Is Coravin Worth It? For High Tech Wine Enthusiasts
How many times have we all enjoyed a glass of wine and then felt compelled to finish the bottle, so it doesn’t go to waste or cork the extra to return days later with vinegar? In 2013 the groundbreaking device was introduced to the wine market to help solve this problem. The Coravin Wine Preservation System allows you to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork or introducing oxygen. Voila! Have your glass of wine now and one that tastes the same even years later. With a price tag ranging from $100 to $650, is Coravin worth it?
Coravin definitely delivers on its promised results. If you use one properly, you can enjoy a bottle of wine one glass at a time over many days. So yes, we think getting a Coravin is worth it.
Its cost is a result of the technology used to create it and its exclusivity. It is the only way to pour wine and keep it preserved.
In this article, we will help you determine if purchasing a Coravin is right for you along with tips and background information.
Why a Coravin is Worth It
Reputable wine experts who have done blind tastings and studies based on science have all agreed that the Coravin does work for its designated purpose.
If you find yourself always polishing off any open bottle of wine then this device may not be for you. However, there are several scenarios or reasons that a Coravin will come in handy.
Below are some situations that you will benefit from having a Coravin (yet, there are many more):
- It is hard to know when a cellared wine has reached its peak and should be opened. Corvain allows you to sample a bottle to see how it is aging over the years without ruining the bottle. You now have a way to monitor a wine’s development over the years.
- If you and your partner want to have different wines for dinner it allows you both to enjoy what you please.
- Sweet or strong-flavored wines are sometimes hard to drink a lot of. Coravin lets you enjoy just a glass here and there as you desire.
- Coravin is great to compare wines. Try finding the difference in the same wine from different vintages or the same varietal from different regions. You can use it to train your palate on the key characteristics of varietals and how they are different from each other.
- If you like to take tasting notes on many wines, this makes life much easier and cuts down on wasting a lot of open bottles.
- It allows you to easily pair different wines with various courses of a meal.
- Enjoy hosting? You can allow friends to choose any glass of wine they prefer without opening many bottles.
- You are ending the night and want just one more glass of wine for a nightcap.
How a Coravin Works
Before answering is a Coravin worth it, it helps to understand how they work. A Coravin Preservation device Allows wine to be poured without removing the cork. It preserves the wine by preventing oxygen from entering the bottle.
A thin hollow needle is inserted into the cork that injects a heavy unreactive gas called argon into the bottle where wine is removed. In contrast to oxygen, Argon is chemically inactive and will not cause any changes in the wine
The tiny needle is the key to Coravin’s success. It can smoothly pass through a cork without displacing or destroying cork material. After removing the needle the cork will expand back to its prior shape and reseal the bottle.
Using a Coravin is a tremendously different experience than traditionally opening a bottle. Some people feel that using a Coravin is too mechanical and diminishes the ritual of wine opening.
It takes time to remove the capsule, screw in the wine opener, pop the cork, pour test, swirl, decant and all the activities that go into wine opening set a mood and focus on the wine.
We tend to think there is a time and purpose for both methods.
The founder and inventor of Coravin is Greg Lambrecht. He was an expert in creating extremely gentle and tremendously precise needles for pediatric chemotherapy.
His love of wine sparked the convergence of his knowledge of medical-grade needles and the creation of a never seen before wine preservation device.
Lambrecht found himself drinking alone when his wife was pregnant. The option of having to finish an entire bottle of wine or toss it down the drain was not feasible. There had to be a solution to enjoy a fresh glass of wine.
With determination, he began designing and prototyping a device that would allow a glass of wine to be poured without ruining the entire bottle.
The first Coravin Wine Preservation System was launched after eight years. Working with experts in the wine industry, Lambrecht conducted a test phase to ensure the device delivered on its claims.
Bottles were tested at 3 months, 6 months, one year, and 3 years after using the Coravin against fresh bottles of the same wines.
Blind tastings revealed that wines that were accessed with the Coravin wine preservation system tasted the same as if they had never been touched even years after. The business was started in 2011.
How to Use a Coravin
Using a Coravin is extremely easy. You insert the device into the cork, tilt, and pour.
