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Coravin 1000 lets you have a glass of wine without popping the cork
The Coarvin 1000 allows you to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork
Remember the time you had a glass of your US$1,300 bottle of Chateau Latour Pauillac 2005, only to find that it had gone vinegary in the fridge when you went back for another a week later? We've all been there. Coravin, LLC of Burlington, Massachusetts makes having a glass from the dustier end of the wine rack a bit less expensive with its Coravin 1000 Wine Access System, which allows you to pour a glass out of a bottle without having to finish the lot, watching it go off, or even removing the cork.
Wine is a complicated beverage that needs care and time to mature; especially the upmarket reds. Properly bottled and stored, it’s in a fairly happy environment. However, once the cork is pulled, oxygen floods in and that sets up a series of chemical reactions that can turn a perfect vintage into cooking wine overnight. That’s no problem for a bottle that’s opened and finished over dinner or some vin ordinairie that’s notable for being so robust you can store it in a jerry can, but for finer varieties it can severely restrict when you can have a glass.
The Coravin 1000 gets around the whole oxidation problem by not popping the cork. This feat is accomplished with a needle, which is inserted through the foil capsule and the cork into the bottle. A flask in the Coravin 1000 then squirts a shot of argon gas into the bottle. Since argon is an inert gas, it doesn't affect the wine, but the pressure allows the wine to pour through the hollow needle without letting any air come back in. When the needle is removed, the cork expands to seal the hole and the wine can carry on maturing for years.
According to Coravin, the system doesn't just mean you can have a sip out of that bottle you bought in a fit of madness at an auction. It also means that guests can be served several different vintage wines in the one sitting, so those who don’t have a head for red wine don’t have to settle for the supermarket chardonnay. The company also sees the system as a way for restaurants to expand their cellars without hurting their profit margins and for wine tastings to be a bit more ambitious.
The Coravin 1000 is available now in the US for $299.
The video below introduces the Coravin system
About the Author
David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.
All articles by David Szondy
Great product. I guess all of the new plastic corks and twist tops are "reserved" for the mid to lower end consumer wine, so that won't be an issue here (or will it?).
It is called oxidation. The only way to get vinegar is to add acetobacter which converts acid to vinegar. Where does one get a recharge of food grade argon gas? How many bottles will one charge empty? Why not use nitrogen?
Sulfite is added to wine in the amount needed to last a period of time. It will all lech out in time leaving the wine vulnerable to oxidation.
Or you could buy Savino...
I'm sure it won't take long before someone reverses the system, allowing the unscrupulous to decant a bottle then replace the contents with wine from a goon sack. Fix the foil and presto, counterfeit wine.
Great for wine snobs and their bars but if the wine industry was a little less stuck on tradition the aluminized plastic bag in a box wine dispenser would have taken care of it years ago.
"Remember the time you had a glass of your US$1,300 bottle of Chateau Latour Pauillac 2005, only to find that it had gone vinegary in the fridge when you went back for another a week later? We've all been there. "
No we haven't.
Not that I'm likely to ever spend $1300 on a bottle of wine (you can get truly great wine for less than a tenth of that) but if I did, it would be for a very special occasion, and it wouldn't ever see the fridge!
If getting through a bottle in a day or two is truly a problem for you (again not me!) there are simple vacuum pump systems that work fine.
Mirmillion, Stelvin (screwtop) caps are on some pretty expensive drops right now and more will follow as they offer better security than cork (if you do have a Chateau Latour in your wine rack it would be nice to know it isn't already undrinkable!)
Vacuum pumps do not remove O2 from the rest of the air molecules. The vacuum can reduce spoilage but not oxidation.
Wine snobs many times drink the worst tasting wines and pay the most. The best wine is one that taste good to you at the best price. Price is never the best indicator. When you find that really good taste - the bottle will not see the inside of the refrigerator!
less air = less oxygen = less oxidation
"Vacuum pumps do not remove O2 from the rest of the air molecules."
I never suggested they did.
Less air, less oxygen, less oxidation.
We all remember the grade school experiment with the candle, bottle and boiled egg. When the flame burned out - the egg was sucked into the bottle. Was the oxygen totally burned up?
O2 makes up about 20% of air which is mostly nitrogen. When that flame burned out - there was still about 16% O2 in the bottle.
The point is - if anyone thinks the vacuum pump works - then pump away! Many containers of juice these days are topped up completely to get rid of any air space. Corks are not O2 proof which is why the screw top is gaining in popularity.
Don you are wrong again on what Stelvin caps do ... they are not "O2 proof" and not designed to be. Just like a cork they are designed to allow the wine to 'breathe' (and age) in a controlled fashion. Their chief advantage over cork is avoiding TCA or 'cork taint' which either is transferred from the cork itself or through the cork.
When you say "breathe" are you saying "Stelvin caps" breath out sulfite and breathe in O2?
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