Sake is not designed to be cellared for long periods. This is true for over 99% of sake produced in Japan.
For any sake that is ‘nama’ AKA unpasteurized, pop these in the fridge until you’re ready to drink them.
More delicate sake like some of the junmai ginjo and daiginjo classifications are best refrigerated.
Junmai and higher alcohol sake are more sturdy and should live happily in a cool dark place (out of the heat and strong light.)
We’ve tasted many sake in Australia that have changed in the bottle so much that they’re shot, become flat, lost their aromatics, lost their nuances, most likely as a result of poor storage/transportation which has sped up the aging process.
Our best advice is to buy sake regularly and drink it straight away or if you’re buying by the dozen, store in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place.
Sake once opened
Ideally, we recommend drinking a bottle of sake the same day it’s opened to enjoy sake at it’s best. Definitely drink within one week of opening.
An opened bottle of sake will oxidize, at a slower pace than wine, but enough for it to change in the bottle and eventually become bad. If you’ve left a bottle of sake in the fridge and you’ve only opened it once or twice it may still be drinkable but may not drinking well – the flavour will soften and go flat with time.
We recommend buying products like Winesave that fill your open sake bottle with a thin layer of argon to slow down the rate of oxidation.