A system developed in the USA by the inventor Greg Lambrecht to remove wine in small quantities from a sealed bottle without pulling the cork. This solves the problem of usually having to finish a bottle after opening it, as the wine can then lose quality in a relatively short time even after reclosing it. The large amount of air or oxygen in the bottle causes oxidative changes or, in the worst case, spoilage. Coravin is ideal for natural corks or pressed corks, but is only conditionally or poorly suitable for plastic corks. With regard to wine types, it should be noted that Coravin is suitable for all still wines, but not for sparkling wines(champagne, sparkling wine). However, these should not be stored after opening anyway, as they become stale relatively quickly.
The device is positioned on the cork and fixed to the neck of the bottle with cuffs on the sides. Now a hollow needle made of stainless steel is pushed through the cork without effort. There are different needle sizes with 0.96, with 1.2 and with 1.36 diameter - the thicker the needle, the faster the wine is removed. Especially with old, brittle corks, the thinnest needle is recommended in order not to clog the hollow point with cork residues. No hole is punched in the process. A few seconds after the needle is pulled out, the cork expands sufficiently at the pierced point so that no wine can penetrate to the outside and no air(oxygen) can penetrate to the inside, thus protecting the wine from oxidation.
After inserting the needle, argon is pumped through the needle by confirming a lever from a cartridge. The tasteless, colourless noble gas is the third most common component in the atmosphere after nitrogen and oxygen and does not react with wine. With each cartridge, up to fifteen glasses of wine (150 ml each) can be poured, which is enough for at least three bottles of wine of 0.75 litres each. The empty space created by pouring is replaced by argon. The resulting overpressure forces the wine through the thin cannula to the outside. The system allows a maximum overpressure of 1.52 bar. The manufacturer refers to numerous blind tastings in Europe and America as well as chemical analyses. These analyses have shown that even after a few weeks, no difference can be detected in the wine.
The Coravin system costs around 250 to 300 euros, a capsule 8 to 10 euros. So for private use it seems quite expensive. However, if someone has a larger wine stock or wine cellar, this can be an advantage. You can then check the development of a long-lasting wine by taking small quantities from time to time and then enjoy the bottle at the best possible time. In any case, Coravin is very well suited to the restaurant business. It can also be used to serve expensive crescents by the glass, something that is normally hardly possible in restaurants. There is also a Coravin screw cap in two sizes. These can be pierced up to 50 times with the Coravin system. Based on an average of 150 ml per glass, it is possible to serve about 10 bottles. The use of the Coravin system is explained clearly in this video (click to view). A much cheaper, but much less effective system is the wine condom. See also under closures and wine enjoyment.
Picture: © CORAVIN