Wine gadgets — stuff like aerators, fridge-sized preservation systems, and wildly elaborate bottle openers — are generally worthy of suspicion, targeted toward wine hobbyists who are either too gullible to know better or too flush with disposable income to care. (If you’re tempted by this tiny $500 wine sarcophagus, perhaps I could interest you in several other items in the latest Skymall catalog?)

So it’s easy to be skeptical of the Coravin, a product launched last July that has been described by voices across the wine establishment as “transformational,” “revolutionary,” and “a threshold in the wine industry over which we have passed, and will never return.” Those are words that raise eyebrows — especially when they’re attached to something with a $300 price tag.