World’s youngest sake sommelier is 10 years old. Akane Niikura tastes sake and is certified to do so. Before you get angry, it’s not really a tasting or drinking issue. It’s more of a marketing issue. According majiroxmews, “There are six levels of rankings under the system devised by the Sake Study Institute (SSI). The test is entirely written. At 8 years of age, Akane passed the fifth level and became a celebrity. Television crews moved in, magazines and newspapers featured articles about her throughout Japan.”
Yes, it sounds wrong either way, and perhaps the testing should begin at 20 – the legal drinking age in Japan.