A startup company has developed a corking idea to turn ordinary tap water into world-class wine without the need to cellar, pay through the nose or require the son of God to make it.
The aptly named Miracle Machine is a $499 bottle that accelerates the winemaking process by taking sachets of ingredients to produce a style of wine you desire in just three days. All you need to do is add water and follow the fermentation progress on a free app.
It was created by Napa Valley sommelier Kevin Boyer and wine website entrepreneur Philip James, who claim the device can make a wine that would normally cost more than $20 for just a couple of bucks.
There will be six styles of grape available including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and they expect to add five to 10 more styles over the next three months.
How it exactly works is being kept a secret, but its Kickstarter website explains the chamber uses an array of electrical sensors, transducers, heaters and pumps to provide a controlled environment for the primary and, as needed, secondary fermentation stages.
A digital refractometer measures the sugar content of the liquid during the fermentation process, and a custom-designed ceramic air diffuser pumps filtered air under a regulated micro-oxygenated environment, aerating the wine and thus softening the tannins.
Meanwhile, an ultrasonic transducer, positioned directly under the chamber, resonates, effectively speeding up the flavor development of the wine.
All of this will be beamed to your smartphone, so you know what’s going on and won’t have to constantly stare desperately into the bottle for it to give you a sign of being ready.
But will it be passable as a decent bit of plonk? To give the brews a bit more depth, there’s also a small sachet of finishing powder, which contains the oak and other flavors that will allow your wine to taste as if it has been aging for several months to a year.
But because it is being produced under air and not inert gas (like usual bottles of wine), it will only keep for up to two weeks. So you’ll have to drink it fairly swiftly. Oh, the pain.
Its makers hope it will be available later this year, but being a Kickstarter project, it will require funding before it will reach our grasp, and they are looking to raise enough cash to finish a run of 2,000 units.
We’re sure the French are spitting on the floor in disgust at the moment, but for us less fussy drinkers who can’t spare a few decades or spare cash to get a good drop, we’re popping with excitement over this DIY kit.