The rice wine, sake, originated in Japan. Most sakes are made to be consumed within a year of being made. After this time, the flavor and quality will begin to degrade.

Aging of Sake

After sake is made, it is usually aged for about six months. Unlike vintage wines, past this six-month period, regular sake is not aged any further. It is meant to be consumed soon after purchase.


Carefully read the producer’s label before buying. Purchase sake that has been bottled within the last year. Regular sake will normally keep its flavor for about a year to 15 months after its release date.


How long sake will stay fresh depends on how it is stored. Generally, sake kept away from light at a cool temperature will keep longer. The refrigerator is a good place to store sake. If sake turns darker in color, it has degraded.

Once Opened

Sake will not taste as good as when it was first opened. It is best to drink bottles right after opening, but it can be keep refrigerated if well corked for two weeks or more. Because sake has a lower acidity than wine, old sake will lose its crispness and will taste flat the longer it is around.