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LONDON (Kyodo) One of the largest-ever overseas sake-tasting events was held Tuesday in London to promote consumption of the drink in Europe.

The event was held as part of International Wine Challenge, one of the world’s largest wine-tasting events. A “Champion Sake” will be announced Sept. 2 after screening by 29 sake and wine experts.

During Tuesday’s event, 359 brands from 162 sake makers were sampled. The sake section was created in 2007 and the sake products on display have increased every year.

“It won’t take 10 years before supermarkets in Britain start selling Japanese sake,” said Sam Harrop, chairman of IWC.

However, Kenji Ichishima, coordinator of the event and president of sake maker Ichishima Shuzo, pointed out that the British market still remains largely untapped.

“Sake has penetrated more into the U.S. market, and we haven’t developed the British market yet,” Ichishima said.

Neeta Patel, a British wine expert who participated in the event, said she enjoyed the flavor of sake but found it a pity she can’t read the kanji on bottle labels.

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