Sake Sommelier of the Year 2018

Joshua Kalinan Sinnathamby, Singapore Airlines, Singapore

The other two finalists were:
Deepak Elangovan: Head Sommelier at Hakkasan, Indonesia
James Devereux: United Kingdom


Upon winning, Joshua said, “The best is yet to come. That’s my favourite slogan. I’m not going to stop here … I’m going to do more to promote sake. Just like what I said to the judges: to promote sake for food, also for pairing with all the different cuisines, and to make sake available to everyone… I always say, once you’ve caught the sake bug, you’re forever in it [the sake world] and I will say kanpai to you.

“The drink is so unique because of the temperature, you can have it at different temperatures, and you can have it with different cuisine, and you can pair it with different cuisines that bring out the different flavours of the food and of the drink.

“Without the SSA I wouldn’t be where I am; and what I did, what I learnt in the SSA has carried me through to now. I feel that SSA has given me the knowledge and exposure, and I feel so touched.

“You can be disadvantaged with the language, with the symbols just like me. I’m an Indian—I don’t know Japanese; I don’t know Chinese, but I know how to read the bottle label … regardless of your handicap, I believe others can do it. I think they should embrace more than themselves and come out of themselves and say ‘I can do it’ and be successful.”


Joshua will now receive a fully funded trip to Japan to take an exclusive tour of the famous Gekkeikan brewery.


If you'd like to publish an article on this year's competition, please find all the information you need in the file below:
Sake Sommelier of the Year 2018 Press Release Download Sake Sommelier of the Year 2018 Press Release

See our previous winners


Each year the winner of the Sake Sommelier of the Year is awarded a unique prize.

The winner of the Sake Sommelier of the Year 2018 was awarded an exclusive tour of Gekkeikan in Kyoto. Enjoying a behind the scenes look at sake production at one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious breweries.



*These images are for illustration purposes only.



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