There’s no denying this is the year of the Instant Pot. From quickly cooked beans and entire roasts crisped up to perfection, to cakes, breads and yogurt, the latest kitchen tool seems to be able to handle any kind of recipe you throw at it — and all at a fraction of the time traditional cooking methods take. Well apparently that growing list of recipes also now includes wine.
David Murphy, a curious food and lifestyle blogger out in Pennsylvania, decided to challenge himself to some at-home wine making after an internet meme about turning grapes into wine with a slow cooker inspired him. “[I wanted] to see if it could be done,” Murphy says. “I used to laugh at it, until I took it as a personal challenge.”
So he did what any good food blogger would do and he got to work using grape juice, sugar and wine yeast. The end result? A drinkable wine with hints of cherries and chocolate that Murphy claims is better than some of the cheap brands that he’s gone out and bought in the past. And to think it all came to fruition in just 12 days.
To get started, Murphy basically mixed grape juice with sugar and half a packet of wine yeast, and then threw it all into his Instant Pot. He let that simmer on the yogurt setting’s low function for two days, rotating between an open and a closed valve to let all of the carbon dioxide release and allow the yeast to go to town on that sugar.
After two days of that, Murphy then transferred the liquid back into the original juice bottle, and made a makeshift air regulator out of tape and the lid (this prevents oxygen from ruining the wine). He let it all sit in a cool, dark place and, twelve days later, the bubbles from the carbon dioxide were gone. Murphy had himself a drinkable wine that was also approved by two taste-testing friends.
“Twelve days is a great time, but I would recommend adding on another week or two just to get even more flavour out of it,” Murphy now recommends. “[I would also] use an air regulator instead of tape and a loose lid. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one at the time but I do now.”
Still, to have a drinkable wine in less than a month is certainly an accomplishment. Most expensive, at-home kits take at least a month to finish fermentation and balance out that acidity, while most bottles require six months (and sometimes up to a year) of ageing so that the flavours can mellow out properly post-fermentation before hitting your palate.
Murphy owes it all to the quickened fermentation process that the Instant Pot accelerated. Given how successful his first batch was, he’s already in the process of making two more batches – one red and one white. He’s also been challenged to try and make a peach wine, which he says he’ll do in the near future.
“I love challenges,” he says. “I’ve also been challenged to make sake, vodka, and beer… Amazon is about to fall in love with me!”
I’ll be waiting with a glass at the ready.