Proper storage and handling are absolutely essential to enjoy sake at its best. Some sakes can be kept at room temperature, while other delicate types require refrigeration.
Storing temperature vs serving temperature
Storing temperature is different from the serving temperature. Sake that was previously stored in the refrigerator can be enjoyed at room temperature. Similarly, sake that was maintained at room temperature can be chilled and consumed. If you want to enjoy it chilled, put it in the refrigerator the night before.
Before opening, most sakes can be kept at room temperature in a dark place. Other delicate sakes such as nama, ginjo and daiginjo require more attention.
For nama sake, it is recommended to put it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Nama means “unpasteurized” in Japanese. Hence, in nama sake, microorganisms like yeasts are still alive, which means that there is a risk of flavour change. To keep its original taste, it should be stored in the refrigerator because microorganisms hibernate at temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
For ginjo and daiginjo, it is best to put it in the refrigerator, too. Although ginjo and daiginjo are fine if kept at room temperature because it has been pasteurized, some are relatively delicate, as its fragrant aroma and fruity flavour can change in higher temperatures. If your home or storage area is prone to warm temperatures, it is better to keep ginjo and daiginjo sake in the refrigerator.
When storing sake, avoid:
- Direct sunlight and fluorescent light; LED light is recommended
- Strong smells, as some sake can be affected by strong smells
- Places with extreme temperatures – dark and cool places are best
After opening the bottle, it is advisable to put it in the refrigerator – regardless of the type of sake.
Timeline for consumption
The timeline for consumption depends on the sake. A few days are safe. Some sake can stand for a week or more. A good rule of thumb is that nama is better to be consumed immediately because of its delicate characteristics.
If you feel the flavour of your sake is too “bright”, you can leave it for a few days. Quick ageing sometimes makes sake milder and tastier!
Do check out our sake selection at aeclub.com.my.