The Instant Pot is an incredibly successful product. In fact, it's arguably the single most successful product in the history of Amazon.

It's not just that the you'll find the Instant Pot itself consistently among the top sellers; it's that it's spawned an entire industry of people, supporting smaller entrepreneurs around the world.

Heck, look up the top books or at least the top cookbooks on the site, and you'll see entry after entry about the Instant Pot.

When I started writing about the Instant Pot here on Inc.com a year or so ago, that's all I really knew: an interesting example of new technology and a really interesting marketing strategy.

In fact, as I wrote then, I'd "never even seen one of these things in real life. I'm just impressed by the sheer volume."

But then one of my editors said that my articles made her think of trying it--and it occurred to me then that maybe I ought to give it a shot, too. So, I bought one. And as my wife and I have used it over the past several months, I've realized two things. 

First, yes, it's an impressive kitchen appliance. 

Second, the hunk of metal, plastic and wires that make up an Instant Pot are only half the product. The other half is the community of literally millions of fellow users who band together in groups, share recipes, and in some cases, lovingly call themselves "potheads."

Indeed, you can find recipes for almost every kind of food for the Instant Pot.

But until recently, I hadn't seen a recipe for what some people might thing would be the most obvious thing to at least try to make. And the fact that we're doing this now tells me we've entered a new phase. 

In short, can you use your Instant Pot to make drinkable wine? The answer apparently is yes, and it comes to us via the blog Foodnservice, by David Murphy.

We're both Murphys, but we're not related as far as I know--although now I kind of wish we were. (By the way, hat tip to my colleagues at Scary Mommy, and their penchant for great headlines, without whom I would never have seen this: A Damn Genius Figured Out How To Make Wine In An Instant Pot.)

Ingredients: Welch's grape juice, sugar, a packet of wine yeast--and 48 hours to let the Instant Pot do its magic.

I haven't tried this myself, and I probably won't.

It's not that I don't like wine--actually, that's just it, I do like wine. I'm a little concerned about what this might taste like. Also, I'm not going to tie up the Instant Pot for two days.

Murphy insists that it's "drinkable," which I admit isn't setting the bar very high, but he adds it's "better than the [Two-Buck] Chuck from Trader Joe's!"

Regardless, before this turns into some kind of snobby Saveur magazine article, let's bring it back to the real world. 

Because whether you're a fan of food or entrepreneurship (or both!), I think there's a crucial lesson to be had here.

Whether you drink wine or not; whether you'd drink wine from an Instant Pot or not, you have to respect the passion this contraption attracts. 

Get you product right--whatever your product is--and work your tail off to attract that kind of dedicated following. If you can pull that off, it's hard to imagine any way you could fail.

But because I can't resist: As for me, I recommend using the Instant Pot to make really good, fast chicken tikka masala. Or else, it's also really good for bolognese.

Published on: Mar 4, 2018
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.