UK research and development company, Cambridge Consultants, has just revealed what is possibly the world’s craziest wine gadget. Vinfusion (pictured) is a device “that enables people to blend a glass of wine that’s been customised to their requirements”.
How does that work?
“Vinfusion itself is a series of pipes, pumps, sensors and controllers that are designed to sit below the counter of a high-end bar or in a rich person’s kitchen. Mounted into the table top is a tap that’s connected to a conical centrifuge that rolls down toward the pouring spout. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Sat beside the Vinfusion tap is a tablet with an app that lets you pick a wine to match your menu or customise one yourself. Should you opt for the latter, you’ll be shown three volume sliders that let you choose between light and full-bodied, soft and spicy, and sweetness. Each one is selected by drawing your finger left or right, and when you’ve made your selection, you hit the pour button.
Lurking inside Vinfusion’s guts are four reservoirs of red wine: a pinot noir, a shiraz, a merlot and a red muscat — a dessert wine that provides the sweetness. When the particular mix is determined, the liquid is pulled up into the centrifuge via four small nozzles in the lid. The mix is then spun around to be blended together and aerated in a nice piece of theatre before rolling down into the glass below.”
I’m all for the benefits of blending, but if I were to assemble my favourite pinot noir, merlot, shiraz and red muscat I cannot imagine how any combination of these wines would be better than a glass of each in its unsullied form.
I’d love to test drive a Vinfusion but don’t think that’s likely to happen. At this stage it’s just a prototype that needs serious commercial investment before it will fly. It seems destined to wind up in the archives of Cambridge Consultants alongside a tea machine that brewed “a stunning cup of tea” and Hoppier, a smart beer tap that produced dry-hopped ales in the style of an expresso machine.