I’ve always thought one of the toughest parts about cellaring is having shitlloads of wine at your fingertips and not being able to drink them until they’re absolutely perfect. But what is perfect and when will you know?! What happens if you drink the wine too soon – it’s like murdering a child! Or what happens if you drink the wine after it’s passed it’s prime – it’s like trying to make-out with a senior, it’s lost all its vitality and it just tastes wrong! [sorry to all the seniors out there!]
What if I told you there was a miracle invention that allowed you to withdrawal wine from a bottle without taking its cork out. This means you can have a sneaky taste as the wine progresses through its ageing process. Furthermore – the wine that’s left inside the bottle won’t be exposed to the air and oxidise. Crazy, huh!
I’m not crazy because this invention already exists. [insert WOW sound effect]
For many wine geeks across the world who are already in on this mystical gadget, Coravin is something they’ve probably coveted from afar due to the high cost.
For these geeks, boy have I got news for you – CORAVIN NOW ALLOWS YOU TO REMOVE WINE FROM BOTTLES SEALED WITH A SCREWCAP (sorry for shouting – I got a bit excited then). This innovation is only available in Australia and new Zealand for the moment. It will launch elsewhere later in the year.
So how does it work?
A high strength needle pierces the cork (or the new Coravin screwcap – see picture) to draw out the wine. Inert argon gas is injected through this needle, which displaces the wine once you stop pressing the gas lever. Because there is a buildup of pressure inside the bottle, the wine flows through the needle and into your wine glass [see video].
How Coravin Works for Screwcaps
- Grab your favourite bottle of expensive wine that’s sealed with a screwcap
- Remove and discard existing screwcap
- Immediately replace with Coravin Screw Cap
- Push the hollow needle of the Coravin System through Coravin Screw Cap
- Continue to use Coravin as if it was bottled with a cork.
After pouring, remove the needle, and the cork (or Coravin Screw Cap) will re-seal to protect the wine from oxidation.
The verdict – it’s expensive – but so is wine spoilage
Coravin costs around US$300 or (AU$565) and the argon gas cylinder refills are US$26 for three cylinders (one cylinder is enough to displace about 15 glasses of wine). The Coravin Screw Caps can be bought in Australia in packs of six for circa $50AUD. The caps come in ‘standard’ and ‘large’ to cope with the two main screw cap sizes. If you love cellaring wine and want a sneaky peak of your wines as they age – it’s definitely a must have. Im still yet to be convinced the Coravin screwcaps are worth the money. If you have a sneaky taste of 12 bottles in your collection, that’s an outlay of $100 – and you can’t reuse those screwcaps until you finish the bottle of wine.
A mini revolution for restaurants and wine bars
Coravin is fast becoming the go to tool for sommeliers in the world’s top restaurants and wine bars. Really expensive bottle of wine are now being offered by the glass (I’ve seen wines being offered for $100-200/glass – ouch). Some restaurants are now offering every single bottle of wine of their lists by the glass. Furthermore, Coravin allows the restaurant patron to have a taste of the wine before they buy a full glass, to prove the wine is still sound. Now that’s what I call service!
Are wine counterfeiters using Coravin?
While Coravin is a boon for people wanting a sneaky peak at their wine, I’ve also been told by wine fraud experts that counterfeiters have been able to use Coravin for their own evil deeds. Although how they are doing this is news to me and Coravin, as they say it is impossible to use the system to pump wine back into a bottle.
For more details: www.coravin.com