With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a sure bet that alcohol will be available in tempting quantities. And while it’s always fun to pop bottles with friends and family, it’s also important to know how to store different bottles when they’re given to you as gifts. Check out our tips for properly storing wine, spirits, and sake as you build and maintain your booze collection this holiday season.
Wine should be stored on its side in a cool, dark place to allow some liquid to be in contact with the cork. Most wines benefit from maturation but after being opened, they should be stored upright to reduce the risk of leakage. Wine can last for a period of hours to days depending on its age, storage temperature, and grape variety.
Spirits are much more forgiving than wine and can live almost forever. Generally speaking, spirits like gin, vodka, rum, etc. can last weeks or years, opened or unopened. They can be stored at any temperature, but ideally in a cool, dark place. Spirits can also be stored sideways as long as they are not enclosed with cork, which is usually the case.
In most cases, sake should be stored cold. Most sake consumed outside of Japan is pasteurized twice, but even though that means it’s more resistant to oxidation and will spoil more slowly, it should still be refrigerated. For long-term storage, sake should be stored upright so that there is less surface area exposed to micro-oxygenation than there would be if stored on its side. However, it’s not a problem to store sake for short periods on its side in a wine fridge. Bottles should be consumed within six to eighteen months of production.