Hyperaeration: A Better Way to Enjoy Wine
While enjoying a glass of wine one day, inventor and self-professed oenophile Taylor Hayden saw a need for a better way to aerate wine. Out of this experience came the Wine Shark, a wine hyperaerator that actively agitates wine to incorporate oxygen and make the wine taste better.
Hayden was inspired by Nathan Myhrvold’s cookbook, Modernist Cuisine. Some wine lovers, such as Myhrvold, suggest pulverizing wine in a high speed blender to aerate it, but others believe that chopping it so aggressively can destroy some of the flavor and complexity of the wine. Hayden liked the idea of hyperaeration, but as a wine connoisseur, he felt that pulverizing it was too harsh on great red wines. Thus, he was inspired to create an easier, more effective way to aerate his favorite wine using this principle.
Hayden was impressed by Enventys Partners’ ability to quickly design new consumer products, and the two partnered to design, prototype and engineer the Wine Shark.
The Enventys Partners engineering team began by testing a variety of blades at different RPMs. They used the Tormach Milling Center to control the speed of the blades and to test different geometries to find the perfect settings to maximize aeration and minimize foaming. An R/C boat propellor provided the highest dissolved oxygen content with the smallest amount of foam, so this propellor shape was used for subsequent prototypes.
Using an Epilog laser cutter to make a base, a Tamiya planetary gear module for the drive train, and a blade shaped like the boat propeller, Enventys Partners’ engineers created a pre-alpha, proof of concept model. This first model was designed to be a blender that would sit on the wine glass and spin at the correct speed.
While the engineers were creating a proof of concept, Enventys Partners’ industrial designers were hard at work perfecting the product’s design. After several rounds of design, Taylor decided he wanted the final product to be similar to a handheld blender. One of the handheld design concepts had a small bump in it that looked like a shark fin; Taylor was struck by this design, and the wine blender became the Wine Shark. The industrial designers improved this concept, giving the Wine Shark its aquatic shape and iconic shark dorsal fin.
Once the aesthetic design was complete, it was time for form to meet function in an alpha prototype. Enventys Partners’ engineers used the designers’ CAD files to package the motor, gears, battery and controls inside the shark shape. They also added a coil into the fin to allow it to be charged wirelessly, and designed a battery charging base for the device to sit in when not in use.
After the alpha prototype was complete, the Enventys Partners team moved immediately into the beta design. Lessons learned from the alpha prototype allowed the product development team to make the necessary adjustments to the internal shape of the body and integrate the new accent pieces.
After Enventys Partners completed the final, fully-functioning prototype, Hayden took to Kickstarter to launch the Wine Shark and raise the funds to move into production. The 31-day Kickstarter campaign raised $40,086 from 294 backers. After the successful crowdfunding campaign, Enventys Partners worked with factory partners to manage manufacturing, and also oversaw packaging design.