Sake and Tea pairing at YUGEN

When: Friday 20th May, 2022 Where: YUGEN Tea Bar. 605 Chapel Street, South Yarra, VIC. Sake Mistress and tea sommelier, Thibaut Chuzeville, join forces and unite their passions for a delightful evening of tea and sake at one of Melbourne’s newest and unique venues, YUGEN Tea Bar.

Taste with the Tōji project:

Ongoing, online events since April 2020

Next session: Re-visiting Moriki Shuzo. Monday 25th July @ 08:00 PM AEST. Taste with the Tōji is a series of online events put together during Melbourne’s COVID lockdown number 1. this project was inspired by the will to continue, in some way, to host Sake specific events despite having all my upcoming ‘on location’ events cancelled due to Coronavirus and the social distancing rules in place. I wanted to find a way to continue to bring people together through sake. These Taste with the Tōji events endeavour to unite Sake drinkers and enthusiasts of all levels, whilst at the same time, connecting the brewers with their wider audience/consumers.  IMG_1463

Taste with the Tōji events are currently free to attend as my main wish is to support the brewers and importers through this tough time, however, where possible, it is suggested attendees purchase a bottle of Sake (from the featured brewer) prior to each event they attend. In addition, (or in lieu of), a virtual tip jar has been requested by several attendees from the first event, held on 27th April, featuring Miho Imada. I have created a button here for any attendees of past or future events who might wish to leave a small contribution. I understand this is a tough time for many financially so tips are not essential, however those in a position to contribute can rest assured any funds will of course go back into the running of these events and the costs involved ~ and ultimately the breweries and brewers who are participating in the Taste with the Tōji series.

Please note there may be limited availability for some of these events, however, if you would like more information on any of these events, or the Sake we will be tasting for each session, please email me at or via my contact page on this site.  A full overview of previous sessions and information on upcoming sessions can be viewed here.

April 2020: Turning Virtual in the Age of COVID-19

The current world events of late have been devastating to so many, both on a personal and professional level. With the current social distancing measures in place, the options for those in the hospitality industry are certainly few and limiting. Obviously, at this point in time, it is not possible to hold public tastings, masterclasses and pairing dinners at any of Melbourne’s delightful venues ~ however, the industry has in some way become more inter-connected and with the use of current technology, despite certain limitations, we are still able to collaborate, connect and share our passion for Sake with others. I’m thrilled to be able to host an upcoming series of online events titled ‘Taste with the Tōji’ via Zoom ~ giving Sake enthusiasts an opportunity to connect with like minded people and raise a glass alongside, (virtually), the brewers behind the brew. Each session will feature a different Sake brewery and Tōji (and/or Kurabito) and give participants the chance to partake in a group tasting and have their questions answered by the brewers themselves. My hope in doing these online events is to unite Sake drinkers and enthusiasts of all levels, whilst at the same time, connecting the brewers with their wider audience/consumers. One positive to this virtual platform is the ability to be able to connect with a broader audience, not limited by distance/location ~ perhaps a little by time zones, but where there’s a will there’s a way perhaps. The first in this series will feature the fabulous Miho Imada the Tōji from Imada Shuzo in Hiroshima and Kurabito, Andrew Russell. The Sake tasting component for this event will feature the recent Henpei and Genkei ~ more can be read about these Sake here. ~ KANPAI! For more information and updates about these online events, head over to the TWTT page here.

Sake Dinner @ Kazuki’s

10 March, 2020 – see details below or click here
Sake Mistress, Simone Maynard and Kazuki’s are joining forces to celebrate International Women’s Day by presenting Women in Sake Dinner ~ showcasing 4 exceptional Japanese female master sake brewers Simone will share her passion for all things sake, guiding diners through the pairings for the evening. At this very special dinner, you’re invited to join Simone and be guided through an exploration of 6 incredibly crafted sake made by female Toji (master brewer) from 4 different sake breweries in Japan. Miho Imada – Imada Shuzo (Hiroshima), Maiko Tsuji – Tsuji Honten (Okayama), Kuniko Mukai – Mukai Shuzo (Kyoto) and Rumiko Moriki – Moriki Shuzo (Mie).
Clockwise from Top left: Miho Imada, Maiko Tsuji, Rumiko Moriki, Kuniko Mukai
Each of the sake have been chosen to complement the elegant five-course tasting menu by our very own Kazuki Tsuya. The menu will include Kazuki’s Moreton Bay bug dumpling, ocean trout, aged duck breast, cheese and a dessert course. Says Kazuki: “It is exciting for all of us at Kazuki’s to present this special event to celebrate International Women’s Day with Simone. Simone has been regarded as one of the best sake experts in Australia and we are very lucky to have her in Melbourne. This is a great opportunity for guests to meet Simone in a relaxed setting, and to get an understanding of how some of the finest sake can match with food.” EVENT DETAILS Date: Tuesday, March 10th Place: Kazuki’s, 121 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053 Price: $250 pp (includes 5 course and 6 matched sake) Menu: 5-course tasting menu by Kazuki Tsuya, along with a selection of 6 matched sake chosen by Simone Maynard. Venue opens: 6:30 pm First course starts: 7 pm One sitting only Tables will be shared for the evening Bookings essential Book by phone: 03 9349 2223 Book by email: For online bookings or more information click here or visit *Please select Sake dinner with Simone Maynard from the Select Area and 10 March 2020 from the calendar.

