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My Christmas Coravin, consumption up or down?

When asked by the family this year what I would like for Christmas, I realised that I have a massive stockpile of socks, handkerchiefs and pants from answering that question for a couple of decades. I mean, how many pairs of pants does a man need to enjoy his main hobby!

So my answer was a Coravin.

I know nothing about them (apart from review videos and their rather swish website), have the impression that they are rather a lot of money (but it’s not going to be mine this time), may cost as much to run as 5.0L Mustang (time will tell) and that I might well end up stabbing myself with that rather intimidating needle!

It’s the concept that I find fascinating. If I can actually have a glass of that monumentally expensive bottle that I have tucked away, or try something to see if I think it is ready (when the reviews are conflicting) or have a different glass of wine to my wife at dinner, then that could be a game-changer for me.

I am unsure if it will raise or lower my consumption? I don’t want to drink more than I do at the moment (for sensible health and weight reasons) and tend to go through a couple of bottles over the weekend and the odd half-bottle mid-week. These are shared with Lady Brentw1 but she will only have a couple of very small glasses out of each. Then of course, I finish the bottle(s) “because it won’t keep past one night” :wink:

I’ve already decided that because of the cost, I’m not going to use the contraption on everyday modest bottles, but am hoping that it will allow me to experiment with some of the stuff that I have carefully cellared for the past couple of decades.

Will my consumption go up or down? I’ll keep you posted and would love to hear your views.

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Depends how you define a lot of money. I would say it’s a generous but not excessive Christmas present. Running costs depend how often you use it. I would say £15-30 a year in my case. It’s actually quite hard to stab yourself with the needle and if you do you’ve probably used it once too often… :grinning:

My view is that it’s probably lowered mine slightly. Doesn’t make much difference to whites as my wife and I tend to share them anyway, and they keep fine in fridge for a couple of days in most cases. For reds, it probably makes a bottle last 3 days over a much longer time period than if I just open it and feel I need to drink it in 2 days, or very occasionally one…so sounds very like you.

Be careful using it on bottles with significant sediment, even using the vintage needle. I tend to just open them once it’s much more than halfway done, as I think it stirs it up too much.

Your strategy regarding which bottles to use it on makes sense. Enjoy!

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I borrowed one from a friend and quickly realised that I don’t drink in the way Coravin allows you to. If I’m having nice wine we’ll have the bottle (and ended up with a bottle full of argon at the end of the night). If I’m just having a glass, it’ll be weeknight plonk and usually from a bag/BIB anyway.

As much as I like gadgets, it’s not one for me.

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That’s a really interesting point. I’m pretty sure I will get on with it as it is going to let me get at some of the older and more mature wines in my collection. I’ve got a lot of 10 year plus flights of wines such as Penfolds, Sociando Mallet, Fontodi Chianti Classico and Musar and I really want to be able to compare a couple or three vintages without opening the whole bottle. A half a glass of each is going to be fun in my opinion.

However, we will see what happens.

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I was wondering about the sediment issue @MarkC. Some of the videos online show the bottle being accessed whilst still in the rack (i.e. remaining horizontal) but I think your advice is sound and that’s pretty much what I thought would I would do. Makes sense anyway as I’m going to end up with half a bottle of argon rather than the whole thing.

This is of course all when I have got over the novelty aspect initially, have 65 bottles broached and have spent the equivalent of Lichtenstein’s GDP on small silver capsules!

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I’ve had one for about a year and it’s worked very well. I haven’t found it’s radically changed my imbibing, but it’s very useful for checking whether I like a particular wine before I go and buy a case, especially if it’s still rather young.
I take off the top of the foil before using, purely to show that it’s a bottle that’s been ‘Coravined’, but that’s just my habit. I wouldn’t say I’ve spent a lot on Argon capsules, but do find it useful from time to time and it could be part of anyone’s reduced wine habit.

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One challenge in going for a comparative tasting is keeping track of all the bottles that you’ve Coravined (yes, holding them up to the light would work too!) and the date that they were first opened. I keep my opened bottles on the middle sliding shelf of my wine cabinet, which will only take a few anyway so it’s self limiting.

I imposed this discipline after giving away a bottle of Musar which had a glass Coravine’d from it…I only suspected it when doing a stock take a few weeks later, and I called the recipient and we had a good laugh about it…

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after investing in a Coravin…invest in a paint pen - write on the bottle the dates of glasses extracted !

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I suspect that I may not be that organised…I tend to rely on putting a note on CT with the date.

This wouldn’t have prevented the unfortunate gift of 5/6 of a bottle as I had stuck it back in with the other Musars…I now rigidly use the sliding shelf if that makes sense. No room and something else has to get drunk. Ensures that there is some discipline about how much can be ‘open’ at any time.

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There is a previous discussion on Coravin with some useful advice in case you have not seen it yet.

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Thanks @szaki1974, I’ll check it out.

I’ve had a Coravin for a couple of years now. My wife drinks little (and even less since I bought the device actually) and is far less interested in wine than me.
I don’t think my overall consumption has changed much but I can now drink what I fancy when I fancy without second guessing when I might finish the bottle or just drinking something ‘because it is open’.
I can also explore wine and food combinations more easily and it is great for comparing pairs/trios of wines and for self education. I do drink a bit more port now given the ability to have just a glass or two.
There’s obviously a cost and I probably use it on occasions on bottles where economics would say not to, but it works for me and personally I see the cost of each argon squirt as being worth it.

The main issue I have is as @MarkC mentioned - a wine cabinet filling up with part drunk bottles causing storage issues. I often have to have cleansing binges to create shelf room! (so maybe I do drink a bit more now…)

I have toyed occasionally with the idea of a second “post Coravin” wine cabinet but would hate to actually work out the cost per bottle/glass for drinking and storing in that way.

Essentially I think Coravin is not for everyone and depends how you drink wine and how you might drink it if you had one. If the cost of it is worth it (from a personal perspective) based on how you will use it and enjoy your wine then it’s a no brainer.

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Thanks for that @woodap and I’m hoping that my experiences are going to be fairly close to yours. My wife not drinking much either is a mixed blessing at the moment (because I do get tempted at times to finish the bottle :crazy_face:).

One thought that did occur to me is that I do actually enjoy how some red wines evolve overnight in the decanter. Musar is a particular favourite in this respect, but how I actually end up using it, we will have to see.

Interesting issue, the number of bottles open! Are you sure that this is not a ploy to justify the

:rofl:

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Yes, I also agree with this, and don’t get me wrong, I do still pop the cork on some full bottles as well :blush:

It works well for all the reasons above, particularly the last one. As mentioned beware sediment disturbance.

Black Friday usually brings good deals.

Also consider adding an Eto to your Christmas list if you don’t already have.
https://www.etowine.com/
I use my Etos all the time, but only use the Coravin occasionally.

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Ditto that Adrian

https://www.coravin.co.uk/en-GB/black-friday

50% off if anyone interested…

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Brings the premium model prices down towards the standard one…

Now getting gas capsules at 50% off would be better…

Yes - I did get a 30% off last year at some point so stocked up somewhat…

If I get any more email alerts will let you know!

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Wow at those prices think of the number of bottles you can buy :grinning:

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