January 2006

The Open Bottle Syndrome

Posted by admin in 2006, January, Newsletter

A question often asked about sake is what happens when the bottle is opened. The simple answer is that it gets consumed. And that is the best and most simple way to preserve the true flavor. Oh I see. You mean what if you do not finish the bottle? Well considering that sake bottles are only 720ml compared to Wine bottles, which are 750ml this shouldn't be a problem. Oh I see. You mean what if you do not finish the entire bottle what happens to the remains? Well you could call me over! Herewith is a Top 10 List on what to expect when the party is over and the sake remains:

10) A "typical" sushi restaurant of let's say medium to lower grade will leave those large bottles of sake out on a counter for up to three weeks and still serve them to you! 
09) Sake is pasteurized and this reduces the degradation/oxidation effect by over 50 times that of sulfites (found in most Wines) when air has entered the bottle. 
08) One brewer in Japan puts carbon dioxide in their bottles to ensure that air never enters the bottle when bottling occurs. I don't know if this affects its open-air stamina but it is still pretty cool. 
07) The fridge is an open bottle of sake's best friend. 
06) Don't bother with the "Can-Oh-Airs" that your Wine buddies recommend for preserving your open bottle of sake. They don't work! 
05) Sake bottles don't use cork, and corks as porous as they are allow all sorts of air into the bottle in a refrigerator. 
04) Sake brewers once used Sulfites back in the "old days." This is done no longer and as such sake degradation can be spoken about in days rather than Wine's hours! (Those sake purists that say that it degrades faster than Wine be damned! 
03) Sometimes sake that has been opened and is in the fridge for a few days mellows out and actually drinks far better, as the acidity levels alter. 
02) Sake that has been opened actually gets smoother over time, sometimes at the risk of losing a little flavor, but never does it go grotti like Wine does. If it does taste a little below your standards then try warming it! (Let's see you do that with Wine) 
01) Said in my best Tony Sopprano accent: "Just drink the freakin bottle of sake, and if you don't...... don't wooooory about it..... toss it in the fridge and foughet about it.....drink it tomorrow, tree four days, next week.... Don't wooory about it"

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