Sake Mistress @ Milk The Cow

Sake and Cheese with Sake Mistress at Milk The Cow
Sake Mistress is delighted to be joining forces with the amazing crew at Milk The Cow in Carlton to present a delicious and informative night of Sake and cheese! When: 7pm – 9pm on Thursday 27th February 2020 Where: The Grenier Room at Milk the Cow Carlton, 323 Lygon Street, Carlton Tickets $55 per person, includes Sake Cocktail on arrival and a guided cheese & sake flight with four matches. For more information and bookings: click here

Sake Masterclass @ Red Hill Cellar & Pantry – Friday 15 Nov. 5:30-7pm

After a sell-out session in September Sake Mistress is coming back to Red Hill Cellar and Pantry for the next instalment in their Sake Masterclass series. Suitable for those who attended in August and those who missed out! A unique opportunity to explore and learn about a variety of premium Sake in a guided tasting. You will also discover just how versatile and food friendly this beverage is. This time, we will be offering up some delicious pairings from two fabulous, award winning Mornington Peninsula producers: Mushroom Forestry and Boat Shed Cheese. Suitable for the Sake lover, Sake novice or simply Sake curious. Please join us for this deliciously unique, fun and educational event hosted by Sake Mistress, Simone Maynard. Limited seats available – book early to avoid disappointment. When: Friday 15 November 5:30-7pm Where: Red Hill Cellar & Pantry – 141 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, VIC 3937 Book: here through Eventbrite

WORLD SAKE DAY 日本酒の日 2019

October 1st is World Sake Day. To celebrate World Sake Day this year, Simone will be pouring Sake for Happy Hour at Red Hill Cellar and Pantry. The store will also be offering a 10% discount on all Sake for the day. Wherever you are on October 1st, be sure to pour yourself a glass or two and share in the global celebration that is World Sake Day! Kanpai! Happy Hour Sake Tasting for World Sake Day Cost: Free When: Tuesday 1st October 5pm-6pm Where: Red Hill Cellar & Pantry – 141 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, VIC 3937

Sake Masterclass @ Red Hill Cellar & Pantry – Friday 6 Sept. 5:30-7pm

Limited seats available – Book here
Sake Masterclass with Sake Mistress at Red Hill Cellar and Pantry. Learn the basics of Sake. In this 1.5 hour Masterclass, we will cover the basics like ‘what is Sake’ and ‘how Sake is made’ as well as learn about Sake grades, serving temperatures and vessels, how to enjoy Sake at home, food pairing and why Sake is so food friendly. You will taste different styles of Sake, from highly polished ginjo grade Sake to Koshu (aged sake). We will also be pairing the Sake with some delicious artisanal cheeses from Boat Shed Cheese in a guided tasting. Suitable for the Sake lover, Sake novice or simply Sake curious. Please join us for this unique, fun and educational event hosted by Sake Mistress, Simone Maynard. When: Friday 6 September 5:30-7pm Where: Red Hill Cellar & Pantry – 141 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, VIC 3937 Book: here This event has now finished. Images from Sake Masterclass at Red Hill Cellar and Pantry

Sake Dinner @ Monkey Business

Sake Mistress and Monkey Business are joining forces to present a 5 course feast with matched Sake on the Mornington Peninsula. When: Thursday 22 August, 2019 @ 6:30pm Where: Monkey Business – 1/277 Point Nepean Rd. Dromana A night of discussion and degustation revolving around some fabulous Sake. $125 per head. Bookings: Ph. 5981 0685 This event has now finished. Images from Sake Dinner at Monkey Business

HOURAI Sake and Meet the Brewer Dinner

Sake Mistress is delighted to be co-hosting a SuperSake x HOURAI special event on Friday 7th June – the eve of Melbourne’s biggest Sake festival, Sake Matsuri. Darryl Cody Brailsford, brewer at Watanabe Shuzo who produces sake under the Hourai label, is heading to Melbourne for Sake Matsuri and will be the special guest at a one-off Melbourne ‘Meet the Brewer’ dinner at Miyako Restaurant. A six-course degustation, with Hourai Sake pairing. Limited seats available and can be booked through Eventbrite via Miyako’s website.
Date: Friday 7th June, 2019
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Miyako, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Cost: $105 per person
Bookings essential
This event has now finished.
Images from Sake Dinner at Miyako:

