Fake sommelier pins sold online in Japan

Fake sommelier lapel pins replicating the official Japan Sommelier Association accreditation have been found sold online through auction sites in Japan despite being banned, the association has warned.

The Japan Sommelier Association has alerted restaurants to look out for unqualified individuals wearing fake lapel pins after it uncovered a man who had sold 38 fake pins for a total of ¥1.3 million (US$11,800) on an undisclosed auction site, reported Kyodo News Agency.

The association said over 100 fake lapel pins had been offered online over the past few years.

The lapel pin of a bunch of grapes is given to individuals by the association after they have passed qualification tests including written and tasting exams. The pins are prohibited being sold or borrowed, the association said.

“The qualification is not something you can buy and (the lapel pin) is not an item for a collection,” said Shinya Tasaki, the president of the association, who became the first Japanese winner of the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in 1995. “It’s disrespectful to those who were certified after their hard work,” he said.

Becoming a certified sommelier under the Japan Sommelier Association requires at least three years of work experience before taking a series of written and tasting exams.

The current number of sommeliers in Japan is said to be around 30,000, and 13,000 are women.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Rioja Masters 2019

Deadline : 1st August 2019

Champagne Masters 2019

Deadline : 12th August 2019

Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2019

View Results

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more