There’s still time to impress the oenophiles on your holiday gift list with 2013's most coveted wine toy: the Coravin 1000 Wine Access System. The latest in technology, it allows you to enjoy as much, or as little wine from a bottle as you like, without pulling the cork. Wine expert, Robert Parker, has endorsed it as, “...the most transformational and exciting new product for wine lovers that has been developed or invented in the last 30-plus years.”
Coravin is the brainchild of Greg Lambrecht, an inventor of medical devices, with a great love of wine. His goal was to devise a system where one could taste wine without committing to a whole bottle and still preserve the remainder.
Lambrecht’s design is as beautiful at as it is ingenious. Sleek, black and stainless steel, about 12' tall, it is meant to stand on a countertop. Its slender, hollow needle pushes through foil and cork into the wine. Argon, an inert gas, is released, pressurizing the bottle. This action pushes the wine back through the needle, so it can be poured into a glass with the flick of a button. View a video demonstration here.
The argon prevents oxygen from reaching the remaining wine, keeping it fresh. Cork's natural tendency to reseal itself does the rest. It is reported that bottles accessed this way show equally well six months after their first piercing.
The benefits of the system are far-reaching. In the home, wine enthusiasts will have more freedom to experiment with pairing dinners and vertical and horizontal tastings. Imagine the beauty of sparing half-used bottles from oxidizing and being poured down the drain. Retailers and wineries will be able to expand their wines by-the-glass selections, and to detect flawed bottles before serving them to customers. The system allows the flexibility to adapt tastings on the spur of the moment, making it easier educate customers on a wider range of wines without waste.
Available locally at Wally's Wines and Spirits 2107 Westwood Blvd. LA 90024, open Christmas Eve until 4 p.m. The Coravin sells for $299.99.