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New technology launched to ‘taste wine without pulling the cork’

A new wine gadget, developed by US manufacturer Coravin, has been released allowing wine lovers to 'access any wine, any time, in any quantity' without ever removing the cork.

Coravin Wine Access System

The Coravin Wine Access System allows users to withdraw a desired quantity from a sealed bottle via a hollow needle that pierces the foil and cork. The remaining wine is then pressurised with Argon gas, long used for slowing oxidation. The cork reseals itself naturally, and the wine in the bottle continues to evolve as it would normally without exposure.  

Coravin inventor Greg Lambrecht, an MIT-educated engineer and medical device developer, refined the product over 13 years, testing various gases and pressures on samples drawn at different times from the same bottles.

‘I want to eradicate the phrase “too good to drink” from the English language,’ said Lambrecht, who typically has several bottles on the go for years.

‘I drank a bottle of 1961 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion with about 14 people over the course of four years’, he added.

‘It is absolutely unique. I’ve blind-tasted numerous wines (preserved using Coravin) and fresh samples, with sommeliers, Masters of Wine and other experts, and we could not detect any difference,’ said Charles Curtis MW, ex-Christie’s Hong Kong wine chief and Coravin advisory board member.

Curtis continued: ‘When a winemaker can’t tell the difference between a Coravin sample and a fresh sample of their own wine, that means it’s pretty much foolproof.’

Daniel Primack, director of London wine accessory retailer Around Wine, said a couple of clients had mentioned Coravin, but he has not tried it himself.

‘I’ve seen thousands of gadgets come and go, so I’d like to see how this system fares over time before I call it life-changing. But I have an open mind’, he said.

The US$299 Coravin 1000 System is currently being used in restaurants including New York’s Del Posto (co-owner Joe Bastianich is a Coravin investor), Eleven Madison Park and San Francisco’s Acquerella. 

Written by Maggie Rosen

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