A few of you intrepid 1WD readers have brought to my attention, in whoa-check-this-out-dude! fashion, the intrepid endeavors of foodie David Murphy, who recently blogged about using his popular-with-the-cool-kids Instant Pot to make wine from Welch’s Grape Juice.
I have some thoughts on this:
1. I admire the gumption, ingenuity, and persistence that Murphy displayed in making this Instant Pot wine thing actually happen. I mean, in a geeky, passionate, too-much-time-on-your-hands kind of way, this is brilliant and his tenacity and desire to learn and then put that learning into practice should be lauded.
2. No. Just… NO.
This is a bad idea for most wine lovers for many reasons, but for brevity’s sake I’m only going to focus on a couple of those reasons…
The process isn’t actually that simple.
Murphy’s instructions include what appear to be six-to-eight simple steps, but the steps are neither simple nor do they in reality number less than fifteen (that’s when I stopped counting). There are potentially serious safety implications involved in fermenting anything in a vessel (such as the Instant Pot) that isn’t built specifically for fermentation purposes (not to mention what this kind of activity would do to your device’s warranty). I mean, things can and do explode during fermentation (as someone who has previously home-brewed beer, I can attest to the potential dangers – and messes – associated with such activities).
The QPR on this activity is ridiculously, pathetically poor.
The ingredients you’ll need to make your own Instant Pot wine (not counting the Instant Pot itself, which will run you around $150) will cost you at least $25, without factoring in the cost in your personal effort (not an insane amount in this case) and time (quite a bit – check out how much waiting is involved as detailed in the instructions). Once effort and time come into the calculation, Instant Pot wine quickly loses its luster from a cost effectiveness standpoint. All of that work will net you about seven bottles of wine. Let’s be generous and say that your total cost in all of the above is something like $250. That comes out to just over $35 per bottle. You can buy a f*cking magical bottle of wine for that price point (that isn’t made from Welch’s).
Look, I’ve got nothing against the Instant Pot, and I admire the ingenuity and fun involved in this, but making wine in that thing should not be considered a viable alternative to buying quality wine.
I defy anyone reading this to produce Instant Pot wine that is better than a bottle of sub-$10 vino from Chile, Argentina, or Bulgaria. You go shopping for that stuff, and for your $200-$250, you’ll probably come home with at least two cases of decent juice for way less effort.