Coravin: Keeping Wines Fresh Forever

How physics, mechanical engineering, nuclear power, and medical devices changed the world of wine.

I am not a wine aficionado, to say the least, but I enjoy an occasional glass or two. I must admit, however, that I find it very frustrating that if I don’t finish the bottle in one sitting, or certainly, within 24 hours, I find myself pouring it down the drain! That becomes pretty painful when considering price and quality.

A Fine Gadget for Fine Wine

When discussing my frustrations with a friend recently, he looked at me like I was a moron and asked “Haven’t you heard about Coravin?” Well, no, I’d never heard of Coravin at that time, but I’ve certainly learned a lot since then.

So, what is Coravin? It’s a device that inserts a needle into a bottle of wine, allowing you to enjoy its contents without removing the cork and, more importantly, without spoiling the rest of the bottle. Can you imagine? Every sip will taste as good as the first, you can enjoy multiple bottles at the same time, and never waste a single drop!

Just how does it work? You simply attach the device to a bottle by pressing the needle down through the capsule and cork. Next, a colored LED on top of the Coravin lights up, notifying you that it’s ready to pour. Then you tap a button on the device to select a full glass or a small taste. As you tip the bottle, the device dispenses the wine and, at the same time, pressurizes the bottles with argon gas that keeps the remaining contents perfectly fresh!

Wow, does this really work? While I have not tried the Coravin myself, the reviews are absolutely fantastic! So, yes, it works as advertised. The real question is whether it’s worth the price tag, which is just shy of $1,000 for the latest version, known as Model Eleven! Well, that’s for you to decide, but here’s a suggestion — if the cost is too much to bear, check out one of the earlier versions which may not be as technologically advanced as the latest model to hit the market, but only costs around $200!

 Pure Genius

Who came up with such a clever device? Most likely someone who shared a similar frustration as mine, had the smarts to fix it, and seized a market opportunity. It is none other than Greg Lambrecht, inventor, founder, and board member of Massachusetts-based Coravin. He has quite a track record and if anyone were to solve my dilemma, it surely would be him. He is also founder and executive director of Intrinsic Therapeutics, Inc. a medical device company with solutions for patients with spinal disorders.

Additionally, he is founder and board member of Viacor, Inc. another medical device company. Before all of these, he was VP of product development at Stryker, a global orthopedic implant company and held positions with Pfizer’s Medical Technology Group.

He holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A long list of patents bears his name in the fields of gynecology, general surgery, cardiology, and orthopedics. Whew! With a background like this, he certainly could be capable of tapping into an industry needing a miraculous solution. He did and he delivered.

Lambrecht’s idea was to converge his passion for wine with innovative technology to develop a product whereby he could enjoy glasses of wine without drinking or wasting the rest of the bottle. Years were spent fine-tuning his invention and 23 prototypes later, the Coravin System became what it is today. He and co-founder friend, Josh Makower, a successful entrepreneur and wine enthusiast, began building the company, eventually expanding into global markets.

When queried by Duncan Easton, Lambrecht explains why argon gas used in Coravin does not stop the development of wine, “Turns out argon does not freeze the evolution of wine. Much of the way wine develops in the bottle has nothing to do with oxygen, but rather slow chemical reactions between the acids, sugars, and water. If a bottle is stored appropriately on its side, the wine, even in a Coravined bottle, has the same exposure to the small amounts of oxygen that makes it through the cork. I think this is why even years out, Coravined wine is indistinguishable from brand new bottles — both evolve the same.”

About the Product

Here are key selling points describing the Coravin product including the sleek limited-edition version shown above:

  • Coravin is a user-friendly wine system that keeps bottled wine safe from oxidation, allowing it to continue aging naturally.
  • The Coravin wine needle is specially designed to be gentle on corks and pour wine both quickly and smoothly. It’s non-coring, fast pouring, and allows the cork to reseal and continue protecting the wine.
  • The clamp system’s unique design offers a generous, rubberized clamp area that is easy to use and fits snuggly around the bottle neck ensuring a secure hold and effortless pour.
  • A capsule-loading chamber creates the perfect amount of force for an airtight seal, ensuring no gas escapes.
  • Made of sturdy zinc with a classic finish, the base elegantly showcases the Coravin System in style.
  • The system comes with four Coravin Pure Capsules containing more than 99.99% pure argon gas to protect the remaining bottled wine from oxidation and pour up to 60 five-oz. glasses of wine.
  • Simply press the trigger to pressurize the bottle, and release to let wine pour out. The ergonomic handle and angled spout make wine pouring easy.

OK, I’m just about convinced to buy one of these. I think the investment might be well worth it considering all the wine I’ve thrown out and cried over. I’ll probably enjoy my wine a lot more knowing a cherished vintage can last longer, much longer. Here’s to Coravin, a wine connoisseur’s (and casual drinker like me) lifesaver!

Learn more about this little miracle at www.coravin.com and view a video of Lambrecht’s story below.