How to Store and Handle Sake
To better enjoy the taste of Ozeki sake as it is intended, you need to follow a few rules that a lot of people don't know.
Sake tastes best when it's fresh.
Unlike wine, sake is perishable. It usually has no sulfites or preservatives. The rule of thumb is that an unopened bottle of sake is good for about 6 months after the bottling date on the label or cap.
In general, sake is not brewed to age like wine. It's more like beer in that sense. So, the sooner you consume it, the better tasting experience you'll enjoy.
Keep Sake in a cool place & out of light.
The heat will badly affect the taste and quality of the sake. Choose a storage area where the temperature stays below 68°F (20°C). If the sake is sold refrigerated, then store it in the fridge at home. Once opened, a sake should be kept in the fridge and consumed within days. Also, both sunlight and fluorescent light should be avoided to keep the taste of the sake intact.
When in doubt, warm the Sake to drink.
Once the flavor has changed, and you are not sure if it is still drinkable, then try warming the sake and enjoy it. If you cook, you can add the old sake to enhance the flavor of the dish. In fact, there are a lot of Japanese recipes which call for sake.