What a lovely gadget! And a great idea indeed.
Coravin is a rather wonderful contraption for avid wine lovers. By using it you can get a glass of wine out of a bottle without opening it up and keep the remains fresh and untouched by oxygen. Well, given that the bottle has a cork in it rather than a screwcap. Safety is first. You need to put a custom-made sleeve on the bottle before all the magic happens as it gets pressurized. If it is an older bottle, it may shatter. You clamp the implement on and through the covering foil and cork you push a surgical needle into the bottle. From a little argon gas filled cylinder you release gas into the bottle and hey presto, you can pour your wine through a valve by tilting the bottle. It is rather useful for expensive wines with the ability for ageing as you can check your beloved liquid whether it is ready or in a dire need of further maturation. Because of the cork's natural elasticity, after the removal of the needle the stopper seals itself, so no harm done.
However, for the first time of using your Coravin, I would suggest not to make the mistake of trying your most expensive and most revered 30 years old Bordeaux. As I did. You really need to get the hang of how to use this tool. Get some practice on some cheaper stuff and be particularly cautious with sediment. I managed to disturb the rather heavy deposit in my carefully racked bottle, so I ended up with a pretty hazy glass of wine. Nonetheless, it was delicious and had a fantastic nose with ripe fruits, with slight leather-y, tobacco-y complexity.
The price of this remarkable system is high as you would expect, around £200. Obviously, you need to buy cylinders separately. But I mean, come on! What an excellent piece of equipment!
Photographs by The Tannin Addict.