Good to the Last Drop


New techniques and tools for wine preservation are keeping bottles fresh for days, even weeks, beyond the first pour.

While I was sipping wines at a Bordeaux tasting room in May, a vacuum noise stopped me in my tracks. Old World met New World in one sweeping flourish when an employee thrust a thin, hollow needle into a pricey bottle of Château La Louvière, so the industry’s newest preservation device, Coravin, might extract a single glass of wine without popping the cork, allowing argon gas into the bottle and preserving the coveted wine.

I’d heard about Coravin from sommeliers, including Michael Madrigale, wine director at Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud in New York City, who is a huge fan—albeit with an air of skepticism.

Wine-preservation gadgets roll out every month, for consumers and restaurateurs alike. From hand-held manual tools to motorized machines, each promises to lengthen the time a wine is palatable after it’s uncorked. Because the shelf life of an opened bottle of wine is quite narrow—two or three days, at most—there’s a need for preservation. To a restaurateur, bad wine is lost revenue. Also, using a wine-preservation method opens the door to offering expensive wines by the glass, at prices upward of $50 a glass. This has considerable allure for operators because it carries the implied assurance that the entire bottle will be sold, even if it’s a glass at a time.

One such object that crossed my desk this summer, Savino, is an American-made glass carafe so elegant it could be mistaken for a water carafe. Yet it holds the contents of a standard, 750-milliliter bottle of wine. While targeting consumers, the tool could easily work in a restaurant. After the wine is poured into the glass container, a float is inserted to slow down oxidation, followed by the lid, providing two layers of enclosure. According to Savino, wine will stay fresh for a week in the carafe.

Another preservation gadget worth noting is Zork, a natural peel-and-reseal closure added during the bottling process that has attracted at least one California winery, The Other Guys in Sonoma, California, producer of labels that include Pennywise, Hey Mambo, The White Knight, and Plungerhead. Available in nine colors, it negates the use of a corkscrew.

“After using the Zork with several of our wine brands, rather than cork, the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Ann Sebastiani, president of The Other Guys. “Plus, the Zork absolutely eliminates the possibility of cork taint, which is a huge bonus for restaurants and their patrons.” An added bonus: It even makes a sound similar to a cork popping.



I'm intrigued by the Coravin. The expense is a hurdle but the ability to extract from a bottle and reuse without concerns with later is incredible.https://pasowinebarrels.wordpr...

Did Coravin fix the issue with their system causing bottles to explode? It is a wonderful concept, just could not risk if it still does.


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