Lunch on a Wednesday afternoon might not seem like the ideal time to enjoy a 2008 Barolo. But with Coravin you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to taste a prized bottle.
I had my first experience with Coravin at that lunch, with founder and chairman Greg Lambrecht. As he poured me the wine, the excellent Vietti Barolo Castiglione, Greg shared how the Coravin was created out of a passion for wine and innovation.
With his successful career in medical device technology including numerous patents across several medical fields, Greg took a scientific approach to creating a pouring and preservation prototype. Taking its name from the Latin roots for heart and wine, the Coravin lets you pour from a bottle without uncorking it, keeping the remaining wine intact for an extended amount of time.
I’ll admit it – I was skeptical about the Coravin. It’s not often that a bottle of wine goes unfinished in my home after a day or two, and the price tag would give many people pause. But after my meeting with Greg I was convinced I needed a Coravin of my own.
The Coravin is attached to the top of an unopened wine bottle – no need to remove the foil. Pushing down the handle inserts a medical grade non-coring needle, which pierces the cork rather than removes it. To pour the wine just press the trigger and drop your hand. Compressed argon gas displaces the liquid, and the wine in the bottle is not exposed to oxygen. You can pour as much wine as you’d like – a sip, half glass, even a measurement to the milliliter.
When you’re finished, lift the handle to remove the needle. The cork will recompress against itself, and the bottle is totally sealed.
The Coravin may be used on bottles sealed with plastic corks, though they won’t reseal as well. It should not be used on screw caps.
Naturally, the Coravin is great if you just want a glass or half bottle. The reason I became convinced it is the tool for any serious wine fan is that it suddenly opens up every bottle in your collection to tasting.
Gone are the dilemmas of worrying if a bottle is too good to drink now, if it is too young, or if it has started to decline. Using the Coravin you can discover what is going on inside.
There are more exciting possibilities: have a vertical tasting, and then keep those bottles until the next vintage is released. Pair a half glass with each dinner course and keep the remaining wine for later. Taste a variety of wines before selecting one to open with guests.
That bottle of wine that has been sitting in your cellar but you’re not yet ready to part with it? The Coravin lets you take a guilt-free taste whenever you’d like.
I asked Greg how long a bottle can keep after using the Coravin, expecting to hear a figure in the months. His answer: nine years. At least that’s how long it has been so far with a bottle of wine he is still experimenting on.
The Coravin won’t just change how you preserve wine. It will change and maximize your wine experience at home.
The Coravin retails for $299, and comes with a standard needle, two capsules, wine bottle sleeve, storage base and needle clearing tool. Additional capsules are $10.95 for one and $29.95 for three. Each capsule lasts for 15 to 20 glasses of wine. For more information on Coravin or to purchase it online, visit www.coravin.com.