The Coravin in action, a video

coravin

Today I caught up with my buddy Daniel Primack of www.aroundwine.co.uk at a tasting. Rather excitingly, he had with him a Coravin. The Coravin isn’t yet available in the UK (there are a couple of them in the country, apparently), but will be from March. It has already been released in the USA, where it has created quite a stir.

What is the Coravin (www.? It’s a gadget for taking wine out of a bottle without introducing any oxygen. A needle pierces the capsule and cork, and by using the inert gas argon, it delivers a glass of wine, and then the needle can be removed, the cork reseals itself, and you can put the bottle back in your cellar. The remaining wine will continue developing as if nothing had happened.

This Coravin is an amazingly useful device, and it seems to work. I have lots of bottles that are almost too good to open. But if it were possible just to share a couple of glasses, then I would be more willing to enjoy the wine, knowing I’ll get another few cracks at the same bottle.

It will allow me to follow the evolution of a wine even if I only have one or two bottles. It will allow me to match food and wine better, without feeling guilty that I’ve popped three special bottles in an evening.

For restaurants, the utility is clear. You can offer serious wines by the glass, without having to commit a bottle to an expensive enomatic machine, which limits your offering, and which won’t keep a wine fresh for more than a few weeks.

I have seen a few reports on this from the USA, and some of them are focusing on the negatives: how a machine like this might be abused by the unscrupulous. But I see tremendous potential for this for collectors of fine wines and restaurants. It’s coming to the UK by Easter, and will cost £300. The argon capsules cost £10 each and are good for 15 glasses of wine, so this is a recurring expense. But for serious wines, it isn’t a problem. The only thing is that you can’t fly with these capsules (legally), so you won’t be able to take your Coravin with you when you travel.

I have some sympathy with the view that you should just pop the cork and enjoy the wine. Often, that’s a good philosophy to adhere to. But a Coravin will be a useful tool for most wine collectors and probably all restaurants that are serious about wine.

The video:

6 comments to The Coravin in action, a video

  • I was at a tasting yesterday, the Agent was using the Coravin for pouring samples from high end bottles, the gas cartridges was giving him less than 2 bottles at 1 oz pours, but it was wonderful to taste wines that had been first accessed several week ago and having them fresh and bright, many were 2003-5 Germany Rieslings…………… note he is from out of town and has to send his box of argon cartridges ahead by land transport as dangerous cargo.

    He is holding several half empty bottles of high end Barolo to see if they age the same as unopened bottles… the test to be complete in several years time….. he worries the smaller volume on it sediment may age differently than a full bottle…… all in all a very interesting tool for many parts of the trade as long as you don’t need to travel with it, but at some point I’m sure the cartridges will be available all over the world at most wine destinations and available for lower cost as they appear to be standard gas cartridges……… I took an empty and compared it to a CO2 cartridge and it had the same standard open end though was shorter (less gas) sell the razor (this one is not cheap) then make the money on the blades ;)

  • Ron Deering

    When will the price come down? At $300 plus it is just too costly!

  • Ron Deering

    Bring the price down.

  • Pieter Capiau

    I wonder whether and how you needto clean this device. The (presumably precious and probably delicate) wine is poured through some sort of tunnel, but I can imagine that residue of the wine will be left in that tunnel after using the Coravin. If it stays there, it will undoubtedly affect any future pourings (just like an unwashed glass). But perhaps I am too pessimistic.

    The price tag is (too) hefty in my opinion.

  • Steve

    How does USD$300 direct from Coravin, become UK$300? It’s only UK$186 direct conversion, so someone’s taking the piss with the UK market.

  • It’s very common to have something that is $1 (remember all US pricing is displayed without sales tax as it differs from state to state) in USA to be £1 here. Freight, duty, customs clearance charge, then VAT tend to lead to this. On the £300 price, this unit is aimed at people who think spending £200/£300 on a case of wine (12 bottles)is not a lot to spend on a drink.

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