Tasting wine without pulling the cork

The Coravin is a new invention that enables you to taste a wine without actually opening the bottle (as long as it’s cork sealed). A hollow needle is inserted through the cork and wine drawn out of the bottle. Argon gas replaces the wine you took out.

The makers reckon you can sip and enjoy your wine without having to commit to drinking the entire bottle. They suggest you can explore your collection, bottle by bottle, and come back to them later.

They also suggest you can use the system for wine and food pairing: “We’re having fish for dinner, but oh, wait, this wine isn’t so good with the fish, so let’s try another.” They also encourage us to compare vintages of the same wine this way.

Well, forgive me for being a sceptic, but it seems to me that once you start tampering with wine it’s never going to be the same. I’m not convinced argon or any other gas can replace wine without being deleterious to the wine that remains. Or that the cork isn’t compromised by being skewered.

If you’ve been sampling your wines for years, the integrity of your entire cellar could be questioned. And as most Australian wine is screwcapped, Coravin’s use in this country is limited. If you want to have a play, it’ll cost you US$299. Go to www.coravin.com.

The founder says Coravin will change the way we enjoy wine. Well, I’ll be happy to eat my words if I’m proven wrong.


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