DAY 1 - 10 JUNE 2024

The focus of this judges will be on the label, the shape of the bottle and any packaging, all of which contribute to the overall experience of experiencing sake. Design and fashion experts will judge the sophistication, attractiveness, and functionality of bottles, labels, caps, and boxes.
This will award the prize for "Best design"

DAY 1 - 10 JUNE 2024

The sake will be evaluated by expert sake sommeliers, by blind tasting, divided in the following categories:

  1. Junmai Daiginjo & Daiginjo
  2. Junmai Ginjo & Ginjo
  3. Junmai & Honjozo
  4. Special(Koshu, Nigori, Sparkling, Yuzushu sake, Umeshu)

DAY 2 - 11 JUNE 2024

In this competition each sake will be evaluated by blind tasting while pairing with 5 of the most famous Italian dishes and desserts.
This will award the prizes named "Best with..." for each of the 5 selected dishes

DAY 2 - 11 JUNE 2024

The Milan Sake Challenge 2024 sees the Consorzio del Prosciutto di San Daniele as food partner.

The tasting will be performed by official tasters of the Consorzio del Prosciutto di San Daniele.

The winners will receive a leg of Prosciutto di San Daniele (weighing approximately 10 kg), customized with the Sakagura logo.


🥇🥇🥇 Platinum
🥇🥇 Double Gold
🥇 Gold
🥈 Silver
🥉 Bronze



(Best pairing with):



🏅 Best new Sakagura
🏅 Best International Sakagura

General information

- Entry cost
Each sake enrolled will incur a 280 Euro entry fee.
Entry fee includes:

  • Judges' comments for each of the 3 Competition Sessions:
    - Tasting
    - Design
    - Food pairing.
  • Tasting notes translated into all available languages (Italian, Japanese, English, French)
    In addition, judges' comments for the food pairing category, will include specific names of other dishes (other than the 5 that are being tasted with) that would pair well with the specific sake.
  • All the organizational, judging and awarding costs.

- Payment method
Payment will be accepted by credit card only.
Please purchase the number of etiquettes you want to submit directly from this link
Payment and sake information must be submitted by January 15th, 2024.

- Sample bottles to be submitted
Two bottles per brand of sake (look * for exceptions) must be submitted.
The standard capacity of one bottle shall be 720ml.
If the bottle has a capacity of 500ml, 750ml, or 900ml, it is considered to be close to the standard capacity and does not need to be refilled.
For bottles with capacities other than the above, please refill bottles within the standard capacity.
*Please submit 3 bottles for the following entries.
∙ Sparkling sake (to be judged fresh after opening)
∙ 500 ml bottles

The producer is responsible for delivering the bottles intact and on time to the specified address. For shipments to Italy the producer is responsible for any customs fee and documentation required as well as any communication with the Italian customs office.

- Evaluation criteria
For the tasting competition the Sake Sommelliers will perform individual blind tasting using wine glasses.

Each sake will be evaluated on an absolute scale, not relative to other sake.
The scores from each judge will be averaged using application algorithm and the sake with the highest % scores will be awarded the prizes. We will strive to ensure the most fair and thorough evaluation possible for each sake.

For the food pairing competition the Chef, Buyers and sommeliers will perform blind tasting using wine glasses, in combination with 5 popular Italian dishes and desserts.

For the Prosciutto di San Daniele Special Prizes the evaluation will be performed by official tasters, certified by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di San Daniele.

For the design competition the evaluation will be conducted separately (one day earlier) from the tasting, by experts in design, fashion, style who will evaluate sophistication, attractiveness and functionality of bottles, labels, caps and boxes. 

- Application rules
All sake producers, distributors, exporters and importers are welcome to apply.
All types of sake are accepted.

  1. Junmai Daiginjo - Daiginjo
  2. Junmai Ginjo - Ginjo
  3. Junmai - Honjozo
  4. Special (Umeshu - Yuzushu - Nigori - Sparkling - Koshu (aged))
    (Aged sake category includes only sake aged for at least 3 years (blending of sake less than 3 years old is not allowed).

- Namazake (unpasteurized sake) is not allowed.

Nomination announcement
The results will be announced on the official website of the Milan Sake Challenge on July 2024.
The awards ceremony will be held in September in Milan.

- Deliverables to breweries
All breweries will receive the judges' comment notes (Tasting, Food Pairing, and Design) for all sake entered, regardless of whether or not they won an award.
Award-winning sake will receive a certificate of commendation.

In order to expand sales of award-winning sake, we will provide a source for printing official promotional materials (award-winning stickers, neck-hanging POP), as well as electronic data of award-winning medal designs and competition logo data (with restrictions on use).