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Miracle Machine turns water into wine

This $499 ‘accelerated wine-making device’ produces the wine of your choice in three days after sachets of the required ingredients are mixed with water.

OUR CORRESPONDENT  New Delhi | 8th Mar 2014

start-up company based in California has developed a machine which can turn ordinary water into wine, without any intervention from Jesus, who, till date, was the only one believed to have performed that miracle. Ambitiously named Miracle Machine, this $499 "accelerated wine-making device" is the brainchild of Kevin Boyer and Philip James, a Napa Valley wine professional and a wine website entrepreneur, respectively. It is a table top appliance, which produces the wine of your choice in three days after sachets of the required ingredients are mixed with water. The progress of the fermentation process can be followed on a free app downloaded on your mobile.

The idea, the duo writes on their website, "came about after one too many glasses of wine over dinner, and a casual remark by Philip that 'Jesus made water into wine; with all the technology we have available today why can't we do the same?'"

The plan was to bring a higher level of science to winemaking, which is considered an art and often a closely guarded secret when it comes to the expensive variety. The two spoke to their friends in Silicon Valley and explored the possibility of accelerating the winemaking process using a low amount of heat and a computer controlled environment. The duo then looked into the chemical breakdown of some of the finest wines in the world to realise that just as the perfume industry is able to simulate smells, it is possible to replicate the delicate flavours of highly sought-after vintages. After 12 months of experimentation the Miracle Machine was born.

The grape concentrate, yeast, and the final sachet of ingredients can be bought through their website, http://themiraclemachine.net/, once they launch. Each kit will make a different type of wine. It will cost $2 to make a bottle of wine.

Initially six different types of wine can be made: "a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and rich Chardonnay from Napa Valley, a cool climate Pinot Noir from Oregon, an aged Tuscan blend from Italy, Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma, and a delicate red and a steely white from Burgundy." The number will go up to five to ten over the next three months.

At the heart of the Miracle Machine is the fermentation chamber, which uses 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; while a custom-designed ceramic air diffuser pumps filtered air into the regulated micro-oxygenated environment, aerating the wine and thus softening the tannins. An ultrasonic transducer, positioned directly under the chamber, resonates, letting the wine to develop its flavour. And all this can be tracked on your smartphone.

 
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