Really, this sounds like something a wacko inventor would be pitching to Jimmy McGill in a scene from the show "Better Call Saul." It's called the Oak Bottle and claims to transform cheap wine or liquor into the extraordinary within a few hours.
No oak barrel involved. You just pour your beverage into the bottle and leave it there for two or more hours. Inside, the handsome wooden bottle is charred just like a barrel.
"Becoming a seasoned winemaker or experimental spirit distiller is closer than you may think with the help of the first for home-use, barrel-aging apparatus known as the Oak Bottle," reads the press release.
Question: Can you call something an apparatus that has no moving parts?
It does elevate, as in "taking cheap or average tasting options and elevating them to palette pleasing levels." There's more.
"A paltry Chardonnay, Merlot, or Cabernet can become a restaurant quality vintage, while the simple Whiskey, Brandy or Tequila becomes something rich and sip-worthy." That would be some kind of incredible magic. But a thrill only if you're a big fan of oak.
Does this mean you can take a bottle of $5 plonk, stick it in the Oak Bottle for the afternoon and by evening be sipping something so extraordinary you could fool your dinner guests into thinking it's a pedigreed Bordeaux? Unlikely.
Think of what you could do with six of these on the sideboard. Why spend $20 or $30 on a unique wine that's been painstakingly produced from grapes grown in a certain place and climate when you can lay on the oak in the comfort of your own home and make all your wines taste exactly the same?
Oak Bottle Creator Joel Paglione is convinced his invention has the potential to revolutionize the industry. "The sleek vessel works as an oak aging accelerator, adding subtle caramel notes, smoothness, and other oak traits to the liquid it holds."
It is kind of cute, made from white oak and banded with metal hoops, just like a regular barrel.
The website promises, "no more bulky barrels," as if we all had wine barrels getting in the way around the kitchen or living room. Actual winemakers probably would not be tempted to turn in their barrels for a fleet of Oak Bottles.
The Oak Bottle is $80, expensive enough that you better get a lot of use out of it, while an Oak Bottle Mini goes for $60. And if you want to splurge, you can order an Oak Bottle that will infuse the flavors of cherry, coffee, cinnamon, citrus, maple, smoke or vanilla for $90. Maybe a creative bartender could do something with that. A recipe book is $30.
A Kickstarter campaign is planned for later this month.
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