all About Discover Sake

What is Discover Sake?

Discover Sake is a project that aims to:

  • Introduce sake to a new audience
  • Provide tools for sake educators
  • Provide tools for sake breweries to promote their business and products

Who is behind Discover Sake?

Hi! My name is Arline Lyons. When I’m not working on Discover Sake (creating resources or running events) I’m a Japanese to English translator (Arline Lyons Translation) specialising in IT and pharmaceuticals.

I fell under the spell of sake around the end of 2016 when an existing client in the wine industry started sending me material for translation about sake breweries. I did as much research as I could online, but felt I needed more to translate the material as accurately and meaningfully as possible – especially the tasting notes!

I was touched by the passion and dedication of the producers, many of whom are small, family-owned businesses carrying on a traditional craft in the face of changing times. I wanted to help in some way, which first led to starting Taste Translation, a food and drink site for Japanese to English translation, and a one year challenge to translate one Japanese news article about sake a day into English (October 2017 – October 2018).

Moving on from translation of news articles, I’m developing a range of resources to help people take their first steps into the fascinating and varied world of sake – a simple introduction in the form of the Sake Spectrum infographic, the short and sweet Seven Days of Sake, an information-packed Pocket Guide to Sake, Sake Tasting Notebooks to record the journey, plus t-shirts and other accessories to celebrate your favourite styles.

I also hold an Introduction to Sake workshop and sake tastings in Zürich, Switzerland and offer private sake tasting events nearby.

My qualifications include the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET) Level 3 Award in Sake, Sake Service Institute International Kikisake-shi and Sake Education Council Certified Sake Professional.

What resources are available? (Coming soon)

  • The Pocket Guide to Sake
  • Seven Days of Sake email sequence
  • Sake Spectrum infographic
  • Step by Step Guide to Tasting Sake
  • Sake Tasting Notebook
  • Expert Sake Tasting Notebook
  • Hot & Cold Sake Tasting Notebook

What else is available? (Coming soon)

  • T-shirts
  • Stickers
  • Bags

What is the Introduction to Sake workshop?

Introduction to Sake is a comprehensive three-hour workshop that introduces you to the basic spectrum of flavour that sake has to offer, everything from delicate and floral to rich and savoury. It introduces the Japanese sake classifications, including tastings to experience the full range and discover which part of the spectrum you prefer. It also presents a selection of different styles, covers the essentials of selecting, storing, pairing and serving, and you go away with a booklet with a summary of information, your own tasting notes and a list of where to buy sake!

The workshop currently runs in Zurich, Switzerland. Check the workshop page for dates and more details.

What are the sake tastings?

The sake tastings are more focused and explore a particular style, class or other facet of sake such as temperature or food pairing. They’re completely accessible to beginners, or anyone who wants to taste more sake and explore a particular feature.

Tastings are currently held around once a month in Zurich, Switzerland. Check the website for dates and more details.

What makes Introduction to Sake and the tastings different from other sake events?

I do not sell sake and am not affiliated with any brewery or retailer, which means I’m not restricted in the range of sake I present at tastings. (Although I try to serve sake available in Europe so people who come to the workshops and tastings can buy it later!)

The aim of my events is to help you to discover and enjoy sake, so I choose the sake best suited to giving an overview of the range of flavour in sake or exploring a particular class, style or tasting question.

Can I buy sake at the workshops or tastings?

No, sorry! I’m not licensed to sell alcohol. However, you will get all the details for the sake you tasted at the event, plus a list of where to drink sake in Zurich and where to buy sake locally and online.

I have a question!

Please email me! No question too big, small or silly.