09. 15. 2006
WinePod can help make great wine in the kitchen
All it takes to be a decent cook is a great cookbook, but fewer people are able to say that they can make great wines. There was a time when the majority of farmhouses made beers and wines for their own consumption, but after prohibition, the American household lost the magic touch due to excise tax law. Thanks to Jimmy Carter we're allowed to produce 100 gallons of wine per adult per year, and I think that it's high time we started to take advantage of it.
Making a quality wine is a long process before getting to the bottling stage. Everything must be sterilized with a surgeon's care, and the wine must be monitored constantly until it reaches barreling. Traditionally it has taken a lot of space, but after consulting with top winemakers and scientists, one company has scaled a vineyard’s production yard into a kitchen sized $2,000 appliance.
The company is named Provina, and they believe that winemaking should be easy for the aficionado. Their WinePod is essentially a 75 liter insulated aluminum vessel that incorporates grape presses and wireless networking to interface with custom WineDashboard management software on a desktop PC. Temperature, sugar, and pH sensors are all integrated to keep close tabs on the developing wine inside, and their WineCoach software walks the budding vintner through the process from start to finish with input from professionals.
Their system is automatic, but still requires creative input. There are many decisions that can be made to affect the final taste of the product. For example, when it's time to condition the wine with wood, there are two options: The WinePod will monitor the process internally as oak pieces are added, or the wine may be moved off to a traditional oak barrel. At the end of the long road there's the reward of anywhere from forty-eight to eighty bottles of fine wine bearing a personal label.
The WinePod was amazing breaking news early this year, but they are finally available. Sadly, new customers are still on a waiting list until April 2007, so shoot an email to customer service to be included in the next round of sales.
Props to the kids at Gizmag for their great piece on the WinePod.