The Sake Handbook

An Introduction to Sake

Sake is popping up on wine lists all over Melbourne.  There  is also an ever-increasing range of it to drink and buy.

Contrary to what you might think, Sake is a complex drink.  Like wine, there are many different types and many different producers.  It can be cheap or extraordinarily expensive… and like wine, Sake is often delicious. But… if you can’t read the label, its hard to know what you like or what to buy.

The Sake Handbook by John Gautner

If like us, you’ve always wondered about Sake, come and join us in-store at 6.30pm on 21 March for an introduction on the road to Sake with Melissa Mills from Sake Connect, one of Australia’s most knowledgeable Sake educators.

Melissa will talk about Sake, present a select range of sake available in Australia and introduce you to the complex world that is one of the ‘hottest’ drinks at the moment. 

Each attendee will receive a copy of John Gauntner’s The Sake Handbook, tastings, matched food and a 25% discount online voucher with Supersake one of Australia’s leading importers to get you started on your drink collection at home.  Other useful reference books and texts will also be available for purchase on the night

About The Sake Handbook & John Gauntner

John Gauntner is one of the world’s leading non-Japanese sake experts. A longtime Japan resident, he is well known among brewers and others within the industry. He wrote the Nihonshu Column in the Japan Times for many years before writing a weekly column on sake in Japanese for the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s and the world’s most widely distributed Japanese newspaper. In 2006, John received the Sake Samurai award. He has published five books on his favourite tipple including The Sake Handbook; which is considered by many to be the foremost guide to the history, brewing, and distinctive flavors of sake.

About Melissa Mills & Sake Connect

In addition to being a local customer and Queen Victoria Market shopper, Melissa has a deep and long term interest in Sake for more than the last decade.  It began with a fascination for Japanese culture, language and cuisine but one snowy winter’s day in Gifu prefecture’s sleepy Mizunami village, passion turned into dedication, perhaps obsession.

Melissa Mills

Standing in the aromatic warmth of a cedar clad Koji room, in the eaves of 300-year-old Nakashima Brewery, she was offered a handful of rice, covered in silky tendrils of white mould, and invited to eat.

Struck with a sudden thirst for deeper understanding Melissa continued exploring Japan and sake whilst intensively studying the language. In 2016 she formalised her relationship with the traditional Japanese drink by completing WSET level 3 sake qualifications with Yukino Ochiai; Australia’s first educator and female Sake Samurai.

After winning The International Wine Challenge Award in Sake in 2017 Melissa attended London’s WSET Global Graduation and Awards Ceremony receiving the prize of participating on the judging team at the 2018 International Wine Challenge Sake Competition held in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Her involvement in this prestigious event, connecting with brewers from all over Japan and industry leaders from around the globe, not to mention sampling her way through some of the 1630 interesting bottles presented, only highlighted her desire to share her knowledge and experience.

We are really looking forward to this fun evening.  
Please join us and Melissa for an intimate lesson on the intricacies of Sake, how to buy it, drink it and understand it.

Eventbrite - An introduction to Sake & Tasting with Sake Connect & Melissa Mills


I can’t attend but I’d like to buy some books on Sake

Yes –   If you can’t attend we can organise to post books  to you.  Postage (tracked & insured): Victoria $7.95; Australia wide $9.95; We’ll have a range of books on hand.  Just give us a call on 03 8415 1415

I’ve already purchased John Gauntner’s book?

Just let us know – we will have other books available on the night and you can exchange it; or even better give it to a friend and get them hooked on Sake also!

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

As alcohol will be served, attendees must be 18+ or accompanied by a parent/guardian

 What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

If you have been to one of our events before, please note we have moved to the northern side of the Queen Victoria Market.  Our new address is 115-121 Victoria Street (next to A Shed)

We recommend public transport.

The 19, 20, 57 (Elizabeth St)and 55 (William & Peel St) trams go past the Queen Victoria Market and run frequently.  We are in the Free Tram Zone and are a short 50m walk from the Elizabeth St Queen Victoria Market stop and the Peel St Queen Victoria Market stop.  Melbourne Central and Flagstaff railway stations are two blocks away.

Parking restrictions apply in the Melbourne CBD until 8.30pm.  You can park on Queen Street near the corner of Victoria Street.  There are limited parking spaces on Victoria Street.

 Is my registration/ticket transferable?

Yes – to another person – just have them present your ticket on the evening.  

What is the refund policy?

Tickets are not refundable but can be transferred if you can’t attend. 


 Please advise of any food allergies or intolerances.

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