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Coravin launched in HK

Coravin has officially launched in Hong Kong with founder, Greg Lambrecht, saying he has his eyes on more markets throughout Asia-Pacific.

The “wine access system” is being exclusively distributed through Watson’s Wine. Speaking to the drinks business, Watson’s general manager, Jeremy Stockman said that while fun for private clients, Coravin was potentially “ground-breaking” for the on-trade.

“We see a good opportunity for private clients but it’s very much for restaurants,” he said. “It’s more about premium wines and an affordable way to open really premium wines.

“I think it could be ground-breaking in the way wine by the glass is served in restaurants.”

By way of example, he mentioned that the Shangri-La’s top restaurant, Petrus, had acquired some Coravins and was using them to pour (fittingly) Pétrus and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s La Tâche by the glass for a limited time.

“You never see that,” Stockman enthused while discussing the possibilities Coravin offered.

Lambrecht told db he was keen to find further markets in Asia-Pacific with Australia and New Zealand high on the list.

Launched in 2013, Coravin uses a thin needle to pass through the cork (or screwcap) of a bottle and allowing wine to be poured.

Cork in particular is self-sealing and to prove that a bottle can be “accessed” and the wine remain unaffected even after several months, Lambrecht and Charles Curtis MW hosted a tasting with bottles that had been accessed six months ago and identical but unopened control bottles.

There were only two wines, Haut-Bailly and a Sancerre, poured into five glasses apiece, the blind element being the tasters would not know which glasses had been filled with wines from accessed bottles and which from the control bottles.

With around 23 tasters ranging from members of the Hong Kong trade to some of the city’s leading wine collectors, many were able to assess which glasses contained wines from particular bottles but none were able to say whether those groupings represented accessed bottles or not.

Coravin is available in Hong Kong through Watson’s for HK$2,400.

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