Aging Your Own Wine? Here's How

A new machine promises to dehydrate and age your wine faster — how does it work?

How to dehydrate wine.

One of the enemies of the wine lover is time. The greatest wines in the world are meant to be aged, to be given the time to allow oxygen, and who knows what else, to work their magic on young wine. The edges smooth out, the texture turns silky, flavors gain nuance, depth, and complexity. It's magic in the bottle, though nobody can fully explain what happens in that bottle.

While wine lovers tend to be a pretty geeky crowd, I know that many (if not most) of us aren't nearly as interested in the how’s as we are in the what’s. Give us your finely aged wines and we'll be a bunch of happy campers. Of course, knowing which of your bottles are ready to drink, which are past peak, which need more time and which are just trashed is a mystery that can only be solved by pulling the cork and drinking the wine — until now!

We're thrilled to be the first to announce a new, groundbreaking technique for wine lovers: AmmazzaVino vacuum dehydration storage! AmmazzaVino founder and CEO Gianni Brunellopolis sat down with me recently to discuss the advantages of AmmazzaVino, and how it's going to revolutionize the wine collecting world.

The Details

Simply put, AmmazzaVino removes the water and alcohol solution from your wine, leaving you with a small envelope of wine crystals to store. As you can imagine, this cuts down on the potential storage costs you might incur while aging your wine, but more importantly it gives you the flexibility of enjoying your wine at peak maturity whenever you want to! The patented process involves uncorking your favorite bottle of wine and plugging the compact AmmazzaVino machine into the bottle neck. The magic starts as the machine creates a vacuum in the bottle, allowing the alcohol and water to evaporate into a convenient holding container, all at room temperature.

The water and alcohol return to liquid form within the AmmazzaVino container and are separated through a second round of evaporation into two storage containers. The beauty here is that while you can always save and reuse the respective water and alcohol to rebuild your wine, they are simply pure water and alcohol, meaning that you can rebuild your wine anywhere, anytime with some spring water and vodka! It gets even better, you can adjust your wine with one of AmmazzaVino's Plus Packets to add a few points to your wines’ ratings. Plus Packets come in 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 point denominations, allowing you to add just as many points to your wine as you need. It's revolutionary!

Testing and Tweaking

As for your wine crystals, you’re welcome to store them and drink it with abandon (whenever!), but why not run some tests to verify quality and do some tweaking? Just a few grains need to be added to one of the handy Defect Testers included without the AmmazzaVino machine. Seal the little envelope, break the vial, and shake. It's as simple as matching the color-coded chart to your sample. If it turns blue, it's corked. Red? It's oxidized. It'll turn mauve if it is an orange wine and green if it's been adulterated with glycol. If the powder passes the defect test, you're ready to store it away in a cool, dry place. Simple as that.

Ready to enjoy your wine? The wine in its powdered form has been inert since dehydration, so now you get to make sure the wine is perfect when you rehydrate it. The process is simple, almost like dehydrating the wine in reverse, but with a twist. As you're adding the water you can add in drops of liquid oxygen (a small tank is built into the AmmazzaVino machine). Oxygen tanks may sound intimidating, but it's a foolproof process; just dial in how many years of age you want the wine to show and the machinate automatically does the rest. You can even change the alcohol content of your wine. A simple turn of the dial gives you total control over alcohol, from 11 to 20 percent, another easy way to make your wine taste better!

Tasting Trade Secrets

If you're really into killer wine, you should check out the Plus Packets. I spoke with Gianni briefly about these little miracles, and while they are trade secrets, I did get him to open up a bit about some of what you can find in the packets — though the specific blends per point packets obviously have to remain a closely guarded secret. According to Gianni, some of the packets contain powdered Deglet Noor dates, harvested by virgins (Gianni admits this is mostly based on corporate superstition, but so far the practice is working, so they’ve kept it up).

Those dates are then blended with air-dried pulverized Nevers oak bonsai trees that were dry-farmed at over 10,000 feet in a cave on Mont Blanc; that’s combined with a hint of Acacia gum, the contents of a Kopi Luwak K-cup for the softest, silkiest tannins, and some Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves. As I mention before, the packets come in 1 through 5 point additions. Gianni did caution against recommending the 5 point Plus Packets to wine neophytes (their heads might explode), or diabetics, for more obvious clinical reasons.

I've gotten my AmmazzaVino machine and am just working out a few kinks. But the benefits seem to outweigh any hitches. For just $1,449.99 I'm not only saving a ton of space in my cellar, I'm getting ready to enjoy all of my wine at its peak. 2010 Grand Cru Burgundy, bring it on! Just like my microwave, the AmmazzaVino machine even comes with hand presets. I plug in Burgundy, 2010, $125, and it does all the work for me. And if I'm not happy I can go back and tweak the wine to sheer perfection — in no time at all.

What a great addition to every wine geek's cellar. Can you wait to get yours?

Related Stories
52 Wines for 2013 (Plus Holiday Picks)10 White Wines for Spring

— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth