Monica Samuels was awarded with the prestigious title of Sake Samurai in 2017. She used to be the Sake Ambassador for Southern Wines and Spirit from 2008 to 2014 and helped developed the WSET level 3 award Sake, which is a qualification that can be obtain following a course. She is also part of the American sommelier association since 2005. Before working in the sake industry, she worked in Marketing and entertaining firm. She also worked in Restaurants, where she was general manager at Sushi Samba in New York.
Growing up in a multicultural environment and being raised with a Japanese culture, planted the seed that would lead to an unshakeable interest in sake. She is originally from Los Angeles, her mother is Japanese and pushed her to learn the language. Despite she felt it like a punishment, today she is grateful towards her mother. . Her grand father worked in a Sake brewery which gave her the passion for it. She moved to New York in 2003 to meet her older sister and started working with Sake.
She is currently working at Vines connections as the sales manager of Sake in US. Vines connection is a company that imports Japanese Sake to USA, connecting suppliers and distributors.
The Sake Samurai Association
The Sake Samurai Association was established in 2004 as a junior council for the Japan Sake Brewers Association to protect sake and Japanese traditions at home and to promote them internationally. It has contributed to the increased popularity of sake and Japanese food overseas in recent years.