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.