Sake is a Japanese beverage made fermented from rice which is essentially a grain. This makes it more like a beer than a wine but Sake is not carbonated and its flavor is also very close to wine than to beer. But this does not mean that you can categorize it has a wine because it is quite different from it. Sake is not wine because it isn’t distilled and is also not related to anything like vodka, gin or other popular spirits like tequila.
The alcohol content of sake is also quite different from the rest of spirits. It has content of alcohol anywhere from 15% to 17% levels. Sake takes about 1 month minimum to be brewed. This period can get a bit longer for a variant of sake known as the ginjo-shu. After it is brewed, sake can take up to six months to be released for consumption, during this time the beverage ages.
Generally, sake is basically not aged, at least not beyond the 6 months mentioned above. It is also meant to be immediately consumed after you purchase it. If you still however keep it in a safe, dark and cold place, it can survive up to 6 – 12 months before it starts getting degraded and its flavor gets effected. There are however some exceptions as many sake are deliberately aged more than 6 months. But unlike wine and other spirits in the west, there is no such thing as vintage sake. To understand how dates work, if the sake was brewed in Japan, it would have the year 10 which is Heisei 10 basically meaning it was bottled in 1998. So if it has the numbers 9.4.23, the sake was bottled on the April 23, 1997. When buying a sake, you need to make sure that it was bottled in the last year. Sake needs to be kept in a very cold environment, so it has to be in a fridge when you are buying. If the sake you purchased wasn’t in a fridge, it cannot be fresh.
After you purchase your sake and decide to store it, you need to keep it away from light and store it in a cool place. Try to keep it mostly in the fridge. Although it isn’t absolutely necessary to keep it refrigerated all the time, it is an important thing to consider if you want to keep it fresh for a long time.
Sake may actually be better for your health when compared to other alcoholic drinks. Since it does not have sulfites in it and also is free from hangover causing congeners, you do not have to worry about your health beyond the point that alcohol still is present in it. Premium sake is also free from preservatives and additives to make it even better for your health.
Sake is extremely popular in Japan but has also made its presence felt in the western world. If you’re out there to try out new alcohol drinks, check it out.
What Does Sake Taste Like?