Great wine is made to be enjoyed – but how often does half a bottle end up going to waste when you only want one glass? Coravin is a wine preservation system based on medical technology that allows you to pour, taste and drink in any quantity, at any time (without even opening the bottle).
Inventor and founder, Greg Lambrecht was inspired to create Coravin when his wife became pregnant. After falling in love with wine as a young man, Greg amassed a small collection of fine wines and found himself temporarily without a partner to share them with. “I tried other [wine] preservation systems but nothing allowed me to drink what I wanted, in the amount I wanted, without wastage,” says Greg. This motivated him to find a solution that would allow him to drink his favourite wines by the glass, without the rest of the bottle falling victim to oxidisation.
Leveraging his background in medicine and medical devices, Greg created a pouring system that uses a thin, hollow needle, allowing the drinker to pierce the cork and pour a controlled amount. Inert argon gas is pumped into the bottle, replacing the wine taken and forcing a steady stream of liquid through the needle. Once removed, the cork naturally reseals over the small puncture hole, preventing oxidisation.
Since launching in 2011, Coravin has changed the way the world drinks wine. Wine lovers now have the freedom to pour a sip or a glass and then preserve the rest of the bottle until next week (or even next year). “Whether someone is relaxing at the end of the day with a special glass of wine or pouring guests the wines they love rather than the wines that have already been opened, Coravin has given people the ability to unlock elevated wine-experiences every day,” says Greg.Initially designed for use exclusively with a cork closure, Coravin now has a screwcap accessory that allows preservation for up to three months after drinking. By replacing the original screwcap with a Coravin Screwcap the original system can be used in the exact same way; the needle punctures through the silicon opening in the accessory, sealing after removal. With this addition to the range, consumers can sample wines across a range of styles, varietals and origins, extending their shelf-life significantly after drinking.
The Coravin system has been praised for its potential in high-end restaurants and wine bars in particular. Now, customers are able to order by-the-glass pours of high-end wines previously only available in a full-bottle format. The system also has the capacity to elevate food and wine pairings and reduce wine-wastage by up to 100 per cent.
Greg commends his invention for giving him the opportunity to taste some truly remarkable bottles. "I had the unique privilege of being able to use Coravin to access and taste some rare 19th century wines that were discovered at a Czech castle,” he says. “Coravin was used to sample the contents of the bottles and ensure that what remained was perfectly preserved – among the wines we sampled was a Chateau d’Yquem from 1896 that was spectacular and so rich in history”.
The Coravin system is a must have for anyone with a passion for fine wine and cellaring and Greg sees its evolution continuing far into the future. “Right now, I am incredibly excited about Coravin Model Eleven. It is our first automatic and Bluetooth connected system,” Greg says. “Its LED display features intuitive icons that let you know when to charge your System or replace the Coravin Capsule. You can even optimise your argon gas usage by switching between pour-sizes at the press of a button. The light-ring changes from blue to green when the System is fully engaged in the bottle and ready to pour.”
*This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with Coravin.