel, individuals with a special interest in sake and sake brewers like me. The interactions between these interests were mostly complementary and enhanced the overall experience and learning.
John covers the subject in multiple passes, with the first pass introducing most of the topics and how they fit together. He them takes everyone through a more detailed pass of each topic to ensure we have a deeper understanding of sake and all its aspects. Finally he summarizes all this information. His motto: to leave no sake stone unturned.
John encourages questions all the way through and this is important for everyone, because so much is learned from the questions we all had in addition to the material presented.
An unexpected bonus is the people I met from the class; new friends, new contacts and maybe even new business partners. All in all an outstanding course.