WSET Level 1 Award in Sake (ONLINE)

This is an entry level qualification providing a straightforward introduction to sake. It is a great course for those wanting to know about the principal sake categories, what defines them and what characteristics to expect from them. You’ll learn how to taste, how to describe describe and how to serve and store sake. You’ll also be familiar with some important Japanese sake labelling terms.

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Lesson Dates
Exam Date
Payment Deadline
02 Sep – 29 Sep 2024
22 Aug 2024
04 Nov – 01 Dec 2024
24 Oct 2024

Course Duration:4 weeks
Exam Duration:45 minute
Exam Type:30 multiple choice questions
Award:Certificate and Metal Lapel Pin

*Additional costs may be incurred to courier your certificate if required outside of South Africa. Contact us for details


The course will be based around a 4-week, 7 module online learning programme with educator support available for this time. The course modules should be followed in order, but students are free to complete the modules at their own pace during this 4-week window. The course material should take about 6 hours in total to complete, plus revision time.

The course prepares the student for the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake examination and are guided by an online WSET educator from London. The student can contact the educator any time for the duration of the scheduled course, should they have any questions. Each week includes a series of independent and/or group activities to help students understand the differences between grape varieties and types and styles of wine.

Regular access and participation in the course online activities is essential for this mode of study but students are not required to login at any specific time.

Students are advised to taste a range of sake during their studies. All the required sake for the course can be found in the online specification list. A list of additional recommended sake can be found in the Course Specifications PDF. Students can post their tasting notes in the Online Classroom for review by the educator. Additional tastings may be included by the APP at their discretion.

Students will require access to a computer (recommended) and/or HTML5 compatible mobile or tablet with the following minimum requirements: Internet Explorer 10, Firefox 25.0, Safari 6, Chrome 30.0 or other HTML5 compatible; web browser with Javascript and cookies** enabled; Adobe Reader XI or equivalent; Internet access (broadband recommended).

All study materials will be available via the Online Classroom.

Please note:
Sake is not included in the cost of this course and although it will greatly enhance your learning experience, it is not compulsory to taste any sake.

Who it is aimed at:
Sake consumers wanting to know more about sake within an interactive, structured framework.
Candidates with their first job in hospitality or retail.

Topics Covered

Module 1: What is Sake and How is it Made?

  • Describe the characteristics typical of sake.
  • List and state the purpose of the main ingredients that are used in sake production.
  • List and state the purpose of the main production steps that turn the ingredients into sake.

Module 2: Categories and Grades of Sake

  • Name the principal categories and grades of sake.
  • State the key characteristics of the principal categories and grades of sake.

Module 3: An Introduction to Tasting Sake

  • Taste sake and describe its notable characteristics using language from WSET’s Systematic Approach to Tasting.
  • Distinguish differences and similarities between different styles of sake.

Module 4: Sake Production

  • List and state the purpose of the main production steps used to make sake.

Module 5: Japanese Labelling Terms and Speciality Styles of Sake

  • Name the principal categories and grades of sakes and state their key characteristics.
  • Name some of the speciality styles of sake and state their key characteristics.
  • State the production steps that are legally controlled for the principal and some speciality styles of sake.
  • Recognise Japanese labelling terms for some of the principal categories of sake.

Module 6: Storage and Service of SAKE

  • State the correct procedures for the storage and service of sake.
  • State the common faults found in sake.
  • State the key considerations when making a food and sake pairing recommendation.

Module 7: Revision and Resources

  • Mock multiple-choice feedback examination which can be attempted as many times as the student likes.

Included with this course

  • All online tuition
  • Exam Fees
  • International courier costs (exams are marked in London)
  • Certificate with Metal Lapel Pin for all successful students
  • Domestic courier costs for your Certificate and Lapel Pin (Note: if you require these sent outside of South Africa there may be an additional charge required when results are known for international courier fees)
Please note: The course fee does not include sake samples, but you will be given guidance on what styles to source and taste. However, being able to taste sake throughout the course will naturally assist your studies, it is not compulsory to do so.


You have 45 minutes to complete the exam which comprises 30 multi-choice questions and a pass mark of 70%.

Below are the results you can attend and the marks required.

70% and above
69% and below

The course is designed to be fully online that includes computer-based testing via Remote Invigilation (RI) to take your exam. You will be monitored via webcam, screen sharing technology and a secondary recording device during your exam to ensure integrity with the qualification. A video explaining this in more detail can be found below

Further information on the operation of RI can also be found in the Candidate Information document.

Alternatively, the exam can be taken in person as opposed to online. Please contact us for further details.

WSET inform us of your results by email and as soon as we know we will inform you. A certificate and metal lapel pin for successful candidates will follow from London shortly afterwards.

If you are unsuccessful, you are able to retake the exam without having to retake the course if you do not wish to. Please contact us for potential dates and cost.