Have you ever opened a bottle of wine intending to drink a glass or two, only to find it spoiled after a few days in the fridge? We can definitely relate to that familiar story. Even if it didn’t spoil, it definitely lost its flavors and qualities after a short period.
Suppose you are a wine lover, a restaurant owner, or a winery owner. In that case, you know how important it is to preserve your wine correctly so that flavor doesn’t get lost, and the last glass of wine can taste as good as the first.
Imagine that you throw a party in your backyard or at home, and everyone wants to taste another type of wine. What will likely happen here is that you will open all your bottles but end up with lots of leftover wine that you will probably throw away. That is due to the oxidation process that happens immediately after you have opened a wine bottle. It’s a pity to throw your wine away, especially when it’s a rare or expensive one. Wine should be adequately treated. That is why we are going to dive deep into the wine world and all the information needed regarding wine preservation.
Which Coravin model suits you best?
This model is the least expensive of the Coravin products. If you are a wine enthusiast who likes to collect fine wines and wants to savor one glass at a time, this model is definitely worth your money.
In the box, you will find the Coravin Model Two and two Coravin capsules. Each capsule allows you to fill up to 15 glasses, depending on how you use them (hopefully, you learned to use them right, without wasting any gas).
This model is made of hard plastic with some metallic accents and a textured rubber grip for easy handling. You won’t find the smart clamps, but you have regular claps that hold the bottleneck tight so you can ensure a proper fit on any wine bottle. You get the lovely finishing touches because this is the premium model, not the regular one, so this is a nice add-on to take advantage of.
This is also the least expensive model. Thus, you can clearly see the reduced built quality versus the latest models on the market. However, the functionality is the same, regardless of the model you choose. If you are not bothered by the aesthetics and prefer the lower price (although it is still pricy), this model is perfect for at-home use and entertaining your guests.
Be very careful when you handle the needle, as it is not indestructible. Many people are screwing the needle too tight, and they don’t pay attention to the instructions. Thus, they soon get a broken needle that they have to replace with a new one.
What we like:
• Lowest price
• The rubber grip makes the system comfortable to hold and handle
• The metallic accents are elevating the aesthetics overall
• You get two argon capsules – the equivalent of 30 glasses of wine
• It is easy to work with
What could be improved:
• We would like to see more durable materials like stainless steel.
• You have to squeeze and align the clamps, which is an extra-step if you buy this model.
• Overall, it could look more aesthetically pleasing
Priced almost the same as Model Two, this model received a much-needed update that will make your experience more cohesive. Coravin introduced its Smart Clamp.
With Model Two, you had to physically squeeze the clamps into place after aligning your needle with the bottle top. That extra step is now completely gone.
The Smart Clamp doesn’t need squeezing and making sure the bottleneck is held correctly. Now, you just have to align the needle to the cork, and the system is ready to go.
If you want a more accessible experience in the same price range, we would recommend you go for this model instead of the previous one. Yes, the system is robust but made of plastic, and it doesn’t have the textured rubber grip or the metallic accents. That is because this is not the premium version. However, the Smart Clamp is definitely something that would ease your experience with the system and skip an unnecessary step.
Another plus is that you get two argon capsules and a Coravin screw cap. This allows you to tackle those bottles that come with metal or plastic caps, as the needle cannot be used on those. Just unscrew the metal cap and quickly replace it with the Coravin screw cap. That allows you to use the Coravin preservation system as you would usually do with a regular cork.
If you are on a budget and you don’t want to spend a fortune on a product like this, but you still want to enjoy the functionality, the Coravin model three is a good choice overall.
What we like:
• New and improved clamps – Smart Clamps allow you to skip a step
• Good price point – the same as Model Two Premium
• Easier to handle
• It comes with two argon capsules
• You also get a useful Coravin screw cap that replaces the metal or plastic corks so you can use the system on every wine bottle
What could be improved:
• More aesthetically pleasing design features
• More durable materials
Next up is Model Five, which is significantly “cooler” from the design point of view. Definitely, as step up from the previous models.
As usual, the Smart Clamps solve the attachment problem that you would experience with Model Two. With Model Five, you get a nice metal finish look that instantly elevates its appearance.
You also get a rubberized grip at the top for easier handling. It is more expensive than the previous model, but in this pack, you will receive three Coravin capsules and a Coravin screw cap. As we mentioned before – with Coravin systems, the functionality is the same for all models, only the extra features change. However, if you don’t mind the pricier option, this model looks and feels expensive.
The improved design might not appeal to everyone in the sense that it might not be worth the jump in price. On the other hand, you also get extra capsules and the useful screw cap in this bundle. We will let you be the judge here, but all we can say is that we like the subtle design upgrades.
What we like:
• Great design upgrade overall
• Rubberized grip
• Metal finish
• You get three Coravin capsules and a Coravin screw cap
What could be improved:
• For the small changes, the price increase is consistent.
If you are in for a fancy ride, we can finally say that the Model Six is indeed an elegant wine preservation system. With this model, you get three premium colors. We chose the red chrome finish, as it is the most beautiful in the collection.
You probably wonder what’s different from previous models. Well, there are a few advantages other than just the beautiful chrome finish that you can use.
