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Review of the Coravin: Wine Preservation System

coravin2The Coravin wine preservation system will allow oenophiles a new way to save and preserve their fine wines that use natural cork, so they won’t have to drink the entire bottle or let their choice wines go to waste.  Being a techie-gadget kind of man, the Coravin WPS really appealed to my sensibilities.coravin4

To my mind, and most likely yours, the appearance and packaging of the Corovin WPS certainly speaks of luxury. The product’s design has the appearance of something conjured up by an inventive prop designer for the futuristic movie franchise “Blade” because it successfully merges an old world product (wine opener) with leading-edge technology. It’s a combo that offers advantages to both experienced and new oenophiles alike.

The Coravin, initially called the “Wine mosquito” was the vision of Greg Lambrecht. Mr. Lambrecht designs and develops a wide variety of medical devices and it was his application of his considerable mechanical engineering skills that resulted in the Coravin Wine Preservation System. His invention was literally born out of necessity when his wife became pregnant and abstained from alcoholic beverages. But Mr. Lambrecht still wanted to enjoy sipping some of his fine wines throughout her pregnancy without having to waste them, and so the Coravin was created.The Complete Coravin system comes with three different gauges ranging from 16-18. These needles are intended to offer a variety of capabilities. Generally speaking, using the Coravin to dispense wine ranges from 20 to 35 seconds per glass. The higher the gauge the slower the pour.

The Coravin is designed to work with wine bottles that use natural cork. Wines sealed with synthetic corks can be re-used, but these synthetic corks usually will not always reseal properly. Screw tops cannot be used with the Coravin product. It is also important to ensure that before using the Coravin that the top of the foil cap is completely removed to ensure that no metal discs or glass closures are below the foil top as they will damage the Coravin needle. coravin5

Although this is a rarity, some wine bottles may have slight inclusions or hairline fractures and should these defects be present the use of the Coravin may compromise the glass bottle’s integrity and it might break. This occurred a few times last year so Coravin now offers and recommends using a bottle sleeve to prevent potential injury, albeit these occurrences are rare. These events did not go unnoticed by the legal community; refer to 

I used the Coravin and for the most part had a good experience. I like the fact that it does preserve the wines very well. I know over time this product will improve and might alleviate some of my frustrations with using the Coravin. I’m mentioning a few of them here: First, securing the argon cartridges into the device caused me some concern because I could not easily tell if the cartridges were properly fitted in place or just simply empty. Normally each cartridge will support 15 pours. Ultimately, I will need to reorder cartridges and I want to be sure I have an ample and readily available supply of them. coravin3

I can definitely see the benefits of this device for both the avid home or professional wine collector. I will be attempting a wine-pairing dinner for my family next week. (If all goes well I will share the dishes and the pairing.) One thing is certain: I will make sure to select wines that have natural corks.  

As for the price of the device? Well, it is relatively expensive, most likely because it’s currently the only game in town, so this is understandable. I see this product as a perfect gift for my wine-loving friends and as a fine tool for the trade. I don’t think this device will be appreciated so much by the casual wine drinker. So I would give this product both a plus and a minus, which to my mind signifies only that the enjoyment of this product varies with the user’s situation and individual preferences. As far as I am concerned, the Coravin is a novel approach that helps people enjoy their wines by a method not offered before, so the Coravin is a novel approach to solving the problem of wine preservation, and I wonder what, if anything, will come next? 

ZAP 2015
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