Sake. It’s one of those rare drinks that can be enjoyed hot or cold. It’s also the oldest alcoholic beverage ever invented, stemming back to 4800BC. Originating in China, it is more commonly associated with Japan, where drinking the rice-based beverage is as common as wine in Italy.
Tokyo studio Nendo has now brought together the art of storing sake and sophisticated design. Sake Master, designed for Monozukuri Japan, provides proper long-term storage through detailed temperature controls that allow aficionados to enjoy the pleasure of experiencing the variation of flavours. Still at the concept stage, Nendo’s sake cellar combines three refrigeration compartments that keep the beverage chilled at an ideal -5°C to 15°C, with enough storage space to hold 36 mid-size 720ml bottles, and 16 large, 1800ml bottles. With the creation of dedicated bottle racks, the bottles can be stacked vertically or horizontally.
Antibacterial sheets on the inner walls mean that the environment is hygienic enough for storing open bottles. To minimize oxidation, the stainless steel exterior is defined by gradient apertures that mimic “namako walls,” traditional Japanese tiled walls that are often used on the exterior of sake breweries.
The elegant diamond grid of apertures double as intake and exhaust ports that remove heat efficiently. A motion sensor also triggers an LED to light up the interior with the wave of a hand, even when the doors are closed. Being able to see inside while the unit stays closed provides a view inside the refrigeration compartments without affecting the carefully calibrated temperatures. High humidity also helps prevent the cork from drying out.