First, Coravin got rid of the bulky plastic in favor of shiny metal. This time, you get a patterned grip that is both fancy and functional, as well as a meta spout instead of a plastic one. The patterned grip is rubberized, as usual, so it allows for easier handling. The metal spout is also a plus, as it cleans much easier than plastic, and it doesn’t retain smells.
In the pack, you will also get three Coravin capsules, two Coravin screw caps, and the best of all, a Coravin Case. The case is not only beautifully designed, but it allows you to take your Coravin with you anywhere in a safe manner. It goes without saying that you still have Smart Clamps on this model.
Overall, for a price increase of around $100, you get a great design, less plastic, three capsules, two screw caps, and a useful case. If you think that’s enough for you, we highly recommend making the upgrade. If not, keep in mind that functionality-wise, they essentially are all doing the same thing.
What we like:
• Beautiful color finishes (chrome)
• Patterned rubberized grip
• Metal spout
• Three Coravin capsules
• Two Coravin screw caps
• A beautiful case
What could be improved:
• This is not exactly something that could be improved, but our only concern is related to the price point
This one is the latest and greatest model. It can’t get better than this. Or can it? We shall see.
In the meantime, let’s talk about this fully automatic and connected model that can make your experience even more enjoyable. Efficiency is what stands out in using this model.
Firstly, it is entirely automated. You don’t need to apply tricks to save your argon from wasting too quickly, as this system automatically pours your wine without you touching anything. This will save you money in the long term by using less gas, or precisely the right amount for a perfect pour. It works by inserting the needle and simply tip it over. The rest of the work is done by the automated function.
Moreover, unlike the previous models, the Coravin Eleven shows you exactly how much gas you have left. This will definitely take away the guessing game. If you really want to save up some gas, you can switch between pour sizes with a simple press of a button.
It has an LED display that also tells you when to charge your system.
Another great feature is the light ring that shows you when it’s ready to pour by changing its color from blue to green.
You now have Bluetooth connectivity that you can use with the Coravin Moments App. Inside the app, you can view different statistics about the system, like how much gas you have left or how many pours you have in total. The app also gives you some insight into pairing different wines with foods, music, and so much more.
You will also find six Coravin capsules in the package, a display base for your Coravin Eleven, one Coravin Aerator, six Coravin screw caps, and a carry case. That is a lot in one package.
Yes, this is overall expensive; it is an investment that you need to think about. However, we believe that this time, the added features and connectivity can justify the price.
This Coravin model has everything you need. It is also an excellent gift for those of you who like technology and all the latest and greatest gadgets. We like that this is a complete package and you also get tons of accessories that you can use when you are enjoying your favorite wines.
What we like:
• Fully automatic pouring
• Smart technology that adjusts and saves gas
• Bluetooth connection to your phone via Coravin Moments App
• You can switch between pour sizes to save even more gas
• Light ring that changes color when the system is ready to pour wine
• Six capsules
• A display base
• A Coravin aerator
• Six Coravin screw caps
• A carry case for your Coravin
What could be improved:
• It is an expensive system
How does oxidation work?
Oxidation can often be perceived as bad, but it can actually be an essential process in winemaking. Long before you get to open your bottle, oxygen might have been used to unlock all sorts of flavors and colors that grapes have. It is also the ingredient that can unlock those secondary notes. This is called controlled oxidation. When a wine is exposed to air somewhere in the winemaking process, this triggers chemical reactions that can enrich and “open up” a wine. Pumping oxygen, open-tank fermentation, and other techniques of controlled oxidation are also used to age wine.
However, the problem occurs after you open your wine bottle. Yes, oxygen can open up the wine’s flavors and subtle notes, hence the abundance of decanters on the market. But you can’t entirely stop the oxidation process when you re-cork the bottle. It will continue to oxidize until it can literally turn into vinegar. Just as an apple left on the counter spoils fast due to its exposure to oxygen, your wine starts to lose flavor and become flat, lose its color, and eventually go bad.
Can I stop the oxidation process once I’ve opened a bottle?
When it comes to delaying the oxidation process, there are some solutions available. Gadgets like vacuums and stoppers are easy to find in-store or online. However, they can’t undo the process. Once you have opened the wine bottle, oxygen is inside, and it starts to chemically change your wine.
Vacuum pumps work by getting the oxygen out and sealing back the bottle, but they can only work for a few days to a week or two at best. However, tests have shown that although the wine doesn’t completely spoil or turn into vinegar, it still loses its qualities once oxygen is inside.
So how can you preserve your wines and prevent oxidation?
There is a way, and its name is Coravin. Today we will dive deep into this great wine preservation system that has gained a lot of popularity over the years.
What is Coravin?
In short, Coravin is an innovative wine preservation system that helps you access the wine without removing the cork. It was invented by Greg Lambrecht – the founder works in the field of medicine, and he is also an inventor in his field.
Broadly, Coravin works by piercing the cork with a needle. Thus, the cork stays intact and can reseal itself after you remove the system. The needles are made of stainless steel and have an ingenious non-stick coating that makes the insertion easy every time.
