Sonic Decanter Machine Uses Sound Waves to Make Wine Taste Expensive, So You Can Buy All the Cheap Bottles You Want

Have you ever tried a glass of fancy wine and instantly wished you hadn’t, because you know you’ll probably never be able to afford it again? Now you may never have to feel that way, thanks to a new machine that can reportedly make your average wine taste like an expensive vintage within minutes. Called the Sonic Decanter, the gadget apparently ages young wine by zapping your bottle with ultrasonic frequencies. Um… did we somehow just apparate into Hogwarts without me realizing? ‘Cause this seriously sounds like some life-changing magic.

According to its Kickstarter page, the Sonic Decanter uses ultrasound energy to change the molecular properties of red and white wines. The waves reportedly help soften the wine’s tannins, expel any taste-changing chemicals added for preservation, and accelerates its aging. The process, which only takes about 20 minutes, makes even cheaper wine taste smoother and more flavorful. In addition to making low-cost wines taste more expensive, the device, which can be controlled via a smartphone app, can also be used to restore the flavor of wines that have been open for a few days.

I know, I know — this all sounds way too good to be true. It’s almost like one of those infomercials with products that promise a 15-pound weight loss in just a week. So does it actually work? As is often the case, it really depends on your own personal preference. Reviewers at the Huffington Post and Gizmodo, who tested a prototype of the machine, both reported a favorable difference in the red wines, which they described as tasting “smoother” and less acidic after getting zapped. The tested white wines got more mixed reviews. The Huffington Post points out the machine made the wine warmer — definitely not what you want when drinking whites — and while some people noted “less bite” in the wines, most were put off by the temperature issue.

The Sonic Decanter recently surpassed its $85,000 goal on Kickstarter, so there’s always the possibility that these kinks will be worked out in future models of the machine, although there’s no guarantee. The finished product will set you back $250, which creator Mike Coyne markets as a long-term investment for those who buy the inexpensive stuff. Basically, if the machine can make your $10 bottle taste like a $20 one, that’s $10 you’re not spending every time you buy a bottle, which means you’ll earn your money back after only 25 bottles.

Whether or not you think it’s worth it depends on how seriously you take your wine. I’m not particularly discriminatory against most wines, so I think I’d just skip the $250 purchase and continue sporadically buying the cheap stuff that still tastes semi-decent. Hey, it’s been working for me so far!

The Sonic Decanter goes into production next year, and is expected to ship in May 2015.