01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Coravin - worth buying?


#1

I’m considering buying one of these. Read reviews and the manufacturer’s blurb but thought that the WS community would be the best place for some opinions.
One question that doesn’t seem to be covered is how long does it take to get a reasonable size amount in the glass.

Any advice would be gratefully received.


#2

Save your money and go big…


#3

Not thought of that, thanks.


#4

I purchased one a few years ago in the belief that I would chip my way through my wine rack one glass at a time. In all honesty I really can’t pick a fault with the device, the advice I would offer however is to be honest with the way you enjoy wine and question whether this will enhance that experience.

With all my original Coravin intentions, I still found myself enjoying the process of opening, decanting, letting it breathe, and quaffing wines with friends. The device has never taken the centre stage I expected it to in my house. I find the device useful for occasionally having a final glass toward the end of an evening rather than opening a bottle for the sake of it, or gradually quaffing a rare bottle - to the point that after 3-4 glasses you might as well open the bottle sometime soon anyway.

If you’re someone who likes to make notes on different wines, or likes to savour the same bottle over x years to make a comparison of development, or is going through a professional qualification then this is perfect.

Personally this device made me realise that I do not pocess the super-human skill just to enjoy one glass of wine either, and that when you want to enjoy a drop of something after a long week there is nothing better in this world than the sound of opening a bottle, and the noise of pouring yourself a glass or two :wink: - this simple and easy pleasure really is missing with the Coravin.


#5

With the standard needle it takes around 20 secs for a 125ml glass, though you can buy a faster pour needle which I’ve never used. I do find the Coravin useful, but I think it’s only really worth it if you spend a certain amount per bottle. I also wouldn’t use it on anything really old (even with the “vintage” needle) - used it on a bottle from the 70s and it just didn’t reseal at all.


#6

I also haven’t seen any reliable data on how the layer of argon might affect the way the wine ages in bottle, so would be a bit wary of using it on a very valuable bottle over a number of years.


#7

Thanks Mooble and Chin Chin. Thoughtful comments. I’m now thinking that if it was such a fantastic idea why hasn’t it taken off and spawned cheaper imitations.

Interesting comment about the older bottles, Mooble. Is that because the corks may be drier and don’t close up so easily?


#8

I use mine almost exclusively for sweet wine, including port, where it is always only a glass…


#9

I’ve had mine for 18 months and use it probably 3 - 4 times a week, the combination of small children and a wife who doesn’t drink red make it a game changer for me. I’m pretty good at having a glass a night of something decent and leaving it at that. The one leap I haven’t taken is that of returning bottles back into storage after drinking, I tend to keep a shelf of 10 - 12 bottles and stick with them till I finish them, then replenish. I’m just not sure if I trust the science ! Probably irrational. It does mean that most nights I can have 1 glass of a decent £20 - £50 red without waste or spoilage. Takes about 20 - 30 secs to pour a glass plus an additional minute or so to decide what red to go for.


#10

Thank you Akos and Thomas.

What is interesting is that no-one’s mentioned the cost of replacement capsules on the WS thread whereas the Amazon reviewers appear fixated on them.

Thanks to all for the insights - very though provoking.


#11

I’ve had mine since Christmas and a very good present it was too. I used it quite a lot with 100% success so far. The bottles I started in the festive holiday are since good now.

Only fail was a white burgundy which was already pre-oxed.

I think the capsules are £8 for 2, so I didn’t think that was prohibitive when you’ve already spent on the device and the wine isn’t cheap stuff or you would want to coravin it.


#12

Thanks, Russ. Can you always lie bottles down after extracting wine? If so, will the gas always cover the surface of the wine?


#13

Sorry I really don’t know. I have laid down most of the bottles in the belief this will keep the cork damp and sealed. Doubly important when there’s a new hole through the cork.
The gas will I suggest simply float to the ‘top’ or side of the bottle. A couple are still standing as i suspected I’d drink them soon, I would think if laying down is best long term.

I checked and there isn’t any seepage so the holes have reseated, hopefully


#14

From Jancis site…

“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 control - both evolve the same.’”


#15

Yes, worth buying. The cost of the capsules doesn’t concern me - I don’t use it all night every night. (Every now and then you’ll find a retailer with an offer on them, L&S or L&W had them half price a while back, so stock up…)
It’s great if two of you want just a glass of different things, or to try out small samples of three or four different bottles before deciding which to open.

For sure, it doesn’t replace a corkscrew. The sense of occasion lent by opening a bottle you’ve been waiting for, decanting, serving… you don’t really get that from a corvine. But for checking how things in the cellar are progressing without using a whole bottle (for most of us who don’t buy in multiple cases, this is a substantial benefit!), for tasting a range f things, and of course for just having a glass or two of something very nice; it’s a great tool to have. Recommended!


#16

Just to clarify, I have absolutely no regrets that I have purchased it. I also concur with the view that the price of capsules is not material in the context of the price of the wines one uses it for.


#17

I am very pleased with my Coravin, I’ve had it for over a year and have had bottles keep perfectly for all that time, I specifically opened one the day after I got it and kept it and it lasted perfectly for well over a year and then I finished the bottle!
I use it only for good wine.
I also give up on it at about 25% of the bottle to save wasting any more argon, and just remove the cork and drink it normally!
If you’re patient and don’t waste the argon by letting it do its work to the last drop the capsules seem to last a remarkable amount of time (especially if you give up for that lst 25%!) so the cost is not an issue.
I wouldn’t say I use it massively (I have a dozen or so bottles that are “open” with it at the moment) but it really is very good.


#18

I’d just like to thank everyone who has responded with so much thought and personal experiences.


#19

I am about to get Coravin Model 2 as a birthday present. My wife has been doing the research on it, and is looking at the Coravin website and Amazon - the latter is about £40 cheaper but as with all these things different bells and whistles are involved…

Main differences appear to be:

Bottle sleeve included with Coravin but not Amazon (this is presumably to stop it blowing up in my face :slight_smile: )

Carry case included with Amazon but not Coravin

Amazon has three needles, Coravin one.

Coravin includes a ‘free’ aereator.

Neither includes the base, but it didn’t look essential unless you want to leave it set up all the time?

Any thoughts as to the pros and cons of the above, and whether there are any must haves?

I am told that an order needs to be in tomorrow…so apologies for short notice and any help appreciated.


#20

I like the stand because it gives it a ‘home’ but it is not essential

The bottle-sleeve was nonsense because of one single event and even then probably a bottle issue, not the coravin, so I wouldn’t think of this as a plus.

Carry case? Are you planning on taking it around with you? What’s the law on “open carry” or Coravin in the UK :wink:

I’ve not used mine enough to need it, but I image the extra needles would be the biggest extra value for you.