The Coravin

Argon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless inert gas. Its name comes from the Greek word for “lazy,” an allusion that underscores the fact that the element undergoes no chemical reactions. For years, winemakers concerned about surface oxidation have used the gas to top off their barrels. Meanwhile, consumers could only dream of having such a sophisticated preservation tool at their disposal for wines they’ve uncorked.

Enter Coravin founder Greg Lambrecht, a nuclear engineer who spent his career developing medical devices and a passionate collector of wines from Bordeaux, Piedmont and the Rhone. Not wanting to give up his favorite wines when his wife became pregnant, or commit to an entire bottle each night for nine months, he applied the design concept he developed for needles to pierce the septum of a vascular port to penetrating a wine cork.

With the Coravin, Lambrecht attached a hollow needle with holes on the sides to a canister of argon. Push the needle through the cork, press a button and argon is pumped into the bottle making it possible to extract a sip, a glass or even a carafe of wine. The wine left in the bottle is never exposed to oxygen. It remains unchanged, as if the cork had never been touched.

Ticking off potential applications is thrilling: enjoy a glass of your favorite wine when your significant other is out; decant a quarter or half bottle to see a wines evolution over time, then do it again the next night, week or month; explore multiple vintages of wines you’ve collected; taste multiple examples of a wine or region that has piqued your interest; preserve a delicate wine after having a glass as an aperitif; sample a treasured bottle over time. The list goes on.

Coravin is a tool for creating options regarding how, when, where and why -- at any given moment -- we taste the wines we love.