August 14, 2013
Holy Grail or Gimmick – The Coravin Wine Access System
The Coravin Wine Access System is simply put either the Holy Grail of wine conservation or just another gimmick. Created by Greg Lambrecht, an inventor of medical devices, the Coravin allows wine to be accessed and served without introducing oxygen into the bottle. Oxygen is both boon to and bane of wine. Oxygen can be essential in the production of wine; yet once a bottle is opened, oxygen can quickly lead to a degradation of the wine inside. In the past, other methods of preserving opened bottles of wine have come up short. With Coravin, the bottle is never opened. Instead a needle-like device is inserted through the cork, next argon, an inert gas, is injected into the bottle to pressurize it and the wine can then be poured through the needle that is subsequently removed. The wine never has contact with oxygen until it leaves the bottle. For those who don’t want to drink an entire bottle at once, the system is ideal – according to the Coravin press release. Or perhaps it isn’t: frankly only time will tell. The recent market release of the Coravin sparked a roundtable of email conversation among the Wineaux at WineDineWithUs. What follows is an edited record of our back and forth.