Onkyo's Unique Wine Aging Process

Onkyo's Experiment Blends Music, Wine & Gaming Culture


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In the ever-evolving world of wine innovation, Japanese electronics company Onkyo has hit the headlines with a groundbreaking approach to wine maturation, using none other than the evocative soundtrack from the acclaimed video game, NieR: Automata. This fascinating blend of technology, gaming, and viticulture is not just a gimmick but a testament to the cultural impact of video games and their music.

Onkyo's wine venture comes in two distinct variants, aptly named 2B and 9S, after the iconic characters in NieR: Automata. For those unacquainted with the game, NieR: Automata, developed by the creative genius Yoko Taro for PlatinumGames and published by Square Enix in 2017, is set in a dystopian future where androids created by humans combat alien machines. The narrative follows the exploits of combat android 2B, scanner android 9S, and the mysterious prototype A2.

Labeling their wine range NieR Automata Ver1.1a, Onkyo employed an unconventional yet innovative method to mature the wine: attaching speakers directly to the barrels and playing specific tracks from the game's original soundtrack. This auditory infusion aims to imbue the wines with a unique character, influenced by the music's resonant frequencies and emotional depth.

The NieR soundtrack, celebrated since the game's release, was crafted by the talented composer Keiichi Okabe and his studio band Monaca. The soundtrack is renowned for its dynamic and immersive compositions, which adapt fluidly to the game's environment and scenarios. With haunting vocals by Emi Evans, who also lent her voice to the Dark Souls series, the music ranges from intense, action-driven pieces to serene, melodic tunes, creating an audio landscape that is as much a character in the game as the protagonists themselves.

Onkyo's experiment with wine maturation is not just an exercise in novelty. The two wine variants were exposed to different selections from the NieR: Automata soundtrack, each meticulously chosen to represent the essence of the characters 2B and 9S. The 2B variant features tracks such as "The Sound of the End," "Rebirth & Hope," "Girl's Memories," "Crumbling Lines (Ver1.1a)," and "Weight of the World/English Version (Ver1.1a)." These tracks are characterized by their dramatic and reflective tones, mirroring 2B's stoic and contemplative nature.

Conversely, the 9S wine variant resonates with tracks like "Widespread Disease," "City Ruins – Rays of Light," "Faltering Prayer – Dawn Breeze," "Copied City (Ver1.1a)," and "Weight of the World/English Version (Ver1.1a)." These selections convey a mix of curiosity, innocence, and underlying melancholy, encapsulating the character's journey throughout the game.

For wine enthusiasts and gamers alike, the opportunity to purchase these wines adds a tangible connection to the NieR: Automata experience. Priced at 12,000 Yen (approximately $76) per bottle, each purchase includes a specially designed glass featuring a 'lunar tear' motif, adding a touch of elegance and thematic consistency to the offering. Onkyo also hosted a wine tasting event at their Akihabara store, allowing attendees to immerse themselves in the full sensory experience of the NieR-inspired wines.

This intriguing intersection of music, gaming, and winemaking highlights the limitless potential for cross-industry creativity. It's a celebration of how deeply video games have permeated modern culture, influencing not just entertainment but also how we experience other aspects of life, such as the art of wine appreciation. Whether you're a connoisseur of fine wines or a devoted fan of NieR: Automata, this unique fusion offers a new way to engage with beloved media, making the act of sipping a glass of wine a moment of nostalgic and auditory delight.

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