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How To Taste Wine Without Opening It

Coravin wine preservation system

This article may not be of much use to regular wine drinkers. Once you open that delicious bottle of Pinot, you've got to finish it. I mean, there are that many cases when you enjoy only one glass of wine, most of the time there are no leftovers. If there are, personally I would drink my wine the next day or use some when cooking risotto. But the point is, there is a way to preserve your wine for years after you taste it. Meet Coravin.

Coravin was created when the inventor's wife was pregnant. "Now he was stuck having to drink a whole bottle once he opened it or pour it down the drain once it went bad , but what he truly wanted was the perfect glass of wine. Determined to find a solution, he designed a device that would allow him to pour wine by the glass," says the Coravin website.

What is Coravin?

Coravin is a wine preservation system allowing you to pour wine without uncorking the bottle, so wine can stay fresh for a long period of time. The device uses a needle that gently pinches the cork and pure argon gas to fill in the space in the bottle instead of the wine you just poured. The natural cork reseals itself after the needle has been extracted. Oxygen never touches the wine, meaning your wine potentially can be stored in the cellar for years.

There are a few different Coravin systems designed specifically for wines with natural corks, screw caps and even sparkling wines. Coravin cannot be used with synthetic corks.

Check out the Coravin tutorial on how to use the device:

Do you need Coravin?

Coravin is quite pricey, so I would advise splurging on it only if you know it will be of use to you. Whether you're a wine professional, an industry worker or a wine enthusiast and a collector - go ahead. But if a single bottle of wine lasts you no more than three days, I say you won't need Coravin. Myself, I abused my old Coravin during wine tastings and clients' meetings where we had to present a large amount of different wines. If I present only one bottle to my client, I know that I will be finishing it at dinner, no need to use Coravin.

Main tips on how to use Coravin

  • The more you puncture the cork, the bigger chance even the best quality cork will not seal perfectly. Avoid using Coravin on the same bottles often.

  • Argon gas can potentially alter the aromas of the fragrant wines. Not all and not too much, but some people notice a change in nuances. If I open a Coravinned wine, I let it aerate a bit or decant.

  • Before using Coravin, make sure you remove all the oxygen from the needle by pressing the argon button. Otherwise it will end up inside the bottle.

  • After pulling out the needle, rotate the bottle to remoisture the cork. It will seal faster and prevent leakage and potential spoilage.

  • Don't rely on Coravin 100% of the time. This is not a perfect, flawless system. There is a learning curve as well.


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