single malt kurayoshi whiskey

March 14, 2012

Arizona now has its very own Certified Sake Professional

by Alison

A Certified Sake Professional can now be found right here in Scottsdale at Japanese steak and sushi restaurant, Roka Akor. Beverage Director Rob Holder has been granted this esteemed designation for his knowledge and experience of sake. As the only Certified Sake Professional in Arizona, Holder raises the bar for premium sake programs in the state.
Rob Holder’s excitement and passion for sake has grown exponentially over the last couple of years as he has learned more about what goes into the production and the amazing differences between each producer’s style. He now looks forward to continuing to advance his knowledge and experience of sake at Roka Akor. “It is a true pleasure to have the opportunity to share the world’s top 7% and in some cases the top 3% of premium sake produced, with Roka Akor’s guests,” states Holder.
Few professionals worldwide hold this title of Certified Sake Professional, granted by the Sake Education Council (SEC). The SEC program founded by John Gauntner, recognized as the world’s leading non-Japanese sake expert, is the first English based organization of it’s kind to promote professional sake education and training straight out of Japan. The goal of the SEC is to increase sake-related knowledge among consumers and professionals and expand on the rapid growth of sake interest worldwide.
Roka Akor, one of several Valley restaurants owned by JNK Concepts, has been recognized as one of the premier locations to sip sake in Scottsdale and will continue to grow their sake program in the next few months. Holder places an emphasis on building one of the most extensive premium sake programs in the Southwest, and adds to the consumer’s dining experience by selecting sake’s to expertly enhance menu selections. Holder explains that, “It’s not about having the biggest list with every single sake, but rather building a balanced program that allows guests to experience a spectrum of grades and expressions at any budget.”
One specialty sake that Holder has brought to the Roka Akor beverage menu is Yukiyuzawa Junmai Daiginjo, which only has an average of 300 bottles produced each year. In addition to the already extensive premium sake selection, another sake that will be making its way to Roka Akor is the Hakurakusei Zankyo “Super 9.” This rare sake was produced with the highest polished rice in the world. However, due to the devastating Tsunami in March of 2011, there are currently fewer than 400 bottles remaining in the world, until the brewery is re-established and able to produce this high quality sake once again.
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