It’s a wine opener. No, a wine preserver. Or maybe . . .

What about both in one? I just read about Coravin, an ingenious new device that enables the extraction of wine from a bottle without pulling the cork, while simultaneously preserving the bottle’s remaining contents. For those of us who keep a bottle going over several days, this tool sounds like progress.

The Boston Globe yesterday described how Greg Lambrecht’s quest for a better wine-saver solution led him to invent one himself. An M.I.T.-educated nuclear engineer and owner of a medical device manufacturer, Lambrecht figured out how to draw wine out through a needle that pierces the cork, and to introduce an inert gas – in this case, argon – to pressurize the bottle. With this system, the oxygen that causes wine to deteriorate never enters the bottle.

Starting this week the Coravin 1000 system, including two argon capsules, is available for sale on the company’s website.

But is it affordable or practical? The introductory model costs $299. Coravin can raise the standard for quality at restaurants and wine bars committed to serving only the freshest by-the-glass offerings. And it gives collectors an exciting new ability to sample from the same bottle repeatedly, over months or years, so they can experience aging in real time.

Yet the system doesn’t solve the oxidation problem for screw-cap bottles. And, until Lambrecht produces a cheaper model, most consumers will likely stick with a less-expensive wine-preservation option such as Vacu-Vin.

I’m delighted, though, that entrepreneurial drive and scientific know-how are being applied to improve the wine-drinking experience for us all. Thanks, Greg Lambrecht!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s