It was December 1988 when I first realized the wonderful taste that wine brings into our lives. Some friends invited me to take part in a wine seminar for women that was being held by Yutaka Takano, director of the Japan Sommelier Association. I was very impressed by the taste of the Maitre d’Estournel that we drank during the event. Of course, I had occasionally enjoyed wine up until then, but I knew nothing about it, and I couldn’t even have told you what Beaujolais Nouveau is.
After that event, I got very engrossed in wine, taking part in wine tasting events whenever I got a chance. Master Sommelier Yutaka Takano also encouraged my interest, and ultimately, I ended up taking on the challenge of the sommelier licensing examination.
I tried the exam for the first time in 1990, and totally failed the first part, which is a written exam.
In 1991, I passed the written exam and advanced to the second part, which was conducted by the renowned sommelier, Shinya Tazaki. Total failure.
In 1992, I was exempted from taking the written test again, since a successful result is valid for two years. I was ready to give up if I didn’t make it through this time, but I successfully passed (or more accurately, scraped through) the second part of the exam.
Three years after getting my sommelier license, I was eligible to take the senior sommelier exam. The senior sommelier exam is only offered once every other year. The first chance I had to take it was in 1995, and although it was tempting to try, I thought that the rank of senior sommelier was something that was far beyond my reach, so I let the opportunity go by.
The next chance was in 1997. I had gotten increasingly interested in wine, so I thought I might test my abilities, and I talked about it with my husband. He gave me the evil eye, but I thought, “Why not give it a try, even if I don’t make it?” and I took the exam. To my gratification, I passed.
If there’s anything you’d like to know about wine, please feel free to ask me. I might not necessarily know the answer despite my senior sommelier rank. But I’ll be happy to find out and learn something new.
Feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
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