Do you have what it takes to make your own wine? Most likely not. But with this fancy gadget and a lower-than-average amount of skepticism, you might. Drink like Jesus did with the Miracle Machine: just add water, grape concentrate, yeast and a vaguely described "finishing powder" to impart that truly barrel-aged flavor without true barrel-aging.
The modestly named Miracle Machine is a household appliance with the capability of fermenting and age-flavoring fine wine within three days, for as little as $2 per bottle in materials. It's got a fairly elegant exterior, plastic but something you wouldn't resent for taking up counter space. The accompanying app lets you choose the type of wine you want to make and provides status information so that those of us too impatient for bread-baking can hold out long enough to reap the alcoholic bounty. Check out the project video:
The stunning new technology, which will apparently "change the wine industry forever," is championed by Kevin Boyer and Phillip James, two industry veterans with the chutzpah to bite the hand that feeds. They're a bit dodgy about both the ingredients and the specs, but they want you to know that they're for reals:
Obviously we're keeping the exact science under wraps, but we can tell you 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.
For example, while a digital refractometer measures the sugar content of the liquid during the fermentation process, 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 underneath the chamber, resonates effectively speeding up the flavor development of the wine. Each of these components, and others, are connected to an Arduino microcontroller that ensures the Miracle Machine is doing its job of making a fine wine of your creation in just a matter of days.
Ultrasonic transducer! Ceramic air-diffuser! These guys are going places. Probably SkyMall.
While this all might just be a veiled PR grab for the founders' custom wine company, the proposition is an interesting one. Similar projects have been proposed for beer (lowly drinkable that it is), but never wine. If their upcoming campaign goes well early buyers will be able to save tons on per-bottle cost... at the cost of variety, dependability, and exposure to cool wine labels. Not to mention the entirely mentionable start-up cost of buying a $500 machine to make your own $2 bottles of wine. Oops, I mentioned it.