Coravin: sparkling wine device our absolute priority

12th February, 2016 by Darren Smith

A device that works with sparkling wine has become Coravin’s “absolute priority”, the company’s founder has revealed.


Coravin creator Greg Lambrecht says he is currently testing a prototype device for use with sparkling wine

Speaking at the launch of Coravin’s Model 2 at M Victoria Street in London, Coravin creator and chairman Greg Lambrecht said the company’s ultimate goal was to produce systems that would work with any type of wine or closure, but that a device for sparkling wine was at its most advanced.

“We’ve come to realise that sparkling is the fastest-growing area of wine – and for good reason: there are high-quality sparkling wines being made all over the planet. And it’s a challenge – it’s one of the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he explained.

The original Coravin device has become a hit with private consumers and wine professionals alike since it was launched in 2013. Along with the Enomatic wine dispensing machines, it is increasingly seen as being responsible for more of a by-the-glass wine culture in restaurants.

The device features a needle which is inserted into the bottle while keeping the cork in place. An accompanying gas capsule inserts inert argon gas into the bottle as the needle is removed, preventing ingress of oxygen, and therefore spoilage from oxidation.

As reported in the drinks business last week, the new model of the device features an improved needle which pours 20% faster than the needle on the previous model, as well as a more user-friendly clamp and a sleeker, dark graphite and brushed metal design. 

Lambrecht, who has a degree in nuclear engineering from MIT and combines his chairmanship of Coravin with a career in medical technologies, explained that while the effectiveness of the Coravin system for still wine had been amply demonstrated, there were more logistical challenges in creating such a device for sparkling.

The sparkling challenge

“With Coravin your goal is: pour the wine and preserve what’s left in the bottle,” he said.

“Everyone is convinced [about the standard Coravin system] that there’s no impact on the glass you’ve just poured, especially if it’s a brand new bottle, but with sparkling the challenges are many: you have to make sure that the wine you pour is the same as if you’ve just opened it, and you have to make sure that the wine that remains in the bottle is the same as if you’ve never opened it.

“I think the goal for us at Coravin is that anyone, whether a restaurant, a wine store, a consumer or the producers, can serve any quantity of wine they want from any bottle they have with whatever closure it’s got. And so we’re going to work on everything that we can’t currently do. Sparkling is an absolute priority for us.

“We’ve started the blind tasting,” he added. “We’re very anally retentive. I’ve got to buy sparkling wine from all over the world, I have to buy wines of a variety of different vintages and I’ve got to buy sparkling wines that are bottled at different pressures.

“So the complexity of the testing is grand. We really can’t commit to a timeframe. It took me 11 years to make the original Coravin. I learned an enormous amount during the process so that will hopefully make things faster than this.

“I can’t commit to any particular date but any day that I’m not on the road, that’s all I’m working on. We’re committed to getting it done.”

In summer 2015, as reported in db, Coravin announced that it had secured $13.6 million (£9.4m) in funding to allow the company to accelerate its growth worldwide, and carry out fresh research and development.

4 Responses to “Coravin: sparkling wine device our absolute priority”

  1. Shouldn’t be too difficult … the Victorians invented the Champagne tap, which used the internal pressure to pour by the glass without opening the bottle (Google Antique Champagne Tap) and I tested a gas-pressured device with a protective cannister many years ago called Perlage, and it is still going.

  2. Many champagne lovers would like to enjoy one glass and put the bottle back in the fridge for another night…me included. Lets hope they are successful and the product is released at a viable rate for punters.

  3. Bob says:

    We have several different types of simple sparkling wine caps that we’ve picked up at various sparkling wine producers in France. They work very well at keeping the wine fresh and bubbly for at least a couple of days. And sparkling wine isn’t normally kept any longer than that anyway at our house.

  4. ken adams says:

    Dear Editor – Darren Smith

    I read with interest your Feb 12th article regarding Champagne/sparkling wine preservation by the glass. As a life time hospitality management professional and a country club manager for the last twenty years, the solution to serving sparkling wines by the glass and preserving them for up to 21 days was solved for me over 10 years ago when I purchased the Bermar Le Verre de Vin wine preservation system. Using this system, I was able to preserve an unlimited number of still and sparkling wines by the glass. Since then I have never looked back. Many country club managers and restaurant operators that I know share my enthusiasm for Bermar and consider this the ‘Gold Standard’ for both still and Champagne/sparkling wine preservation by-the-glass service. The commercial grade, high performance Le Verre de Vin preserves opened bottles of sparkling wine so easily and effectively that I was able to implement Le Verre de Vin as a standard working practice in every Club I managed with excellent results for my members.

    I am somewhat surprised that you did not mention the legendary Le Verre de Vin Technology as I understand that, like yourselves, the Bermar system is a creation from good Old England. I understand that thousands of these systems are installed throughout the UK, and have been attributed to making a much bigger impact on Still & sparkling wine-by-the-glass programs than any other system or device, especially the two that you mentioned that are either limited to a few bottles by their bulk or complexity or limited by their lack of safe usability in a front of house, commercial setting. I personally know of many city and country clubs that have had a spectacular still & sparkling wine by-the-glass service supported by the Le Verre de Vin technology for many years. I highly recommend that any Champagne or sparkling wine enthusiast check out the Bermar system.

    Thanks for the article – definitely thought provoking.

    Ken Adams

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