By Sumitra on March 10th, 2014 Category: Tech
To use Miracle Machine, all you need to do is add the ingredients sachet to the bottle, choose the type and style of wine from a menu, add water and start the machine. Then, all you need to do is wait. Thankfully, the waiting period isn’t a pain – you don’t have to keep opening the bottle to check if the wine’s ready. Instead, you can connect the bottle to your smartphone, and an app will monitor the progress for you. It will alert you when the fermentation is complete (a process that takes about three days), and the wine is ready to consume.
Kevin Boyer, CEO of Customvine, is a sommelier who also founded the Boyanci winery in Napa Valley. Miracle Machine is his brainchild, in collaboration with Philip James, a British entrepreneur and founder of the wine site Lot18. “Just like a Bible miracle, it literally turns water into wine, with just the addition of a few ingredients in a fraction of the time and cost it would normally take,” said Boyer.
While the pair have preferred to keep the exact science behind the product ‘top secret’, they have provided a basic explanation. They said that the fermentation chamber uses electrical censors, 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, while an air-diffuser passes filtered air through a ‘micro-oxygenated’ channel. An ultrasonic transducer under the chamber can speed up the flavor and development of the wine.
Well, that’s a whole lot of technical mumbo-jumbo to me; I’m still stoked that this thing can produce wine in three days. And not just one kind of wine – you can choose between six styles including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Napa, Pinot Noir from Oregon, Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, a Tuscan blend from Italy and a red and white from Burgundy. Five to ten more styles will be added in the next three months. So far only a prototype has been made, but if the product can get enough funding, it is expected to go on sale later this year. The packaging will contain the Miracle Machine, grape concentrate, yeast and other sachets of ingredients.
Once you get the basic price of the unit out of the way, you’re basically going to be spending $2 on a bottle of wine with the Miracle Machine. It won’t last long though – only two weeks – because this wine is produced and bottled under air and not an inert gas. But hey, at $2 a bottle, who’s complaining?