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About this Conversation with a winemaker

Toshio Ueno, Certified Shochu Sommelier, Master of Sake, and Master Sake Sommelier will be joining John Sporing, founder of A Life Well Drunk for a virtual tasting on August 13 at 6 PM EST.

Toshio is the founder of the Sake School of America. Toshio is the only person in the world to hold Master of Sake (酒匠), Master Sake Sommelier (日本酒学講師), and WSET Sake Educator diploma.

In the tasting we will sip and discuss three styles of sake:

  • Amabuki Cup Sake Yamahai Style (Earthy and Complex, high acid)
  • Amabuki Cup Sake Himawari Ginjo (Sunflower Yeast, Lighter, Fruitier)
  • Nanbu bijin Shinpake Junmai Daiginjo (Floral, fruity, clean, light, soft, elegant)

We will also be joined by Reiko Hirai, the founder of DC Sake Cō. In cooperation with Reiko, a special pack of these sakes has been created for this tasting. Order the pack directly from DC Sake Cō. for $59 (regularly $69) using this link:

If is not able to ship to you, you can look for these sakes in your region. Do not worry if you cannot find an exact match, look for the three styles: Yamahai, Himawari Ginjo, and Junmai Daiginjo.

Please order as soon as you can to ensure that the sakes arrive in time to rest (and chill). Note, A Life Well Drunk does not receive payment from the wineries for these virtual tastings (but we do receive sample wines). We are doing these to help our winery partners during these challenging times.


Meet the Maker

Born in Japan where his family has grown the Japanese wine grape, Koshu, for generations, Toshio grew up helping the business from a young age. Following his college education in the US and employment at an international trading company in Tokyo, Toshio joined Chateraise, a pastry and wine company as Director of Sales. There, he was put in charge of overseeing the personal wine collection of the company’s president, which intrigued him to enter the world of wine stewardship and research.

Toshio joined Mutual Trading Company in 2002, where he is Director of Sake Specialist Department in marketing Japanese foods, Sake, and Shochu to the mainstream American trade.

With his passion and expertise in Sake, Shochu, and Wine, Toshio aims to further promote Japanese food and Sake cultures to new, international audiences. Since 2010, he has been Vice President & Executive Instructor at Sake School of America. In 2016 he was awarded the industry’s most prestigious title Sake Samurai from Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association.