This Gadget Promises to Make Your Cheap Wine Taste Pricey

If your palate yearns for fancy Bordeaux but your wallet insists that you settle for Two-Buck Chuck, a new device called the Oak Bottle may be just the thing.
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If your palate yearns for fancy Bordeaux but your wallet insists that you settle for Two-Buck Chuck, the company behind a new device called the Oak Bottle has you squarely in its sights.

The Oak Bottle, billed as “the first for-home-use barrel-aging apparatus,” promises to make your “cheap or average-tasting” wine and spirits far more palatable by infusing them with an oaky flavor in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

“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,” a press release boasts.

How does the Oak Bottle, which the company says is portable, reusable and “made from 100% American white oak that's been handcrafted and charred just like the classic barrel,” work? Well, first you fill the bottle with water and wait awhile “to let the wood swell and seal itself.” Then you dump out the water and pour in your inexpensive, unimpressive wine or liquor, wait anywhere from two to 48 hours and — voila — enjoy something much oakier.

“The sleek vessel works as an oak aging accelerator, adding subtle caramel notes, smoothness, and other oak traits to the liquid it holds,” explains the company, founded by Joel Paglione, the “engineer, inventor, entrepreneur” who is also the driving force behind enterprises that make magnetic neckties (they’re reversible, too), T-shirts with necklines that are a cross between V-neck and crew, and a card that lets you lock and unlock your phone without entering your PIN, saving you “close to 52 hours every year.”

The Oak Bottle — which also comes in a mini size as well as in varieties infused with smoke, citrus, coffee, maple, vanilla, cinnamon, cherry and chocolate, providing flavors beyond the standard oak — is available in stores including Brookstone and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and you can order it directly from Paglione online. But turning crappy wine into less-crappy wine doesn’t come cheap: The bottles will set you back anywhere from $60 to $90. Guess you gotta spend to save.

Photo courtesy of Oak Bottle
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