Mariko Tajiri, sake instructor, with participants of the sake class at Algonquin.

If you are a sake enthusiast, you should have been at the sake class on Jan. 27, where Mariko Tajiri introduced the class to exciting ways to pair sake with food.

Tajiri has been working with sake for over 10 years. She is an advanced sake professional and Wine and Spirit Education Trust level 3 sake educator.

The class was very hands-on and informative on the history of sake and the process of how the wine is made.

The course involved sake tasting, food pairings and tutorials on how to serve and store sake.

The grades of sake are determined by how much of the rice is used to make it polished. Junmai, ginjo and honjozo are some of the different grades of sake that were shown at the class.

“It was an opportunity to study a wine that is non-western,” said Maryam Elagraa, a water and waste water technician student, when asked why she decided to take the level 1 sake course.

Although sake started in Japan, it has become international with breweries in Canada producing it, said Tajiri.

“I learned about the polish levels; I didn’t know there were that many,” said Leah Chisholm, a sommelier student, of what she learned in the class.

It ended with students taking a test to determine if they had the passing grade to become level 1 certified.