Place the wine bottle on the counter. Line up the tool on top of the bottle and press the needle into the cork.
Tilt the bottle like you would pour an open bottle. Push the trigger on the Coravin. This will pressurize the bottle.
Then release the trigger and pour it into your glass. Tilt the bottle upright to stop pouring.
Pull the device straight up to remove the needle from the cork. The cork reseals itself and keeps oxygen out of your wine.
It only works to its full capacity on still wines that have natural corks.
It doesn’t always work with synthetic corks. Their material make-up doesn’t allow for the needle to always enter without damage and close back up to seal the bottle. You could end up with a tiny hole that will allow in air or leak out the wine.
Coravin will not work on sparkling wines. Although, we’ve read that Lambrecht is working on a solution for this!
Wines with Screw Caps
Many great wines today are enclosed with a screw cap rather than a traditional cork. Luckily, Coravin developed a preservation solution for this!
To use, remove the original wine screw cap and quickly replace it with the Coravin screw cap. Then continue to use the Coravin as you would with a regular cork enclosure.
Because there is no way around allowing some oxygen to enter the bottle when you switch caps the wine will not last as long as it would with a cork. The wine will only be preserved for about three months.
The silicone liner that allows the Coravin needle to be inserted can be punctured fifty times before it needs to be replaced.
Parts and Accessories
The Coravin has a few parts that can be changed or replaced. There are a few types of needles and argon capsules.
It is obvious that pouring wine through a tiny needle opening will take longer than pouring directly through the bottle.
The standard needle takes 21 – 25 seconds to pour. There is a Fast Pour Needle that fills your glass in 16-20 seconds. For older wines, there is an ultra-thin Vintage needle aimed to minimize sediment that takes 30-33 seconds to pour.
The Coravin capsule stored inside the device provides 100% ultra-pure argon gas. This replaces the extracted wine in the bottle preventing air exposure. One capsule will last for 2-3 bottles and needs to be replaced when empty.
Tips for Using a Coravin
Here is a list of some tips that will help you get the most out of your Coravin experience.
- Be sure to prime the device before inserting the needle into the wine by pressing the argon button. This will push out any oxygen and prevent it from entering the bottle along with the gas.
- If you are reusing the Coravin on a bottle that you have previously extracted from try to insert the needle a distance away from the previous puncture. You can remove the capsule to see where it was previously inserted. This will allow it to reseal easier.
- Proper storage for untouched bottles of wine tells us to keep them horizontal. This allows the liquid wine to keep the cork moist for a better long-term seal. Dry brittle corks will crack and allow bits of oxygen to seep in. That basic concept should be applied after you use the Coravin. Once you have removed the needle from the cork, place a finger over the punctured area and tilt the bottle upside down for a few seconds. Adding moisture to the cork will help the hole close up faster.
- After you have removed the Coravin and tipped the bottle leave it sitting upright for about 10 minutes to prevent wine from leaking before the cork has resealed. If you plan on drinking the entire wine in a few months you can leave it upright because the cork will not dry out in that amount of time.
- When you first get your Coravin home, try practicing on a few cheap bottles to get the right technique down that works for you.
- To ensure your Coravin continues to operate at optimal capacity be sure to rinse it with hot water after each use. Periodically clean your device with white vinegar to prevent any unwanted build-up. Coravin comes with a cleaning tool that can be used to remove cork particles that may get stuck in the system.
- Very old bottles with aged dry corks can easily crumble. Use the Coravin carefully no more than one to four times. Try using the vintage needle option that is thinner to accommodate for this.
- Some bottles produce a lot of sediment. This is easily stirred up and poured through the needle. Try inserting the needle with the bottle on its side. You may need to decant or filter your glass of wine once it is poured.
Having a way to enjoy a little at a time without spoiling is a tremendous technology to have on hand.
Even with a high price point, the Coravin is worth it for the right person and setting. Experts and science agree that it works.
Having a Coravin on hand will allow you to pour a glass of wine without removing the cork or damaging the wine. We hope you found this article on if Coravin is worth it useful.
If you decide to invest in a Coravin you will not be disappointed!
To living a full-bodied life,