Coravin was invented and developed by Greg Lambrecht, a medical equipment inventor. He was frustrated that he couldn’t enjoy his favourite wines during his wife’s pregnancy without worrying about having to finish the bottle before the wine oxidised. So he embarked on developing a way to take wine out of a bottle without removing the cork.
Coravin features a thin needle that passes through the cork, without damaging it or destroying the seal that protects the wine and helps it breathe. Using inert argon gas, the machine dispenses wine from the bottle, while protecting it from oxygen entering the bottle. The gas and system itself is not a preservative – the cork still acts as the preservation element.
Remember to flush the needle
The most important point when using Coravin is to ensure oxygen does not enter the bottle. When you press down on the handle to push the needle through the cork, unless you flush the needle from any oxygen that is in the needle you will be allowing small amounts of oxygen into the bottle. When the cork reseals it will stay in there and start to oxidise the wine so make sure you do this every time.
When we met with Coravin and discussed this at length they were adamant this is the one thing everyone forgets or takes for granted. It’s actually the most important thing to remember in order for the system to work as intended.
Press and release the button, don’t hold it down
The silver wine release button is your trigger to request wine and fire argon into the bottle and wine into the glass. Be aware you should not hold the button down. Doing this won’t help the wine come out faster or make the seal tighter. All it will do is make a hissing noise and waste gas as you tilt the machine upright.
To use it correctly, tilt the bottle to the correct angle, push the button normally and wait for the pour to finish. If you want more wine, push it again.
There was some concern that too much gas in the bottle could smash it. This happened in only a few isolated incidents and when Coravin investigated, it was down to very old bottles having much thinner glass.