Sake gone bad?
February 17, 2005 9:30 PM   Subscribe

How long does an open bottle of sake keep before it goes bad?

I have a ginormous bottle of Sake in the 'fridge. It's been there for 3 weeks now and it tastes a little funny. It's nothing a little heating up won't fix but I'm worried that I'm going to get sick or suffer negative consequences. Should I keep drinking it or toss it?
posted by tinamonster to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Consume within a few hours is best if you're a finely-tuned aesthete, within a few days and you really can't tell the difference if capped and refrigerated, and a week to 10 days if you're not too picky. Oxidation is the culprit. It won't hurt you, as far as I can tell. It just won't taste as the brewer intended. Pitch it out.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:19 PM on February 17, 2005

And I forget to say, yes, heating is the best way to keep it from tasting stale if you want to go on drinking it.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:23 PM on February 17, 2005

If you just opened it three weeks ago (and it wasn't too old to begin with) it should be fine; no negative consequences, unless you drink the whole bottle at one go. As to other age/time aspects:

"In general, sake is not aged (beyond the six month period mentioned), and is meant to be consumed soon after purchase. If kept cold and dark, it will last six months to a year without degradation in flavor. There are exceptions, as some sake is deliberately aged. There is no such thing as a vintage year in the sake world.

Be sure, then, to notice the bottling date on the label. If the sake was brewed in Japan, note that the year 10 (for Heisei 10) is 1998. So a sake with 9.4.23 would have been bottled on April 23, 1997. Avoid! Try to buy a sake bottled within the last year, at least. If you found it refrigerated, take one more sigh of relief. If not, it may not be totally fresh."

posted by ronin21 at 10:24 PM on February 17, 2005

I'm surprised they haven't started selling sake in boxes yet.
posted by Caviar at 10:01 AM on February 18, 2005

Wild guess: is it Gekkeikan brand, the most common "sake in a ginormous bottle" available in the States? She'll be right when heated (really the only way Gekkeikan is palatable in the first place anyway).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:04 AM on February 18, 2005

Thanks all.

planetkyoto: if this were good sake it wouldn't have sat in my 'fridge for 3 weeks. Unfortunately it's cheapo-six-dolla-for-about-a-gallon sake and it wasn't "good" to begin with.

I would never dream of heating up the good stuff. This kind is meant for warming the bones and it sounds like it'll serve its purpose well.

Ronin: Thanks for the info, esp. about bottling dates. I did not know that. Good info.

PST: Not Gekkeikan...Luckily. I have access to good japanese supermarkets so I have 1001 choices when it comes to cheapo sake. Gekkeikan is not palatable for me, even hot.
/sake snob
posted by tinamonster at 10:34 AM on February 18, 2005

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