How many ideas, DIY tutorials and nifty gadgets do you come upon while surfing the Internet each day? If you’re online the majority of your day like I am, it’s probably dozens. At least once every day I think to myself, “I wonder if that really works?” or “I should try that.”

Sometimes, I do try the ideas I come across. I’ve tested out single use water bottles to easily separate egg whites and yolks (it works), eating an apple in a new way to make its core disappear (it will blow your mind), and shining pots and pans with baking soda and peroxide (not an effective method).

Yahoo Tech likes to test things out, too, specifically gadgets on crowdsourcing sites. They try prototypes to decide whether it’s worth funding or buying the product. This week, they tested something called The Sonic Decanter. It’s a bucket you place wine in that ”generates ultrasonic energy in the form of sound waves at a frequency that’s above the range detected by the human ear.” Those sound waves are supposed to help soften the taste of the wine.

The device takes 20 minutes to sonically decant red wine and 15 minutes to sonically decant white wine. The cost? $250.

Yahoo Tech’s columnist Alyssa Bereznak found the device did indeed improve the taste of a bottle of Bogle, although she didn’t indicate which varietal she tested. I drink Bogle’s Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a really good $10-ish bottle, but it’s not one that I can open, pour a glass, and enjoy immediately. I know that aerating it before drinking it improves it greatly. It mellows it out and softens some of the intense flavors that are prevalent upon opening. So I believe that that if The Sonic Decanter does what it says it does, the wine Bereznak tested was more palatable after a little ultrasonic energy shaking it up.

I’d like to give this a try, but I don’t imagine I ever will. It’s the $250 that will stop me. But there are other ways to improve a decent $10-ish bottle of wine besides sonically decanting it. Here are some less expensive methods.

  • Open and let it breathe. By simply uncorking a bottle of wine and leaving it sit on the counter to breathe for an hour, the wine will open up.
  • Decant into a traditional glass decanter. Pour the bottle slowly into a decanter, allowing air to infuse into the wine. You can drink immediately, or allow it to sit for an additional 15 minutes or so to give it a little extra breathing time. I always see great decanters at yard sales and thrift stores for next to nothing.
  • Pour the wine into a regular glass, and then pour it into a wine glass. The extra pour will add some air.
  • Use an inexpensive aerator. There are devices that you can pour the wine through that cost anywhere from $15 to $30 that immediately aerate wine. I had one for a while, but it was plastic and it melted in the dishwasher once, even though I had put it in there many times.
  • Hyperdecant. This is an idea that I saw online that I gave a try. Pour wine into a blender and blend it on high for about 30 seconds. Or, as I discovered, use a stick blender instead and there’s less clean up and the wine doesn’t increase in temperature. I’ve found this is a great way to very quickly improve an inexpensive bottle of wine. This is my preferred way of using tech to decant wine.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Can’t afford a $250 Sonic Decanter? There are other ways to improve a bottle
Sonically decanting a bottle of wine sounds cool, but we have five other methods that will allow you to buy more wine.