The wine world has no shortage of gimmicks and poorly executed half-baked ideas based on pseudo-science. As such, I always approach any wine accessories with a healthy dose of skepticism. Those that truly prove to be effective and demonstrate their value over and over ultimately make it on here.
The Coravin wine preservation system is the most recent of these. This is an essential tool for any wine enthusiast. Before I had a Coravin I would take a chance on some of my most prized bottles of wine – half the time only to realize that I should have let the wine age longer. This is especially frustrating because a lot of my reserve wines are no longer in production as they were very small production batch wines, made by artisan wine makers who have since retired or left the wine making business all together. Some of them I bought when they were young, a bargain and if they are still available they have likely multiplied in price.
The Coravin system in fairly self explanatory. It has an Argon gas injection needle attached to a plunger. The needle effortlessly pierces the cork and allows you to extract a little wine while replacing it with inert gas, all the while without disturbing the cork. If you have a collection anything like mine, a Coravin would pay for itself in 2-3 uses easily and this is not an exaggeration by any stretch.
I have been evaluating a Coravin from one of my fellow winesnobs for over a year and finally decided to add one to my cellar. Here are some of my thoughts for your consideration:
- You must always keep the needle clean and sanitized. I rinsed/flushed the Coravin after every use. Before use, I took the needle off and dipped it in alcohol or SO2 solution (yes I used to make wine). If you keep using it without properly cleaning the needle, your wine will end up spoiling (turning to vinegar) as you introduce external contaminants and bacterial cultures.
- The gas cans do last a while. I used maybe two over a the course of a year. However it’s a good idea to keep extra handy.
- Don’t waste your Coravin serving out wine. Use it for checking up on a bottle. If you are going to be pouring multiple glasses of wine, you should consider opening and drinking the whole bottle or use a Vacuvin stopper to preserve it for a few more days or week.
- It is a well engineered, high quality product that should last a very long time. The one seen here is the Limited Edition II purchased off Amazon. There is a slightly lower priced model, however they all perform the same. No mater the model, I feel they are all worth having in your wine tool set. I have provided a link for you below if you are interested. If you use my links, I may get a small commission.