About Tasters

The panel is comprised of hand-picked specialists from around the world. It is responsible for awarding medals to the best entries.

Twenty-five nationalities are represented thereby guaranteeing the outstanding diversity that sets the Sake Selection by Concours Mondial apart from other sake competitions.

The custodian
of the competition’s professionalism and reliability

Sylvain Huet has been passionate about Japanese culture for many years and shares his passion for sake with as many people as possible by sweeping away preconceived ideas about the drink. In 2017 he was featured in cultural programmes on ARTE and on Japanese national television NHK, which devoted a topic to him in its newscast.

From the Japanese government, which asked him to write a reference document in French on sake for the trade and industry, to Yahoo Japan, which asked him for his selection of Tokyo-style places to taste the best sake, not to mention Japan’s Cultural Centre, which regularly calls on him for conferences or training courses, his commitment is total.
Starting with his first trip to Japan in 1998, sake was a revelation and he had no other choice at the time to satisfy his curiosity than to go through professional training. He learnt from Japan’s leading specialists and completed his learning curve with concrete and repeated experiences with various producers.

2012 saw Sylvain reach the pinnacle of recognition – he was the first Frenchman to become a Saké Samouraï during an official ceremony in Kyoto, in recognition of his commitment, his work and his passion. He received the title with great humility, saw it as an encouragement from the entire industry and has been on a constant mission to meet sake producers across Japan.
Today, he can pride himself on being the only Frenchman to have visited several hundred of them to date. He is chairman of the judging panel, guaranteeing that the tastings run smoothly, that the sake is served professionally and that the results are totally impartial.

Alomar Salvioni Pablo Spain

Sake importer in Spain

Bhatia Gurvinder Canada

Quench Magazine wine editor; Global TV wine columnist; Vinitaly International Academy Certified Italian Wine Expert; Wine & food consultant; Vinomania Consulting president

Borboa Suárez Carlos Armando Mexico

Sommelier and specialized wine & spirits journalist. Columnist for El Universal Newspaper Mexico City. Educator in wine at the Mexican Sommelier Association and for the Master of Wine at CESSA Universidad Mexico City. Wine and spirits consultant

Ceravolo Matteo Salvatore Hong-Kong

Sake Sommelier & General Manager of Sake Central in Hong Kong

Chaplin Cynthia United Kingdom

Worldwide Sommelier Association Fondazione Italiana Sommelier Le Donne Del Vino Professor of Italian Wine and Culture, Lorenzo de’ Medici International Institute, Rome Campus

Chen Wei Jen Taiwan

Sake Expert

Chua Kristoffer Tadeo Philippines

Sake importer

De Simone Michael United States

Entertaining and Lifestyle Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine; Co-author of RED WINE, winner of Gourmand Int’l Award for Best Wine Book in the World. Wine Journalist at World Wine Guys

Dominé André Germany

Winewriter, author or editor of the encyclopedia “Wine” and 15 other books; collaborator of the magazines Weinwelt, Weinwirtschaft, Vinum, Weinwisser and the sunday journal Welt am Sonntag.

Ellis Patrick Canada

Sake importer & Sake Samuraï

Fujita Akiko Japan

Deputy Manager of Quality Evaluation & Reseach Division of National Reseach Institute of Brewing

Haruo Matsuzaki Japan

Journalist and consultant at Jetro National

Hong Mi Yeun South Korea

Wine columnist – South Korea, Sommelier AIS, ONAV

Hoshiyama Atsuhide Japan

Finalist of the best sommelier of Japan in 2017 ,Diplôme retainer of International Sommeliers association,JSA Senior sommelier, WSET Advanced Certificate, WSET diploma student

Houseman Julian Australia

Freelance Sake writer at Sake Today and Sake Advocate

Jenssen Jeffrey United States

Entertaining and Lifestyle Editor at Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Co-author of RED WINE, winner of Gourmand International Best Wine Book in the World, Wines Of California and Wines of the Southern Hemisphere. Wine Journalist at The World Wine Guys.

Kato Chisato Japan
Lafaye Sophie France

Wine&Spirits journalist at Sommeliers International, The Wine Expectation, Luxsure.

Ling Thomas Malaysia

Wine & sprits education, professional writing and trade consultancy development

Mald Cyrille France

Author of the book “Iconic Whiskies”, Journalist for Rumporter, La Revue des Vins de France and many more magazines. Spirits Expert.

Morishita Yorimitsu Japan
Mueller Joerg Germany

Certified Sake Sommelier (SSA), WSET Level 3 Award in Sake, Sake & Shochu Academy (JSS), Co-Owner of UENO GOURMET

Muller Vincent Belgium

Sake importer

Ohyama Junichi Japan

CEO of GOHONGI, administrateur of Japan Sommeliers association, licensed J.S.A

Pakiser Marcus United States

Importer & Sake Samurai

Rendina Luca Italy

Sake Sommelier Associazione Italiana

Robuchon Abe Louis Japan
Rydberg Thomas Denmark

Editor and onwer of winemagazine DinVinGuide and spiritmagazine Whisky & Rom. Winejournalist at Ekstra Bladet (daily newspaper).Studying for a MW.

Selvagn Jesse Viet Nam

Certified Sake Sommelier, Shochu Advisor and Cicerone

Stewart Charles United States

Sake expert

Tiwari Rojita India

Beverage Writer, Trainer, Host & Consultant Former Magazine Editor. Founder of Drinks & Destinations platform in wine & spirts, travel and hospitality. She hosts the India’s first podcast on drinks and travel called The Drinks & Destinations Podcast

Utsunomiya Hitoshi Japan
Vingtier Alexandre France

Spirits & Sake expert at La Revue du Vin de France International Spirits Consultant (large corporates, family businesses, start-ups, investment funds, institutions and appellations) Author of Iconic Whisky, 101 rhums, 120 rhums, Mezcal l’esprit du Mexique & Whisky l’indispensable (overall 100.000 copies sold in 7 languages) Co-founder & Editor in chief of Rumporter, the leading rum magazine available in French, Spanish & English Columnists for diverses publications (Spirits Hunters, scotchwhisky.com, Cuisines Révolution…)

W. Blake Gray United States

Freelance Wine Writer, SF Chronicle and Wine Spectator

Xu Liuliu China

Journalist at “Global Times”

Yutaka Takano Japan

Consultant sommelier at Aeon