Sake Dinner at OCHA Japanese Restaurant

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Sake Mistress, OCHA Japanese Restaurant and SuperSake will be joining forces on May 29th for a special Sake Dinner event at OCHA in Hawthorn. Simone will present a carefully curated Sake selection from SuperSake’s portfolio, matched to a delightful six-course Japanese dinner created by OCHA. Tickets are selling fast through OCHA’s website. You can also book by calling OCHA directly on (03) 9853 6002
Date: Wednesday 29th May, 2019
Time: 7pm
Location: OCHA, 3-5 Church Street, Hawthorn
Cost: $125 per person
Bookings essential
This event has now finished.
Images from Sake Dinner at Ocha:

Sake Dinner at Restaurant Navi

Sake Mistress and Restaurant Navi will be joining forces to create a one-off feast showcasing  a fabulous range of Sake from Supersake.
A six-course degustation, carefully curated by head chef Julian Hills, each course matched with a different Sake. Simone will be there sharing her passion for all things sake, guiding diners through the pairings for the evening.
Date: Tuesday 16th April, 2019
Time: 7pm
Location: Restaurant Navi, 83b Gamon St. Yarraville
Cost: $210 per person
Tables will be shared for the evening.
Sake Dinner bookings through Navi’s website.
This event has now finished.
Images from Sake Dinner at Navi:

Sake and Pizza

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Never had Sake with pizza? You don’t know what you’re missing! Sake Mistress will be joining forces with the lovely ladies from Independent Wine Store in Rye and hosting a Sake tasting with a twist – tasting aperitif and digestif styles as well as pairing some premium Sake with Pizza!This will be a fun and educational evening, demonstrating just how food friendly Sake is and that it should not only be limited to pairing with Japanese cuisine. Bookings essential. Book here Independent Wine Store. This event has now finished. Images from the Sake and Pizza event:

Open Sake Training with Sake Mistress and SuperSake

If you’re in the hospitality industry and curious about Sake, please join us on February 20th at Monou Japanese Restaurant for a 1.5 hour Sake focused tasting and training session.
This is a free event aimed at hospitality workers. Register here:

SuperSake Trade Tasting Melbourne.

Sake Mistress will be pouring a talking all things Sake at SuperSake’s Melbourne Trade Tasting. Also on tasting is a fabulous range from Dassai Australia! For trade enquiries contact Kanpai!

Sake Tasting at Red Hill Cellar & Pantry

On Friday 23rd November, Sake Mistress will be pouring and talking all things Sake, (and cheese matches), along with a couple of other surprise premium beverages from Japan. Join us between 3-6pm at Red Hill Cellar & Pantry, 141 Shoreham Rd. Red Hill South, Victoria. This is a free event ~ no bookings required – Kanpai!

TOKYO Book Launch – Readings State Library of Victoria.

A fun night pouring Sake for the guests at the Melbourne launch of Steve Wide and Michelle Mackintosh’s book: TOKYO. Sake on pour for the evening: Gozenshu Junmai Mimasaka from Tsuji Brewery in Okayama, and Hourai Hatsugumi Junmai Ginjo Namachozo from Watanabe Brewery in Hida, Gifu.

TOKYO Book Launch – Melbourne

World Sake Day @ Yoku Ono

October 1st is World Sake Day, (Nihonshu no Hi), and what better way to spend it than pouring, drinking and discussing Sake. A private event held at super funky Melbourne venue, Yoku Ono, in Anchor Place, Prahran. What is Nohonshu no Hi? Read more about the history of World Sake Day here For more on Yoku Ono – you can follow them on Instagram @yoku_ono – they definitely have one of the best Sake lists in Melbourne and a menu full of fabulous food matches!

Sake and cheese tastings at Red Hill Cellar & Pantry.

A collaboration between Sake Mistress and Red Hill Cellar & Pantry, featuring some wonderful Mornington Peninsula cheeses from Red Hill Cheese and Main Ridge Dairy, carefully selected and matched to premium Japanese sake. The first of these events was held on Monday 11th June, 2018, over the Queens Birthday weekend. A great turn out and wonderful to see so many people surprised and delighted by the pairing of sake and cheese. If you haven’t tried the two together, I highly recommend you give it a go! One of our favourite matches was the Hourai Irootoko Junmai Daiginjō paired with Granny’s Blue from Red Hill Cheese. Location: Red Hill Cellar & Pantry. 141 Shoreham Rd. Red Hill South, Victoria. For more information on upcoming events at this location, or events similar to these, please contact Sake Mistress.

Sake Tasting at The Boroughs for the Onsen of Japan book launch.

It was an honour to host a sake tasting at the launch of Onsen of Japan ~ the beautiful new book by Michelle Mackintosh and Steve Wide. The chosen sake for the evening was Gunma-izumi Junmai Ginjō Usumidori, which had a lovely earthiness and good umami ~ perfect for a cold Melbourne evening, and warmly received by the guests. The launch was held on June 26, 2018, at The Boroughs, 345 Lygon Street, Brunswick, Victoria.
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