We’ve all gotten stuck in the middle of one internet craze or another. While we didn’t totally hate the unicorn and rainbow foods, other crazes (Nike swoosh eyebrows and the cinnamon challenge) were just total fails in 2018.
Other fails? Certain wine trends.
Sadly, most of the wine trends on this list were created to save a few dollars (and possibly scam your dinner guests).
The good news? You don’t need to have the net worth of Ellen DeGeneres to treat yo’self (and your friends) to some great wine. That’s why we’re not only listing wine fails in this post, but we’re also offering up a way to redeem some of these well-intentioned yet not-so-great ideas.
Instant Pot Wine
Sigh. Yes, this is a thing. The Instant Pot craze has officially gone out of control. People have been “aging” their own wines in them, too. Using grape juice.
OK, let’s get something clear: we’re no wine snobs. We drink plenty of wine in the $10 range. And yes, we have been known to drink (on occasion) that wine you can get at your favorite bargain organic grocer.
But, internet? This time you have gone too far.
While Instant Pot wine isn’t as awful as it could have been (home wine “cookers” claim it tastes like a bottle of table wine), it’s probably not the best use of your time, grape juice and Instant Pot.
Try This Instead
Use wine in your Instant Pot in recipes. There are so many great ways that the Instant Pot can be a force for good instead of mediocre. Like making this yummy chicken Marsala. Or, Julia Child’s beef bourguignon. Or, even red wine stewed pears. The possibilities are literally endless.
Just whatever you do, please don’t try to make actual wine in your Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Homemade Bubbly in a SodaStream
This is another tempting idea. You take a bottle of your favorite white wine (or red wine for that matter), pop it in the SodaStream and let carbon dioxide do its magic. Voila! Your favorite wine is now your favorite bubbly wine.
In the words of David Coulier in that famous Bay-Area TV show: cut it out.
There are so many reasons why this is not OK, but let’s just start with the most important: it’s super unsafe. Like letting Dave Coulier baby-sit your kids.
In fact, trying to carbonate your wine in your SodaStream can actually cause the bottle and the CO2 tank to eject from the base.
Try This Instead
OK, we’ve got two options for you here. One is better than the other. We’ll let you decide which one that is.
Option 1: head to Europe where SodaStream distributes Sparkling Gold, a wine syrup that will safely turn your water into bubbly wine.
Option 2: Save the hundreds of dollars you would spend on a plane ticket and purchase a great (but reasonably priced) prosecco or Riesling instead.
There’s also a rumor running around the mill that both SodaStream and Keurig are planning on releasing a special machine that will turn syrups into wine, beer and mixed drinks in the near future. Will they be any good? Only time and taste tests will tell.
“Aging” Wine With Fake Cellar Dust
We’ve all seen it: the cheap bottles of wine that are bottled in frosted glass, trying to look old. That old trick isn’t fooling anybody.
What’s worse is when someone covers a new bottle of wine with fake dust to make it looked old, aged and yes — expensive.
Try This Instead
Instead of trying to fool your guests by offering them dusty wine (or refilling old Evian bottles with tap water), try to splurge and save accordingly. Break out a bottle of nice bubbly before the meal and offer a moderately priced wine during the meal.
Or, offer a fancy Champagne cocktail during the appetizer course and encourage your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share during the meal.
Yes, we get that everyone is still reeling from the overindulgence of the holidays and trying to save a few dollars. But in addition to money, we’d also like you to save a bit of your sanity as well. If you have tried any of these zany at-home trends, send us an email and let us know how your experiments went.