Daily Archives: September 25, 2014

Saving Wine With Coravin: Is It Worth It?

I may or may not have mentioned it in prior stories, but there’s a wine stopping and preserving system that when used, can keep wine for up to a month … or longer. The stainless steel device is made by Coravin and cost a tidy $299. Is it worth it?

Alright, here’s the part where I once again state that I’m not a wine expert and don’t plan on playing one anytime soon. However, since my business is of the wine barrel persuasion, I do pay attention to what is happening in the world of wines.

Incredible invention

Greg Lambrecht is the Coravin inventor and entrepreneur who came up with this contraption that has silenced many gadget-phobes who usually cringe at such New World contrivance. The Coravin 1000 Wine Access System came out last year and although priced for only those serious about wine, the market obviously includes businesses such as restaurants who are opening bottles of wine all the time and forced to lose part of a very good bottle of wine or sell a whole bottle when maybe the customer wants just a glass.

Simply stated, the apparatus is set on top of a wine bottle and a surgical-style needle is plunged inside the cork and extracts the liquid while not allowing oxygen into the wine – the ultimate deathnell to any wine. The Coravin fills the empty space with Argon – an inert gas used to displace oxygen. Check out this quick 15 seconds demo here. By the way, the gas tubes last for several bottles of wine with the replacements running  $10.95 each.

Dating back to my classic car restoration days, I’m familiar with Argon which is commonly used used to weld. When I became involved in wine bottling, I learned it was shot into a bottle just before the wine was added, displacing some of the oxygen in the bottle. So the idea of this plunger adding argon into the bottle makes sense. Still, while the product initially swept everyone away, earlier this year, there was a recall due to the product exploding glass. Since then, they have added a protection sleeve to slip over the bottle prior to accessing the wine. And now, they also issue a warning.

Worth it?

The question is, is it worth the $300? For any sommelier, this gadget is priceless. Now you’re able to open a great bottle of wine and close it right back up after one glass. It’s been argued what or how long is the length of time one can actually reuse a bottle of wine before the acidic and vinegar taste starts permeating the wine. Some have said the technology doesn’t allow a bottle of wine to last more than a few weeks while others say wines have kept their taste for several months.

For wine connoisseurs and aficionados, Mr. Lambrecht’s piece of equipment will allow you to dabble through your cellar of wines without having to drink the entire bottle. Even if the wine does turn after weeks instead of months, just the fact that you could go a period of time after opening and still have the quality and taste of a just opened bottle, is likely worth the price of the unique device. As for the rest of us regular folks, we’re better off just drinking the whole bottle – hey, isn’t that what we do with ease anyway?

300 bucks is a lot of money, but if wine is what you are all about, then this Corazin appliance is a must have regardless of the price. And hey, the rest of you quit snickering about the fact that people don’t finish a bottle of wine right away after opening. Yea, you know who you are.

Additional source: Amazon.com

Daryle W. Hier