How can I properly store sake? What is the average shelf life of sake? Why are sake bottles colored?

How can I properly store sake?

Japanese sake is very sensitive & delicate and there are NO added preservatives as compared to wine. The pasteurization process helps to deter the degradation (aging) of the sake.
The lack of preservatives in sake makes it vulnerable to change in response to factors such as light, temperature or exposure to air. There are two things to remember to preserve the taste of sake .

1: Do not store sake in a place where the temperature fluctuates.

It is better to keep it in a cool place.

2: Do not store sake in direct sunlight.

It is better to keep sake in a dark place.

 

Ordinarily, the refrigerator is the best place for storage. The best storage temperature is approximately 41 °F, but sake can be safely stored at temperatures under 59 °F. Sake comes without a cork, which helps preserve it from such factors as humidity and oxidation.

 

What is the average shelf life of sake?

Generally, sake should be consumed within about one year from the date the brewery releases it. An equally important factor is the method of storage. If the sake has been kept in the refrigerator (about 41°F) or in a dark and cool place, it is very realistic to expect that the sake could still be in good condition after 2 years or more (See How should one properly store sake.
However, once sake is opened, it ought to be consumed within in 2-3 weeks. Opened bottles should always be kept refrigerated.

 

Why are sake bottles colored?

You see many Japanese Sake bottles colored brown or green. Why? Sake is a very delicate, sensitive product. It is very vulnerable to factors such as light, temperature, or exposure to air. The green or brown colored bottle is a preventive measure proven to be helpful in fighting the deleterious effects of sun light.