Tokyo sommelier Wayne Shennen, author ‘Demystifying Sake’: S10E3

Wayne Shennen is a Certified Sommelier, and he was also the first New Zealander to achieve certification as an Advanced Sake Professional.

He has worked in hospitality in Australia and New Zealand since 2002. And in 2019, Wayne and his Japanese wife, Makie, relocated to Japan to open a sake and wine bar, Rangitoto Tokyo.

The venture seemed well timed to capitalise on the Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but Wayne and Makie could never have predicted that ‘other’ global event.

Wayne is also the author of the e-book, Demystifying Sake, which you can find on Amazon, and he has worked in sake breweries in Ishikawa, Saga, and Gifu prefectures.

Sommelier Wayne Shennen, who opened the sake and wine bar Rangitoto Tokyo in 2019
Sommelier Wayne Shennen, who opened the sake and wine bar Rangitoto Tokyo in 2019

On a mission to get more New Zealand and Australian wines into the hands of Japanese wine buffs, Wayne is also passionate about raising sake’s undervalued reputation as the stuff of dodgy Hollywood binges (Tom Cruise has a lot to answer for).

I asked him how Japanese sake piqued his interest such that he came to devote his career to the beverage.

More:
Richie Hawtin, Japanese sake enthusiast and techno legend: S5E3
Japanese sake with experts John Gauntner and Shuso Imada: S2E2
Sake in Australia, with expert Yukino Ochiai

Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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