OK so I will admit it, monitoring Twitter & other social media feeds are, for the most part, like listening to the whole world talking at once. Every now and then you “hear” something and it turns out to be interesting. The other day I heard “Coravin…drink wine without removing the #cork” and felt compelled to investigate. What I found was fascinating.
What is Coravin System for Wine?
Coravin System is an innovative new product used to pour a glass of wine without actually removing the cork. It was invented by Greg Lambrecht who was motivated, as are many inventors, by necessity.
His words explain it best:
The initial concept began out of necessity. My wife became pregnant and stopped drinking. I still wanted to enjoy great glasses of wine, but didn’t want to commit to whole bottles. I tried preservation systems, but found I still wasn’t able to drink what I wanted, when I wanted, without sacrifice. Each time, once the cork was pulled, oxidation started and I was locked into that bottle.
My dream was to magically pour wine from bottles without ever pulling the cork. The remaining wine could then go back in my cellar, so that I could enjoy it again, whenever I desired. What followed was a decade of development and testing until I had a system that delivered great glasses of wine, indistinguishable from untouched bottles, while never pulling the cork.
Your Coravin™ System will change the way you enjoy wine. It expands your opportunity to explore wines of any vintage, variety, winemaker, or wine growing region you desire, all by the glass. You now have the freedom to access any wine, any time, in any quantity you desire without ever pulling the cork. And you can go back to your favorites again and again, weeks or months later.
The concept came about as Mr. Lambrecht was designing a medical device to help patients with kidney failure. The wine device he created resembles a mechanical sci-fi mosquito, which is appropriate given the product’s original name was Wine Mosquito.
The idea is simple, attach the Coravin to a bottle of wine, push the stinger-like needle into the cork, an argon gas canister in the device pressurizes the wine allowing it to flow out of the bottle. You don’t need to remove the foil, or the cork, to access the wine. Argon is a harmless inert gas that is in the air we breathe.
When you are done, you pull the Coravin out of the bottle and the cork closes around the opening where the needle had been and the wine continues to age as normal. No oxygen reaches the wine, no spoilage, no post-consumption sealing problems because the cork never left the bottle. It’s easy to use and allows you to access multiple bottles at a time.
It is a product that can be beneficial to an everyday wine lover or a wine related business.
Wine Lover Benefits
With the Coravin, a wine collector could pour just a few ounces of an aging wine to see whether or not it’s ready to drink, without emptying the entirety of a rare and valuable bottle. You could also explore your collection glass by glass, noting subtle changes in the wine’s evolution without committing to any bottle or wasting a drop.
A couple could each drink different wine with dinner with no pressure or worry about needing to consume those wines in the next few days. You can be adventurous with your food and wine pairings, and compare vintages and varietals easily.
Wine Professional Benefits
Coravin would allow a restaurant or wine bar to expand their by the glass offerings to include the finest wines. With no oxidation, there is no risk of losing money on expensive wine bottles.
They could offer vertical/horizontal tastings or affordably pair wines with a multi-course dinner more easily. Eliminating the waste of oxidized wine saves money.
At $300 retail, this “opener” would probably not be the right tool for everyone, but price is not the only thing to consider before you buy.
The Coravin System works best with natural cork closures, including closures made of agglomerated or multi-piece natural cork and with foil capsules and wax sealed bottles. Glass closures or metal discs under a foil top will damage the Coravin Needle. If you are not sure, remove the foil to confirm the closure type before using your Coravin.
With this in mind, problems would occur if you drink wine with screw top or metal closures and attempt to use Coravin. The system would not work well and would most likely be destroyed.
The company website also states that while Coravin will work with synthetic corks/closures, the non-natural materials will not likely reseal properly and will allow oxidation to occur. If you do use Coravin with a synthetic cork, the bottle must be stored upright to prevent leakage.
The Coravin System would also not replace a wine aerator or decanter. Since the wine is not being oxidized, bolder, younger wines would still need some form of aeration. This is where a top glass-by-glass aerator would work very well.
On the plus side, you would have no need for bottle sealers or vacuum pumps. Your wines will last longer, age properly and remain fresher using the Coravin System.
Whether it is right for you depends on the types of wine you most commonly drink. I am very intrigued by the Coravin product; I think it has great application for connoisseurs of fine wine and for those who serve or sell wine. I haven’t had a chance to evaluate the product yet, but when I do, I will publish the results here.