Coravin is an excellent solution if you want to enjoy a glass or two without opening the bottle and exposing your wine to the oxygen. Even if you are not a frequent wine drinker, think about preserving your wedding wine for years, opening it, and tasting the same flavors, body, and various notes that you love. It doesn’t matter if the bottle is worth $10 or $100. It is about the fact that you can preserve your favorite wines and save them forever. You will never waste another wine bottle ever again.
This ingenious system is revolutionizing the wine industry, helping wine lovers save their favorite wines and memories for years to come.
How to use Coravin?
This preservation system is very easy to use. There are basically three main steps: insert, tip, and pour. Here is the process, explained.
1. Before using it, slide the smart clamps all the way up. Then, twist the capsule cup off and insert the argon capsule. Screw it back on and align the Coravin system with the bottleneck – just like you would do with a corkscrew. Each capsule gives you up to 15 glasses of wine if it’s used properly and you try to prevent gas waste. We will talk about that and various other tips and tricks later.
2. Press down firmly until the needle is inside the bottle.
3. Tilt the bottle until the spout is lower than the base and press and release the handle quickly to release the wine. If the flow slows down, press the handle again. To stop the flow, tilt your bottle back up.
4. Remove the system by firmly pulling it up while holding the bottle.
Why is Coravin great for any wine lover?
It goes without saying, when you don’t have to open the whole wine bottle, the economics of pricy wine change. You can enjoy a single glass of that expensive wine that you have without committing to finishing it.
In restaurants, things are also starting to change for the better. Now, when you want to savor an unaffordable wine, you can get a sample thanks to this revolutionary technology that allows for proper wine preservation. The same goes for wineries and sommeliers who need to test and taste many samples at once.
In terms of taste, experts cannot detect any taste differences between the wine that was poured using Coravin, and the one that was opened by removing the cork. Many sommeliers and wine lovers tested Coravin and wrote about the pros and cons and the experience in general. Fortunately, they can agree that this is a great way to preserve your wine, one that doesn’t alter the taste, and can keep the oxygen away for a long time.
Coravin Tips & Tricks
Before showing you our favorite Coravin products, let’s talk about some useful tips and tricks to keep in mind that can improve your experience with this product, prolong its life, and help you use it to your advantage.
INCREASE THE LIFE OF YOUR GAS CAPSULES
This might come out as obvious, but there’s no need to use the Coravin system if you intend to drink the whole bottle. Many people don’t realize it, as they’ve gotten so used to using the system, but if you have half a bottle and you are confident that you want to finish it, just go ahead and unscrew the cork.
Another obvious advice, but one that is rather forgotten is not to use the Coravin system for your last glass. The system consumes more gas in order to extract the last sips of wine, so don’t waste your gas at all. Instead, unscrew your cork, just as you would do if you didn’t have this preservation system.
Pressing and holding the trigger also uses more gas. If you want to preserve the gas for as long as possible, use short presses instead. This will take a little longer to pour the wine, as it will come out slower, but in the end, what is the rush? Pressing it for a half a second at a time will save you some much-needed gas and will work just fine in the end.
Clean the needle using water
We know it’s tempting to push the trigger in order to clean the needle. Instead of wasting precious gas capsules, try running a small stream of water through the spout. Don’t submerge the system. Just hold the spout under the stream of water for a few seconds until you see water running through the needle. Now remove it from the water stream and quickly press the trigger for a second to eject all the moisture. You can also use the needle clearing tool (if you have one) to clean all the particles from the cork that might get stuck inside.
Mounting the argon capsule
The Coravin system punctures the capsule before it seals, so when you are changing your capsule or mounting a new one, work fast. Make sure you are quickly screwing it into place, as some of the gas might escape between the moment when it is punctured and the moment that is sealed into place. Work fast!
Check the needle
From time to time, check to see if the needle is locked tightly into place. You can lose gas if your needle is screwed in too loose, so make sure everything is nice and tight.
Remember, each argon capsule gives you 15 glasses of wine, so be mindful when you are using them. When you get to that last glass, pour your wine the old-fashioned way. Remove the cork and enjoy, as the Coravin system actually uses more gas to pump out the last glass.
Coravin review wrap-up
Stopping the wine oxidation process once it has been exposed to air was nearly impossible until recently when Coravin decided to think outside the box.
Coravin is not an essential tool for wine drinking. Still, it can really bring enormous benefits for wine lovers, collectors, wine businesses, and restaurants. If you find that you usually consume a bottle from the moment you open it, or you don’t have that many bottles you want to taste, you can live without this wine preservation system. However, if you usually end up throwing away your wine, or having many leftovers that eventually go bad, this product would definitely be something you could try.
There are several Coravin alternatives if you think investing in such a product doesn’t make sense to you. You could at least prolong your wine’s life by using a stopper or a vacuum pump to get out as much oxygen as possible.
We are not going to pretend that this is a product for everyone. It is an expensive product, and it can get even pricier depending on the model you choose. Nonetheless, if you collect fine wines and often want to sample them without unscrewing the cork, then you might want to start investing in a wine preservation system like Coravin.
We hope this review will help you decide what’s best for your needs, and we wish you fresh wine, always!